Sunday, 21 August 2016

Week 3 - The Grambler on Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail


Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy

 

Jings, crivvens and help ma boab! Thon Grambler’s awfy late this week! Michty me! [Nurse, I think it’s time to increase the medication. - Ed.] No, no, let me explain. As anyone who comes from Scotland will have realised, those first few words were written as if being spoken by one of this country’s most famous comic strip creations - Oor Wullie. Those of you who have never heard of him may be thinking that it is the sad tale of conjoined twins. No, Oor Wullie, along with The Broons, has appeared in the ‘fun section’ of the Sunday Post since 1937. Why am I telling you this? Well, the reason for this week’s tardy publication is that Mrs G, myself and a lovely couple we know visited Dundee this week to follow ‘Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail’. You’re none the wiser, are you? I will try to enlighten you.

Have you ever visited a town to see identical resin-based statues placed in various locations? I say identical; the statues are identically shaped, but each is painted in a unique manner. Local artists tend to be given a theme and create artwork to suit. The first time I visited a town with this phenomenon was a few years ago when Mrs G and I spent some time in Chester. We didn’t understand it at the time, but every so often we would see a statue of a rhinoceros. Each was painted differently. More recently Hamilton had a collection of heavy horses placed in prime locations around the town. Not real ones, you understand.  Resin ones.  I don’t know what happened to Chester’s rhinos, but I know that Hamilton’s horses were auctioned off after a period of time had passed; the money being given to charity.

This was what the bucket trail was about. A charity called the ARCHIE foundation, which raises funds to assist in the healthcare of sick children in the north east of Scotland, linked up with Dundee’s council and D.C. Thomson (creators of Oor Wullie and based in Dundee) to come up with a trail of Oor Wullie statues around Dundee and surrounding areas. Unlike the previous places I mentioned, this was advertised nationally and actual maps of the trail were printed. Also, there weren’t just a dozen or so statues; there were 55. We were there for two days and managed to see less than half.

It was great fun though and the local artists who had been tasked with decorating a particular statue had come up with some interesting ideas. One that I particularly liked was the one that was called Oor Bowie, Your Bowie, A’body’s Bowie as a tribute to the thin white duke himself. Like all the statues, this one was sat on a bucket, but instead of the usual attire of dungarees, it was dressed in the style of Ziggy Stardust complete with the zigzag flash on its face.

Anyway, the charity should get a lot from this excellent scheme, as indeed will the city of Dundee. Many people (us included) have headed to the city of jam, jute and journalism simply to follow the trail; the numbers of tourists to the city must have increased drastically. Where the charity will really benefit is at the end of the enterprise when all 55 statues will be auctioned off.

So I do apologise for being so late with this week’s publication, but I was busy Wullie watching. [Ooer. - Ed.]

Before I end this little section, I will tell you that I learned something on this visit to Dundee. As a kid, I was an avid reader of the D.C. Thomson comics the Beano and the Dandy. I could tell you all about the adventures of Korky the Cat, Dennis the Menace, Little Plum, the Three Bears and Roger the Dodger. The middle two pages of the Beano were reserved for the classroom antics of the Bash Street Kids (Smiffy and Plug were my favourite characters). Well, on my visit to Dundee I learned that there is an actual road called Bash Street. And I always thought it was a figment of the cartoonist’s imagination. All I can say is jings, crivvens and help ma boab!
 
 
 

 

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Do you recall my (g)ramble a few weeks back when I told the tale of Mrs G and I paying a visit to our local bank? You may remember that the cashier refused to take a bag full of money which we wanted to pay into our account so that we could donate the money to The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund. Well, we were a bit miffed at the treatment we had received so decided to take our complaint a step further. One email to the ceo of this particular bank was soon winging its way through the ether.
The next morning a reply to that message was in our in box. The top man at the complaints department had been given the job of placating this pair of old grumps.
I expected him to argue the case in favour of his employee but, no, he was very much on our side and used expressions such as ‘jobsworth’ and ‘lacking common sense’ to describe the cashier in question. Incidentally, not everyone is aware of the term jobsworth so let me enlighten you. It is a word used to describe the sort of officious bas... individual who insists that rules are rules and must be carried out to the letter; there can be absolutely no deviation from this. Usually, it is somebody who has been given a job with a little bit of authority attached to it and who enjoys the power that it gives him or her over any member of the public who is trying to avoid too much ‘red tape’. The jobsworth is the sort who would not deviate from a rule no matter how daft that rule may be and would never attempt any easier way of carrying out any task. When dealing with the public, this person in authority invariably uses the expression, ‘more than my job’s worth’, hence the name. Apparently, it first gained popular recognition on the Esther Rantzen fronted programme called That’s Life.
Any road up, where am I heading with this? This complaints manager guy was extremely apologetic for the way we had been treated and we felt it proved that we were justified in making our complaint.
Is that it, you may be asking. That wasn’t particularly interesting, you are probably thinking. And you’d be right. But there is more.
Within four hours of this gentleman first contacting us, the Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund had benefited by 100 quids. It was a donation from the bank. Sometimes, it pays to moan a bit.

 

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Any birthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famous or notorious folk come into this world on the 20th of August? Of course they did. This week, special guest Arthur will give a little information about each. Josef Strauss 1827 (Tharnk you. Yes, he was an Australian comproser. With brothers Johan and Eduard he formed the Bee Gees.), Duncan Macrae 1905 (Oh yes, Duncarn Macrami. He appeared in all those Rodgers and Hammer time musicarls. There’s a bright goalie down in the meadow, Surrey with a fridge on top... all them. What? That was Gordon? Don’t talk wet. Who’s ever heard of Duncan Gordon?), Alan Reed 1907 (He was an arctor. Bet you don’t know him. You’d know his voice though. Oh yarse. Here’s a clue... WILMA!!! Got him now? That was him. Ooh, what was his name again? Fred Firestone. Him.), Andre Morell 1909 (Another blibbing arctor. He was in that thing on the telly. Ooh, it was ages ago. That thing that sounded like he was always in his bed. Quatermass. That was it. Quatermass and his pit.), Jacqueline Susanne 1919 (She was an arctress and a writer. She wrote some right mucky stuff, I can tell you. That Truman Capote bloke didn’t reckon much to her. He said she looked like an truck driver in drag.   He did.   When she threatened to sue, he apologised.... to truck drivers everywhere.), Jim Reeves 1923 (Ooh, he was good, him. He sang that one... How does it go? Put the jukebox a little closer to the phone. That one. And that one about hearing an drumming noise. I reckon it was tinnitus, meself. Ooh, what was that other one? The one where he farncied an horse? I love you big horse. That was one of his. It’s an wonder he didn’t get blibbing locked up after that one.), Yootha Joyce 1927 (Another arctress. She was in that Man in the house thing and, ooh what was the other one? George all mildewed. It was about this man called George who had a wife who was right blibbing bossy. That was her. Can’t remember her name in it.), Don King 1931 (Donking? What the blibbing heck is donking? I’ve serpently never donked, I carn arssure you.), Jim Bowen 1937 (He was the one that did that quiz about darts. They had to get the bit right in the middle of the board. The bullseye.  There was this bull on the programme.   Called him Bully, they did.   Can’t for the life of me remember the name of the show.  I do remember that nobody ever won the blibbing prizes.), Isaac Hayes 1942 (He must have had a pet cat called Shaft. He wrote that song about it... You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother... must have had an litter of kittens and perhaps didn’t look after them.), Robert Plant 1948 (Lord Zeppelin, he was known as. Mind, he was as bad as that Jim Reeves with that song Hole otter love... Another one that wants locking up.), Phil Lynott 1949 (Thin Lizzy he was called. Daft name for a bloke. Did lots of songs. That one about drunk driving. Whisky in the car. That was him. Jailbait. That was another.), Joe Pasquale 1961 (Ooh, I like him. Comedian bloke. Squeaky voice.  Buckets of doom.), David Walliams 1971 (Ooh, I like him.   He’s an comedian too.   He says I’m a lady. It’s really funny. Arnd he says computer says no. It’s hiralious, it really is.) and Maxim Vengerov 1974 (Ooh, we’re getting all seriarse now. He plays the fiddle, he does. He was a child progidy, it says here. Ooh, they were good... I’m the fire starter, twisted fire starter...)

Er, thank you Arthur.

 

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Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We lost. Not a penny piece back. The Grambler made a proper cu... mess of it. What Happened? Read on...

 

 

Barnsley vs Derby County - Prediction Away win

Result - Barnsley 2 Derby County 0

Jings!

The Tykes took the lead even before getting a shot on target, with captain Conor Hourihane's effort from 25 yards coming off the post before rebounding off Rams goalkeeper Scott ‘Kit’ Carson into the net.

Alfie Mawson met a Hourihane free-kick to head home a second after the break.

Ryan Kent also hit the post for Barnsley.

 

Doncaster vs Crawley - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 1 Crawley 1

Crivvens!

Rovers were poor before the break and trailed to James Collins' 26th-minute tap-in.

Doncaster captain James Coppinger rescued a point for his side when he twisted to fire home Matty Blair's corner in the 49th minute.

Crawley started on the front foot and deservedly went ahead when Collins tapped home Jason ‘Pato’ Banton's cross.

Coppinger fired a free-kick just wide for a disjointed home side, while Rovers' Tommy ‘Dizzy’ Rowe saw a goalbound effort from close range blocked.

The visitors offered more of a threat and Banton saw an effort deflected just wide, while Enzio Boldewijn struck a shot onto the roof of the net from the angle of the box.

Coppinger gave the home side a much-needed confidence boost when he met Blair's corner from the right with a superb first-time finish from the edge of the box. Rovers pressed for a winner and went close through Blair, John ‘Mary’ Marquis and Andy ‘Moon River’ Williams.

 

Dumbarton vs Dundee Utd - Prediction Away win

Result - Dumbarton 1 Dundee United

Michty me!

The Sons defender Mark Docherty converted confidently after Gregor Buchanan was judged to have been shoved in the box at a corner kick.

Ryan Stevenson's free-kick from the edge of the box had earlier hit the crossbar for the hosts.

United struggled to turn possession into chances but came close when Jamie Robson's volley was saved.

Home goalkeeper Alan Martin was called upon again late on to deny Coll Donaldson a leveller.

 

Peterhead vs East Fife - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterhead 0 East Fife 3

Help ma boab!

Forfar vs Cowdenbeath - Prediction Home win

Result - Forfar 4 Cowdenbeath 3

Braw, but too late.

 

Ach weel, as Wullie might say. There’s always next week. But not a this week. Too late, do you see?

 

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Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which former Manchester United striker was so in awe of Alan Shearer, that he slept in a Newcastle United shirt. The answer is Dimitar Berbatov. Did anyone get that one? Too difficult? Let’s have an easier one for this week.

Here’s a Premiershit question for you. As you all know, many Premiershit players come from abroad these days; over the years, three Premiershit clubs have employed more than 125 foreign players. Not surprisingly, Chelsea top this list having had 141 overseas players on the books at one time or another. I thought that Manchester City would have been next, but I was wrong; they are at number three, pop pickers. So, which club comes in at number two? Not arf!

 

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As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

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And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr S. Lee who, I am guessing, but I could be wrong, is not the biggest fan of birthday celebrant Joe Pasquale. Click here .
 

Happy grambling.

 

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