Saturday, 24 June 2017

Week 45 - Happy grambleday Lionel Messi


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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. Read on and enjoy

 

They are dropping like flies. What are, I hear you ask. Not what. Who. My childhood television heroes, that’s who. First there was Geoffrey Bayldon. Who? Catweazle. Remember him? The old Mediaeval wizard who was transported to the Britain of 1970 and had problems adjusting to modern things such as ‘electrickery’ [Wasn’t that an OMD song? - Ed.]. He looked about 90 when he made that programme; surely he didn’t live till he was 137. Okay, just checked his age. He was 93 when he died, so that made him... erm... 46 when he was in Catweazle. 46? Here’s a picture of him. 

 

He’s an old-looking 46. That means he was the same age as Ewan MacGregor is now. Or seven years younger than Brad Pitt! Aye, we had it tough in the seventies..

Anyway, old Catweazle was barely cold when mechanical eyebrow man Roger Moore falls off his perch. No, I am not classing his James Bond as part of my growing up years. But his Ivanhoe was. Yes, old Roger’s first big starring role was in a kids’ programme about Sir Walter Scott’s gallant knight. The plots, I imagine, had nothing to do with Scott’s tale, but in those days accuracy would always make way for a bit of swash and buckle. Ivanhoe, I later found out was made by Lew Grade’s Associated Television company which also made inaccurate historical series such as Robin Hood (The riding through the glen one, not the everything I do, I do it for you one.), Lancelot, Richard the Lionheart, William Tell, Francis Drake etc. etc. See? Educational, this is, which is more than can be said for Mr Grade’s ideas about history.

Next up, John ‘Get down Shep’ Noakes, Blue Peter’s resident nutcase, popped his clogs. I say nutcase; he certainly came across as being a bit mental. Some of the ‘assignments’ he carried out in the name of entertaining kids were a bit scary. I mean, scary for us nippers who were watching him. He must have been absolutely sh*tting himself actually doing them. He once climbed up Nelson’s Column [Is that some sort of euphemism? - Ed.] to clean pigeon sh*t off his hat. That is one crazy stunt. Or how about racing down the Cresta bobsleigh run and falling off the bob and travelling the last part of the course at 80 miles per hour on his backside? As I said... nutjob.

Next to kick the bucket was the voice of Gromit’s master, Wallace, Peter Sallis. Okay, he wasn’t so much a chidhood hero. But he was often to be seen on television programmes that I watched as a nipper... probably in those Lew Grade swashbucklers. And last of the Summer Wine was already on the go when I was still quite young. Honest. Still a teenager, anyway.

Now, here’s a little clip from a television programme that will resonate with anyone who watched kids’ TV in the 1960s and 1970s and, thanks to the British Broadcorping Casteration’s policy of endless repeats, probably the 1980s too... Pugh, Pugh, etc.

Yes that was Captain Flack calling the Trumpton fire brigade to attention. Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew? Hang on a mo. Why does Barney get the full name treatment while the others get a curt surname only? What was so special about old beardy? Any road up, why am I even mentioning this? Because this week the man who provided the voices for Trumpton, Camberwick Green and Chigley, Brian Cant (I said Cant), also shuffled off this mortal coil... Must give us pause. There’s the respect. That makes calamity of so long life... Sorry, coming over a bit Shakespeare there.

I was a little too old for his Playschool and Play Away programmes, so never appreciated his skill as a pre-schoolchildren’s television performer, but I thought his narration of those three animated series was always spot on. Why, he even won a poll as the favourite children’s shows voiceover artist, beating the wonderful Oliver Postgate (Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin the Nog...). David Jason was third, incidentally. Funny, I thought Bernard Cribbins would have been up there; he seemed to be the voiceover king back in the day.

Five gone in a little over a month. Makes you think. Who’s next, I ask myself.

I wonder how Bernard is keeping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 24th of June? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Field Marshall Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC 1850 (Senior British army officer. During the second Boer war he set up concentration camps... You see, another British idea that others copied.), Roy Disney 1893 (Walt’s big bro.), Jack Dempsey 1895 (Boxy bloke. Aka The Manassa Mauler.), Phil Harris 1904 (Comedian, jazz musician, singer and actor. You might not know his face, but you will know his voice. He was a Disney favourite - Thomas O’Malley, Little John and this character, not perhaps quite how Rudyard Kipling envisaged him.), Juan Manuel Fangio 1911 (Racey car bloke.), Brian Johnston 1912 (Broadcaster.), Fred Hoyle 1915 (Astronomer.), Billy Casper 1931 (Friendly ghost who played golf.), Jeff Beck 1944 (The 14th greatest guitarist ever according to Rolling Stone magazine. Given that the top 100 missed most British guitarists altogether, it can hardly be called the definitive listing. Could there ever be such a thing? Doubt it. Also, it gives the top spot to Jimmy Hendrix. Sorry. No. Don’t agree. Where’s Steve Hackett? Ed Wynne? Steve Hillage? Hank Marvin? [Stop moaning and give us a clip. As long as it isn’t that Hi ho silver one. - Ed.] Okay, have some Led Boots), John ‘Charlie’ Whitney 1944 (Family’s guitarist. He wasn’t on that list either. Another clip?  Here's some Good News, Bad News.), Colin Blunstone 1945 (Vocalist with the Zombies. Have another clip. Here is the band some 50 years after the song was first recorded and the band name looking more accurate.), Betty Stove 1945 (Tennisy bloke. Bet you thought I would say something about cookers. Oh dear. I just have.), Clarissa Dickson Wright 1947 (A Fat Lady. I actually met her once. On Arran. She was selling jumpers. She was. It wasn’t a dream, I can assure you.), Mick Fleetwood 1947 (A drummer. Here’s another clip and it really couldn’t be anything else, could it... Here's Albert Ross. Whatever happened to Julie Felix?), Patrick Moraz 1948 (Keyboard wizard. Have another clip. Here’s the opening track from The Story of I, Impact. One of my all-time favourite albums of all-time, as Nicey might have said.), Andy McCluskey 1959 (An Orchestral Manoeuvre in the Dark. Time for another clip... Here’s a jolly wee toon and a video with some truly awful haircuts.), Iain Glen 1961 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Curt Smith 1961 (A Tear for Fear. Another clip, vicar?  Nice haircut, Curt.), Glenn Medeiros 1970 (One hit wonder... in Britain, at least. And here it is...  That was really... erm...), Luis Garcia 1978 (Footy bloke.), Kevin Nolan 1982 (Another footy bloke.), Diego Alves 1985 (Yet another footy bloke.) and Lionel Messi 1987 (Not just another footy bloke.).

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, we didn’t lose... not entirely. Two horses performed as they were meant to and their winning netted us a grand total of... 60 pees. Hmm, so we only lost £1.60. What happened?

Downpatrick - 3.05 - Harold Peto - 6/4 - Didn’t finish. Bad.

Sandown - 3.15 - Battered - 5/4 - Third. A little better.

Downpatrick - 3.40 - Ben Button - 6/5 - Second. Still improving.

Hexham - 4.30 - Petiville - 8/15 - Won! At last!

Sandown - 5.00 - Bristol Missile - 11/10 - Won! ’Ray!

After a shocking start, things improved. Unfortunately a little too late to net us much by

 

in the way of winnings. Never mind. What might this week bring?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds.

Redcar - 1.35 - Collateral - 10/11

Ayr - 1.50 - Royal Liberty - 4/5

Ayr - 4.10 - Queen Kindly - 5/6

Haydock - 6.30 - Mabs Cross - 5/6

Lingfield - 8.20 - Dealer’s Choice - 11/10

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£12.02

Nope. Not in the least bit whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which nation has supplied the most Premier League players. That’s non-UK nation, of course. The answer is France with 194. And, in case you were interested, Ireland were second with 175 and the Netherlands were third with 120.

One for this week? Let’s have a nice easy one. Which football manager earned the nickname Tinkerman due to his fondness for changing his team’s starting line-up?

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

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


…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr B. Johnston, a famous cricket cricketer who occasional said the wrong thing...

‘Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end’.

‘Welcome to Worcester where you've just missed seeing Barry Richards hitting one of Basil D'Oliveira's balls clean out of the ground’.

‘The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey’.

‘Neil Harvey at leg slip, crouches, legs apart, waiting for a tickle’.

John Snow hit Glen Howarth in the box (abdominal protector) with the fifth ball of an over causing some distress to the batsman and several minutes delay. When play resumed, Johnners said ' ... and Howarth takes his guard with one ball left'.

Johnston was renowned for his on-air schoolboy humour and puns. In one incident during a test match at the Oval in 1991, Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) suggested that when Ian Botham was out hitting the wicket while trying to hurdle the stumps, it was because he had failed to ‘get his leg over’ (a British slang term meaning to have sex). Johnston carried on commentating and giggling for 30 seconds before dissolving into helpless laughter. Oh let’s finish with that, shall we?

 
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Week 44 - Happy grambleday to Barry Manilow


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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. Read on and enjoy

 

Some years ago manufacturers of processed food were instructed to come clean about their products and, if a picture was used on the wrapper/tin/box, it had to be of the products as they appeared within the packaging. So a picture of a particular product... corned beef, perhaps... had to show just that. If, however, the corned beef was shown with something else as if it was just a part of a meal, the picture had to have the words ‘serving suggestion’ alongside it. [An unusual start to this week’s blog. Would you care to explain? - Ed.] The addition of these two words was a way for food manufacturers to protect themselves. What from, I hear you ask. This sort of thing...

I recently purchased a tin labeled corned beef, but noticed that the picture on the tin showed the product accompanied by some potatoes and peas. Wonderful, I thought, a complete meal in a tin. However, when I opened it, I discovered to my horror that it contained only corned beef. I believe I have been conned. I bought the product only because it showed a meal, if I had realised that the tin contained only corned beef, I wouldn’t have bothered.

I think I should be given a free tin of corned beef for the rest of my life by way of compensation.

Yours angrily,

Wanda Freebie.

Yes, there were (and still are) people who would complain about anything in order to get some sort of compensation. [Still not sure what you are writing about. - Ed.] Any road up, to save themselves from having to hand out skiploads of products to anyone who looked for loopholes to exploit, manufacturers fought back with those two simple words. Take that Ms Freebie, you freeloading chancer.

Of course it can get a bit silly. An example might be mustard. Everyone knows that mustard is a spicy condiment to accompany food, so do we really need a picture of a roast beef dinner with Yorkshire puds, mashed potatoes and cauliflower? Of course, There are people who take the serving suggestion picture a bit too literally...

'Oh no. The picture says it has to be served with roast beef, Yorkshires, potatoes and cauliflower. I haven’t got any cauliflower. What am I going to do? And where am I supposed to get a sprig of parsley?'

Why do serving suggestions have a garnish of parsley? You never eat it, so why is it there? What is the point?

Anyway, you are probably wondering why I am bothering with this food-related (g)ramble. [I certainly was. - Ed.] Well, I think a few manufacturers are taking this serving suggestion thing a bit too far. If you take a look at this photograph, I am sure you will agree...

 


 
What does it show? Yogurt. On the label is a picture of a spoon holding a dod (the well-known unit of measure) of said yogurt. What does it say alongside the picture? Serving suggestion. Now call me Mr Thicky, but surely yogurt is served in the pot it is in when you buy it. If you were giving somebody a yogurt, you would give them the plastic container full of yogurt. And a spoon, of course. You would not open the yogurt, scoop out a spoonful and hand that to them. Luckily, nobody is so daft that they would take any notice of the picture, surely [Don't call me Shirley. - Ed.]...

'No. That is all you are getting. It says so on the tub. Look. Serving suggestion. One teaspoon of yogurt. No don’t complain to me; complain to the company that produces it. I don’t make the rules... and why isn’t there a sprig of parsley?'
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 17th of June? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Igor Stravinsky 1882 (Russian composer. Mucked about with the Star-Spangled Banner, apparently.), M.C. Escher 1898 (Early hip-hop artist.), Harry Patch 1898 (The last fighting Tommy from the Great War. He died in 2009 aged 111.), Martin Bormann 1900 (Chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery.), Ralph Bellamy 1904 (A character in the Archers [Stop it. - Ed.] All right he was an actor. Made his first film in 1931 and his last in 1990.), Beryl Reid 1919 (Comedy actress. Go on, have a clip.), John Amis 1922 (Journo and music critic. Used to appear on the radio and tv programme My Music. Couldn’t sing for toffee.), Ken Loach 1936 (Film director. Kes. That was one of his.), Newt Gingrich 1943 (First ever amphibian to be appointed as speaker of the U.S. house of representatives. See also Ken Livingstone.), Barry Manilow 1943 (Singer who didn’t necessarily write the songs. Here’s a clip for the ladeez... Here he is with Can't Smile Without You... That was an ironic or prophetic title given that he has now had so much cosmetic surgery, he can no longer change his features at all), Chris Spedding 1944 (Musician who has released 16 solo albums and has worked with some of Britain's greatest musicians, but is only remembered for this.), Ken Livingstone 1945 (First Mayor of London. Has a pet newt.), Eddie Merckx 1945 (Racey bikey bloke.), Paul Young 1947 (Singer. The Mike and the Mechanics guy, not the one that keeps putting his hat down. Here he is in his Sad Cafe days.  All together now... I saw the lamplight from your window.), Jason Patric 1966 (A lost boy.), Venus Williams 1980 (Tennisy bloke.) and Jordan Henderson 1990 (Foo’y bloke.).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Don’t ask. Oh, you already have. Lost. Big time. There is absolutely no point in giving you the results... They lost. We lost. Let’s just move on to this week’s predictions.

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Downpatrick - 3.05 - Harold Peto - 6/4

Sandown - 3.15 - Battered - 5/4

Downpatrick - 3.40 - Ben Button - 6/5

Hexham - 4.30 - Petiville - 8/15

Sandown - 5.00 - Bristol Missile - 11/10

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£16.86

Hmm... reasonably whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the last English player to score a hat trick against Scotland. The answer is Ian St. John’s mucker, Jimmy Greaves who scored 3 in a 9-3... that’s nine three... in a home international at Wemberley back in 1961.

One for this week? I don’t want to come across as being a bit UKIP here, but regular readers amongst you will remember that I do not approve of so many foreign players coming to Britain to play. My reasoning has nothing to do with capping immigration; it is all to do with the fact that home-grown players are not getting opportunites to play in the big leagues, so the national side is weaker than it should be. I’m including England here, so here is this week’s teaser. The English Premiershit is a veritable league of nations these days with players being imported from all around the world... Which nation has supplied the most Premier League players?

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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


…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am going to end this week’s edition with some more ‘serving suggestions’. It would appear that I am not the only one who thinks the suggestions sometimes get a bit silly. Here are some photographs gleaned from the worldwide web...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Week 43 - Grambleday wishes to Prince Philip


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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. Read on and enjoy

 

An unusual edition for you this week. There is no (g)ramble. I know... I know... How are you going to survive without your weekly dose of ill-informed drivel? But, don’t worry. There is a reason for this change to the normal format. You see, another person has provided the bulk of this week’s blog. Royalty, no less. Head to the concluding section (after the teaser) and enjoy over 90 foot in mouth moments from that charming personality, Prince Philip, or Chooky Embra as he is known in Scotland.
 
 
.....oooOooo.....
 
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 10th of June? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Nikolaus Otto 1832 (Inventor of the internal combustion engine.), Hattie McDaniel 1895 (Actress who was typecast as a black maid in just about every film she made.), Terence Rattigan 1911 (Posh playwright.), Barry Morse 1918 (Actor. Chased David Janssen for ages. No. Not in that way. Morse played Lt Gerard who was on the trail of Richard Kimble - Janssen - in The Fugitive. He also played ‘Reaganesque’ President Johnny Cyclops in this...  Not just a clip. Not just one episode. But the whole series. If you have a couple of hours to spare, enjoy the comedy about Armageddon, Whoops Apocalypse.), Prince Philip 1921 (The Queen’s old man. See conclusion of this week’s edition), Judy Garland 1922 (Actress and singer. I suppose you’ll be wanting a clip? All right then. Here she is sporting possibly the daftest hairstyle ever seen in a film... ), Bill Kerr 1922 (Who? Comedy actor. Another of Tony Hancock’s co-stars.), Jan Ludvik Hyman Binyamin Hoch 1923 (Better known as sailing expert Robert Maxwell.), Lionel Jeffries 1926 (Comedy actor and film director. Here’s another little clip. Jeffries is the prison officer. Wah wah wah...), Maurice Sendak 1928 (Illustrator and writer of children’s books, best known for ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.), Gordon Burns 1942 (Krypton Factor bloke.), Rich Hall 1954 (American comedian who is quite at home in the UK. Here is his election rant from Have I Got News for You ), Carlo Ancelotti 1959 (Footy managery bloke.), Maxi Priest 1961 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip? Why not. Here’s his biggest hit Wild World.  Apologies for the video. Everyone tried to make clever clever videos back in the eighties. If it gets too much for you, take a Migrileve.), Liz Hurley 1965 (The face of Harry Lauder or something. Oh Estee. The face of Harry Estee, apparently.) and David Platt 1966 (Footy bloke; not him from Coronation Street.).

 


Wild thing... I think I love you
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Not too well. As happened last week, only two of the five predictions came good. So we only won £1.00. One measly quid. What happened? This...

 

Musselburgh - 2.15 - Rebel Assault - 8/13 - Second - Ooh! So close.

Epsom - 2.35 - Laugh Aloud - 11/10 - Won - Yay!

Hexham - 4.45 - No Such Number - 11/8 - Won - Yay!

Newcastle - 7.40 - Abjar - 8/11 - Second - Ooh! Another close one.

Lingfield - 8.50 - Monteamiata - 2/1 - Second - Ooh! Yet another.

 

So close. Three seconds. Never mind. Can The Grambler improve on last week’s showing? Hope so. Here are this week’s predictions.

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Newmarket - 1.25 - Glorious Journey - 10/11

Chester - 2.00 - Awsaaf - 11/8

Beverley - 3.15 - Rebel Assault - 4/7

Stratford - 6.00 - 8/11

Chepstow - Alaadel - 11/8

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£13.62

Thanks to some very short odds, one has to conclude that as whoppingness goes that is far from it.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which club was banned from European competitions after its fans rioted at the 1975 European Cup final. The answer is Leeds United.

One for this week? This weekend sees Scotland facing Engerland in a World Cup qualifying match. Given that Scotland lost 3 nil at Wemberley, omens don’t look good for the Scots. Hopefully no one will score a hat trick, which leads me nicely to this week’s teaser... Who was the last English player to score a hat trick against Scotland? One to ask down the pub, I think.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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


…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to birthday celebrant Mr P. Windsor who has an uncanny knack of putting his size tens in it. On this, his birthday, let us celebrate the gaffer himself...

1. After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002: “Are we going to need ear plugs?”

2. To a car park attendant who didn’t recognise him in 1997, he snapped: “You bloody silly fool!”

3. To Simon Kelner, republican editor of The Independent, at Windsor Castle reception: “What are you doing here?”I was invited, sir.” Philip: “Well, you didn’t have to come.”

4. To female sea cadet: “Do you work in a strip club?”

5. To expats in Abu Dhabi in 2011: “Are you running away from something?”

6. After accepting a conservation award in Thailand in 1991: “Your country is one of the most notorious centres of trading in endangered species.”

7. At a project to protect turtle doves in Anguilla in 1965, he said: “Cats kill far more birds than men. Why don’t you have a slogan: ‘Kill a cat and save a bird?’

8. To multi-ethnic Britain’s Got Talent 2009 winners Diversity: “Are you all one family?”

9. To President of Nigeria, who was in national dress, 2003: “You look like you’re ready for bed!”

10. His description of Beijing, during a visit there in 1986: “Ghastly.”

11. At Hertfordshire University, 2003: “During the Blitz, a lot of shops had their windows blown in and put up notices saying, ‘More open than usual’. I now declare this place more open than usual.”

12. To deaf children by steel band, 2000: “Deaf? If you’re near there, no wonder you are deaf.”

13. To a tourist in Budapest in 1993: “You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.”

14. To a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, 1998: “You managed not to get eaten then?”

15. His verdict on Stoke-on-Trent, during a visit in 1997: “Ghastly.”

16. To Atul Patel at reception for influential Indians, 2009: “There’s a lot of your family in tonight.”

17. Peering at a fuse box in a Scottish factory, he said: “It looks as though it was put in by an Indian.” He later backtracked: “I meant to say cowboys.”

18. To Lockerbie residents after plane bombing, 1993: “People say after a fire it’s water damage that’s the worst. We’re still drying out Windsor Castle.”

19. In Canada in 1976: “We don’t come here for our health.”

20. “I never see any home cooking – all I get is fancy stuff.” 1987

21. On the Duke of York’s house, 1986: “It looks like a tart’s bedroom.”

22. Using Hitler’s title to address German chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1997, he called him: “Reichskanzler.”

23. “We go into the red next year... I shall have to give up polo.” 1969.

24. At party in 2004: “Bugger the table plan, give me my dinner!”

25. To a woman solicitor, 1987: “I thought it was against the law for a woman to solicit.”

26. To a civil servant, 1970: “You’re just a silly little Whitehall twit: you don’t trust me and I don’t trust you.”

27. On the 1981 recession: “A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone’s working too much. Now everybody’s got more leisure time they’re complaining they’re unemployed. People don’t seem to make up their minds what they want.”

28. On the new £18million British Embassy in Berlin in 2000: “It’s a vast waste of space.”

29. After Dunblane massacre, 1996: “If a cricketer suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, are you going to ban cricket bats?

30. To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”

31. On stress counselling for servicemen in 1995: “We didn’t have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun. You just got on with it!”

32. On Tom Jones, 1969: “It’s difficult to see how it’s possible to become immensely valuable by singing what are the most hideous songs.”

33. To the Scottish WI in 1961: “British women can’t cook.”

34. To then Paraguay dictator General Stroessner: “It’s a pleasure to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”

35. To Cayman Islanders: “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”

36. To Scottish driving instructor, 1995: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”

37. At a WF meeting in 1986: “If it has four legs and it’s not a chair, if it’s got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it’s not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”

38. “You ARE a woman, aren’t you?” Kenya, 1984.

39. A VIP at a local airport asked HRH: “What was your flight, like, Your Royal Highness? Philip: “Have you ever flown in a plane?” VIP: “Oh yes, sir, many times.”Well,” said Philip, “it was just like that.”

40. On Ethiopian art, 1965: “It looks like the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.”

41. To a fashion writer in 1993: “You’re not wearing mink knickers,are you?”

42. To Susan Edwards and her guide dog in 2002: “They have eating dogs for the anorexic now.”

43. When offered wine in Rome in 2000, he snapped: “I don’t care what kind it is, just get me a beer!”

44. “I’d like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” 1967.

45. At City Hall in 2002: “If we could just stop the tourism, we could stop the congestion.”

46. On seeing a piezo-meter water gauge in Australia: “A pissometer?”

47. “You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.” To matron of Caribbean hospital, 1966.

48. At a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002: “So who’s on drugs here?... HE looks as if he’s on drugs.”

49. To a children’s band in Australia in 2002: “You were playing your instruments? Or do you have tape recorders under your seats?”

50. At Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, 2006. “Young people are the same as they always were. Just as ignorant.”

51. On how difficult it is in Britain to get rich: “What about Tom Jones? He’s made a million and he’s a bloody awful singer.”

52. To Elton John on his gold Aston Martin in 2001: “Oh, it’s you that owns that ghastly car, is it?”

53. At an engineering school closed so he could officially open it, 2005: “It doesn’t look like much work goes on at this university.”

54. To Aboriginal leader William Brin, Queensland, 2002: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”

55. At a Scottish fish farm: “Oh! You’re the people ruining the rivers.”

56. After a breakfast of bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, kedgeree, croissants and pain au chocolat – from Gallic chef Regis CrĂ©py, 2002: “The French don’t know how to cook breakfast.”

57. To schoolboy who invited the Queen to Romford, Essex, 2003: “Ah, you’re the one who wrote the letter. So you can write then?”

58. To black politician Lord Taylor of Warwick, 1999: “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”

59. To parents at a previously struggling Sheffield school, 2003: “Were you here in the bad old days? ... That’s why you can’t read and write then!”

60. To Andrew Adams, 13, in 1998: “You could do with losing a little bit of weight.”

61. “Where’s the Southern Comfort?” When presented with a hamper of goods by US ambassador, 1999.

62. To editor of downmarket tabloid: “Where are you from?”The S*n, sir.” Philip: “Oh, no . . . one can’t tell from the outside.”

63. Turning down food, 2000: “No, I’d probably end up spitting it out over everybody.”

64. Asking Cate Blanchett to fix his DVD player because she worked “in the film industry”, 2008: “There’s a cord sticking out of the back. Might you tell me where it goes?”

65. “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” 2000.

66. After hearing President Obama had had breakfast with leaders of the UK, China and Russia, 2010: “Can you tell the difference between them?”

67. On students from Brunei, 1998: “I don’t know how they’re going to integrate in places like Glasgow and Sheffield.”

68. On Princess Anne, 1970: “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested.”

69. To nursing-home resident in a wheelchair, 2002: “Do people trip over you?”

70. Discussing tartan with then-Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie: “That’s a nice tie... Do you have any knickers in that material?”

71. To a group of industrialists in 1961: “I’ve never been noticeably reticent about talking on subjects about which I know nothing.”

72. On a crocodile he shot in Gambia in 1957: “It’s not a very big one, but at least it’s dead and it took an awful lot of killing!”

73. On being made Chancellor of Edinburgh University in 1953: “Only a Scotsman can really survive a Scottish education.”

74. “I must be the only person in Britain glad to see the back of that plane.” He hated the noise Concorde made flying over Buckingham Palace, 2002

75. To a fashion designer, 2009: “Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you?”

76. To the General Dental Council in 1960: “Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, which I’ve practised for many years.”

77. On stroking a koala in 1992: “Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease.”

78. On marriage in 1997: “You can take it from me the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

79. To schoolchildren in blood-red uniforms, 1998: “It makes you all look like Dracula’s daughters!”

80. “I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing.” 1988.

81. To female Labour MPs in 2000: “So this is feminist corner then.”

82. On Nottingham Forest trophies in 1999: “I suppose I’d get in trouble if I were to melt them down.”

83. “It’s my custom to say something flattering to begin with so I shall be excused if I put my foot in it later on.” 1956.

84. To a penniless student in 1998: “Why don’t you go and live in a hostel to save cash?”

85. On robots colliding, Science Museum, 2000: “They’re not mating are they?”

86. While stuck in a Heriot Watt University lift in 1958: “This could only happen in a technical college.”

87. To newsreader Michael Buerk, when told he knew about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards, 2004: “That’s more than you know about anything else then.”

88. To a British student in China, 1986: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll go home with slitty eyes.”

89. To journalist Caroline Wyatt, who asked if the Queen was enjoying a Paris trip, 2006: “Damn fool question!”

90. On smoke alarms to a woman who lost two sons in a fire, 1998: “They’re a damn nuisance - I’ve got one in my bathroom and every time I run my bath the steam sets it off.”

91. To an attractive blonde well-wisher during a Diamond Jubilee visit with the Queen to Bromley, South London: "I would be arrested if I unzipped that dress."

92. To a Filipino nurse as he unveiled a new cardiac centre at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital in February: "The Philippines must be half empty, you're all here running the NHS."

93. Prince Philip jokingly told a double amputee he should put wheels on his prosthetic limbs to move around quicker. Trooper Cayle Royce, who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, said Philip was "my hero" and "really comedy."

And so say all of us. The press will miss him when he retires.

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Week 42 - The Grambler on Coronation Street


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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. Read on and enjoy

 

Mrs G watches some weird stuff on the telly. When I say weird, quite often ‘harrowing’ is a better word. Take one of the programmes she watched this week which, as I was in the same room, I couldn’t avoid. Here are some of the plot details. A paedophile primes his victim with a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. He also arranges for two heavies to ‘deal with’ a former victim. We then see the two thugs dealing with her to within an inch of her life. [How very entertaining. - Ed.] But wait. There’s more. Another, unrelated plot is taking place elsewhere. A young man is holding his elderly father hostage. He may even be considering murdering the old fellow. However, this character is so screwed up, he could equally be considering taking his own life. [Getting cheerier by the minute, this is. - Ed.] A third plot is taking place at the seaside. [Ah, that sounds a bit happier. Any donkeys? - Ed.] No. No donkeys. Here, there are two couples, a baby and another bloke. One of the men isn’t particularly well liked by the others. One of them does actually attempt to attack the unpopular guy and is only stopped from doing so by the intervention of the third chap. The despised bloke walks off down the beach. Alone. Uh oh. What is he planning? Suicide? Walking into the sea, Reginald Perrin style? No, he doesn’t reach the sea. The scene ends with Billy No Mates up to his waist in quicksand and sinking further by the second. [Jeezo! Laugh a minute stuff this is. - Ed.]

These traumatic events all took place in a programme lasting only half an hour. You would be forgiven for thinking that it was some late-night horror show. It wasn’t. It was a programme which has been on British TV for not a kick in the shirt off 60 years: the soap opera, Coronation Street. So all these awful things are supposed to be happening to the residents of a single street.

Why am I discussing Coronation Street? Because, when it was first broadcast back in 1960, it was praised for its gritty realism; its reflection of life in the northeast of England. In more recent times, the plots, as you have already seen, have become depressing and/or scary and/or just plain ludicrous.

Just how true to life the programme is, I will let you decide after you read some of the statistics associated with the programme...

Over the 57 years of the programme’s existence there have been 171 deaths [And counting, by the sound of it. - Ed.]. Only 77 of these have been on-screen deaths, admittedly; the rest are people associated with characters or characters who have left. 77 is still a hefty number for one street, though. Worse though is that only 26 of those deaths took place in the first 40 years; in the first 17 years of the twenty-first century there have been 51 deaths. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were elderly folk popping their clogs, but many are young people dying in horrific accidents or being murdered. Oh yes, I nearly forgot. Murders. 21 of those.

Why the hell would anyone want to live there, I want to know.

But, hey, there have been loads of happy events too. Well, events that are meant to be happy: weddings and births. How many weddings? 90. In 57 years. In one street. That’s not all. There have been 23 non weddings, where one or both partners don’t turn up, or do turn up and have an almighty barney at the altar.

Okay, what about babies? They always bring joy, don’t they? Not in Soapland, they don’t. There have been 41 on-screen pregnancies and 9 off. Many of these pregnancies have been between people who have been cheating on their partner. Honestly, the way they all sleep around, the local health centre must be treating them all for some form of STD.

That pregnancy figure doesn’t include 13 miscarriages and seven terminations. Seven! Haven’t they heard of birth control?

True to life? I have already mentioned the murders. Other storylines have featured a train crash and years later, a tram crash, the local public house being burned down and crashed into I don’t know how many times. Ditto the local factory. There have been armed raids and sieges. The street has been the home to several serial killers. Realistic? Don’t make me laugh.

I’ve lived in the same street for 35 years and the most exciting thing that I can recall is a neighbour calling the police to a guy who parked in front of his house. Or my next-door neighbour coming up the street drunk and singing ‘Irish’ songs whenever Celtic win the league and/or cup [Definitely ‘and’ I think - Ed.].

Then again, a soap opera based on the street where I live [Isn’t that a song? - Ed.] wouldn’t get many viewers. Corry, as it is popularly known, attracts millions, no matter how barmy the plots may get. Long may it continue... just don’t force me to watch it.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

It doesn’t seem a year since the passing of the man once called the greatest sportsman ever? Much as I hate the sport of boxing, I saw Muhammad Ali as one of the most wonderful, charismatic characters in sport. He was a born comedy performer and I used to love watching Michael Parkinson’s chat show whenever Ali was going to be on. So, on the anniversary of the death of ‘The Greatest’, I hope you will enjoy (in spite of the boxing content) Parky's tribute to Ali .

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 3rd of June? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Ransom E. Olds 1864 (Founder of Oldsmobile car company and later, the other company which bore his name, REO which made the Speedwagon... hence the name of the group. Not a lot of people know that. The lorry company went bust in 1975. Sadly, the group did not.), George V 1865 (A king. Changed the family name to Windsor which sounded a bit more British than Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.), Josephine Baker 1906 (Ernest Hemingway called her ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.’), Paulette Goddard 1910 (Mrs C. Chaplin at one time.), Patrick Cargill 1918 (‘We’re not all Rob Roys.’ A quote for Hancock fans there.), Bernard Schwartz 1925 (Who? Oh, Tony Curtis. Danny Wilde in the Persuaders. Also Aunt Sophie.), Thomas Winning 1925 (A cardinal.), Allen Ginsberg 1926 (Poet. Howl!), Raul Castro 1931 (El presidente.), Ian Hunter 1939 (Mott the Hoople front man. Time for a clip? Yes indeedy. Here is the hit that got them noticed... All together now... Billy rapped all night about his suicide....), Curtis Mayfield 1942 (Influential soul musician. Another clip? Here’s Move On Up which you can sing along to in German.), Brian Barnes and Hale Irwin 1945 (Golfy blokes.), Bill Paterson 1945 (Actor. Voice of the Assistant Arcturan pilot in episode seven of the radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Honest.), Eddie Holman 1946 (Singer. Another clip, vicar? Here’s Hey There, Lonely Girl.  Blimey, they must be tight trousers he's wearing.), Penelope Wilton 1946 (Actress. Her from Downton Abbey. You know her. You do. Married to Richard Briers.), Mickey Finn 1947 (Marc Bolan’s sidekick. Another clip? Why not? Have you got half an hour to spare? Here’s a chance to hear the pair as Tyrannosaurus Rex before they morphed into glam rock band T Rex. Here is the complete Beard of Stars album.), Suzi Quatro 1950 (Singer. Time for yet another clip, methinks. Here are Suzi and the boys miming along to Can the Can.), Deniece Williams 1950 (Another singer. Another clip? Here she is back in 1976 with Free.), Billy Powell 1952 (Pianist for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 2009. Here is a clip showcasing his talent.), Dan Hill 1954 (Yet another singer. Yet another clip? All together now... You ask me if I love you... Crazy hairdo Dan.), George Burley 1956 (Footy bloke.), Cameron Sharpe 1958 (Runny bloke.), Ed Wynne 1961 (Guitarist and genius behind my favourite band, Ozric Tentacles. You are getting a clip whether you like it or not. Here’s Sploosh! I want that to be played at my funeral.), Wasim Akram 1966 (Crickety bloke.) and Rafa Nadal 1986 (Tennisy bloke.).

 


The most sensational woman anyone ever saw
 
.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Not too well. Only two of the five predictions came good. So we only won a measly [Not whopping? - Ed.] £1.45. What happened? I’ll tell ee...

 

Haydock - 5.40 - Chessman - 5/6 - Second - Ooh! So close!

Ffos Las - 6.00 - Delface - 11/8 - Won - Yay!

Salisbury - 7.45 - Pow Wow - 5/2 - Won - Yay!

Salisbury - 8.15 - Gunmaker - 11/4 - Last - Last???

Ffos Las - 8.30 - Get Home Now - 10/3 - Fourth - Mince!

Can The Grambler get back on track this week? Hope so. It’s time he/she/it stopped horsing around. Do you see what I did there?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Musselburgh - 2.15 - Rebel Assault - 8/13

Epsom - 2.35 - Laugh Aloud - 11/10

Hexham - 4.45 - No Such Number - 11/8

Newcastle - 7.40 - Abjar - 8/11

Lingfield - 8.50 - Monteamiata - 2/1

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£17.57

Not as whopping as previous weeks, but still moderately whopping, I am sure you will agree.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what ‘first’ was achieved at the 1901 cup final between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United. The answer was that it was the first time a cup final crowd exceeded 100,000 in number. Yes you read that right... 100,000. The actual figure was 110,820. It was probably many more than that as, in those days, many parents would take their children along and not have to pay to get them in to a match.

One for this week? As it is Champions League Final weekend, let’s have a related question. This week’s teaser refers to the old European Cup - same competition, less money. Which club was banned from European competitions after its fans rioted at the 1975 European Cup final? Easy peasy.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to Messrs P. Cargill and A. Hancock for our finishing link. Here is the part of 'The Blood Donor' where Tony meets ‘Doctor’ Cargill.  A little story for you... When my father first bought a record player (a Dansette) he bought one album... Tony Hancock - The Blood Donor and The Radio Ham. Stone me! It got played to death, it did. I knew the whole thing off by heart. Which is more than can be said for Hancock himself. Look closely at his eyes throughout this clip and you will realise that he is reading the script off some not very well placed ‘idiot boards’.
It may seem old-fashioned humour nowadays, but I still smile when I watch it, despite him not knowing his lines. Or have I just got a touch of nostalgia? [I’d take a couple of paracetemol for that, if I were you. - Ed.]

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.