Friday 21 July 2017

Week 49 - The Grambler congratulates Andy Robertson

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 .

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.

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


First up this week, an announcement...

A couple of weekends ago, Mrs G hosted her annual ‘Tea for Stewart’. This is the fourth such event and each year seems to be more successful than the last. Last year’s event raised £1456 for the Bobby Moore Fund. We honestly felt that this year’s event couldn’t possibly top that. But it did. And how. How much went to the fund? Are you ready for this?


and counting. Isn’t that terrific? You can see how our fundraising is progressing at the Justgiving page already quoted... in case you can’t be bothered referring to an earlier paragraph.

I like to think that Stewart (the founder of this wonderful blog) would be proud that we are still working hard to beat the b*st*rd*ng horrible disease that is bowel cancer.



Now, on with the usual drivel...

I love a nice Indian meal, don’t you? A tikka or a korma cooked well is a terrific dish... Oh dear, I’m dribbling down my shirt.

We have a few nice restaurants near us here in Polomint City. A favourite frequented by Mrs G and myself, is called Punjabi Tadka. The name intrigued me, so I looked up what it meant. I knew Punjabi related to the Punjab, a state in northern India, but what does tadka mean? Apparently it is a reference to a cooking technique whereby various spices are used as a finishing touch to ‘temper’ the food so that it is less fiery. There you go. Educational, this is. It’s an odd way to name a restaurant though... after a ‘finishing touch.’ I wonder if there are any British restaurants in India called Grampian Brown Under the Grill. Doubt it.

Another name that crops up a lot is ‘mahal’, as in Taj Mahal. That is more obvious as mahal means palace. Any Buckingham Palace restaurants in India? Another translation of the word mahal is ‘expensive’. Seriously. So, if you have a meal in one of these restaurants and you think it is a bit pricey, don’t complain; you can’t say you weren’t warned.

There is also an establishment called the New Ghandi Restaurant. Can’t imagine any British politicians’ names being considered for the name of a restaurant. The New Thatcher? The New Blair? Not many politicians have enough of an effect on people’s lives to warrant the naming of an eating establishment after them. Perhaps Tony Benn. That could only be a pizza restaurant though. Why, I hear you ask. The reason is that Benn had no time for fancy foods. Food to him was simply fuel. It is said that his food intake was basically a pizza every day.

Back to Indian restaurant names, Ashoka is another nearby eatery and its name refers to an Indian emperor who lived over 2000 years ago. He converted to Buddhism and established it as the state religion. That’s very interesting. [You reckon? Yawn. - Ed.] Who could we come up with? I suppose saints who converted people to the Christian religion would be a reasonable start. The Andrew? The Patrick? What about those who start their own offshoot religion? The Joseph Smith (Mormon), or The L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology). The David Icke? Not so much a religion with him, just giant lizards. Look him up. One ‘interesting’ dude.

There was another restaurant in Glasgow that started up and it was named to trade on the success of the film Slumdog Millionaire. It was called Slumdog. Fine. It’s called cashing in. There is a problem, however. A slumdog is a very poor person or child who lives in a crowded area in abject poverty. Not really a suitable name for restaurant if you consider it. Can’t imagine an equivalent restaurant in India called Scavenger.

A real oddity of a name is an eatery called the Wee Gurkha. That translates as a small soldier. The Little Privates? No, perhaps not.

There is a new restaurant just opened which, to my mind, has the strangest name yet. It is known as the Mata Hari. Mata Hari was the stage-name of Margaretha McLeod nee Zelle who was a Dutch exotic dancer in the early part of the twentieth century. She became a spy for the allies during the First World War, but was convicted of being a spy for Germany and was executed by firing squad in France in 1917. Pray tell me why a restaurant should be named after a convicted spy who wasn’t even from the subcontinent of India. I think I’ll start up a restaurant in India: the Kim Philby.



Before the birthdays, I should like to mention the big football story of the week. The Grambler’s favourite footballer has been signed by Liverpool. Yep, Andy Robertson whose career The Grambler has followed from the year dot has moved from the north east to the north west of England. A great transfer to one of the biggest clubs around. Congratulations!
Andy Robertson, Liverpyool's latest signing



Were any famous or notorious people born on the 22nd of July? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William Archibald Spooner 1844 (A shining wit.), James Whale 1889 (Director of, mainly, horror films. Oddly enough, Moby Dick wasn’t one of his.), Rose Kennedy 1890 (Mother of John F, Bobby and Ted. You’ll have heard expressions such as Do fish swim or Do bears sh*t in the woods or Does the pope wear a funny hat when someone has stated an obvious fact; my favourite example of that ilk is Does Rose Kennedy have a black dress.), Bob Dole 1923 (Sounds like an instruction to the unemployed... Have you bobbed dole? You’ll need to bob dole.), Bryan Forbes 1926 (Film actor, director, producer, scriptwriter and novelist. In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Jimmy Hill 1928 (Footy bloke. He was a player, trade union leader, coach, manager, director, TV executive, presenter, analyst and assistant referee. Known for his forthright views, a fellow TV presenter was once asked why Jimmy Hill was always right and answered, ‘He just is.’), Louise Fletcher 1934 (Nurse Ratched.), Terence Stamp 1938 (The ‘Terry’ in Waterloo Sunset, apparently.), Estelle Bennett 1941 (A ronette. Time for a clip? Here’s Be My Baby.), George Clinton 1941 (Musician. Time for some P-Funk.), Rick Davis 1944 (One fifth of Supertramp. [SU? - Ed.] Another clip? Here’s a track Rick composed and takes lead vocal.), Danny Glover 1946 (Has a lethal weapon, apparently.), Don Henley 1947 (An eagle. Time for another clip. Here’s his biggest solo 'it.), Lasse Viren 1949 (A flying Finn and not a large collie.), Al Di Meola 1954 (Guitarist. Time for another clip. We’ve had some P-Funk, now let's have some jazz funk.), Willem Dafoe 1955 (Ectaw. Has played, among other things, a moorish idol fish and a black rat. Well, he has provided their voices, anyway.), Keith Sweat 1961 (Singer/songwriter. No relation to Pocari - see, Bonnie Langford 1964 (I’ll thkweam and thkweam until I’m thick.), David Spade 1964 (Griffin, the invisible man.), Rhys Ifans 1967 (Ectaw. Was once a Super Furry Animal.), Rufus Wainwright 1973 (Chanter. Time for a clip? This is one that is apt given events of the past year or so... Here's Going to a Town..), Dirk Kuyt 1980 (Footy bloke.) and Prince George of Cambridge 2012 (Third in line to the throne. Talking of which, if 8,974,217 people were to die tomorrow, I’d be king. It’s little things like that that keep you going.).




I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grumbler,

I enjoyed the clip of Don Henley. I am a big fan of the Eagles, but can’t remember the order their albums were released. I know the first album was called simply ‘Eagles’ but can’t remember which album followed it up. Can you help?

Yours sincerely,

Des P. Rado.


Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did the amazing £4.40’s worth of bets fare last week? If you remember, we could have won an astounding £35.90. What did we actually win? Are you ready for this? 66 pees. Yep. 66 measly pennies. I won’t bore you with details. Let’s just say... roll on the new football season.

Do you recall that a fortnight ago, there was no bet? What do you mean, you never noticed? Well, the same thing is happening this week. Unfortunately, I am unable to publish this tomorrow (Saturday) and, as the gee gee details only show up on the day, I thought it best to give it a miss this week. [Perhaps we can have a double bet next week? - Ed.] After last week’s results? No chance.



Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you about 2006 film Offside and a young girl’s efforts to get into the crowd and watch a World Cup qualifier. I wanted to know which country it took place. The answer was Iran. Women are barred from attending football matches in Iran and she had to dress as a boy. Although it was filmed in Iran, it was banned there.

One for this week? Remember Kieron Dyer? That’s not the teaser question, but he is the subject. Midfielder, Dyer was capped 33 times for England; what did he do on only two of those occasions that makes his international career unusual? Here’s a secondary question... How many goals did he score for England?




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




And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to the Rev. W. A. Spooner who provides an amusing end (it says here) to this week’s edition. Reverand Spooner was an Anglican Priest, scholar and writer. He studied at New College, Oxford before lecturing there for 60 years in history, philosophy and divinity. He had a keen intellect, but it was said that ideas came to him so thick and fast that he sometimes muddled up his words when describing his thoughts. Although his name is known to us through spoonerisms, where the first letters of two words become transposed, he was just as likely to scramble words or say the wrong word entirely. Here are some examples that are attributed to him.

On meeting a widow, he remarked that it was very sad, ‘her husband came to a sad end. He was eaten by missionaries.’

Calling John Millington Synge's famous Irish play ‘The Ploughboy of the Western World.’

At a wedding: ‘It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.’

‘Blushing crow’ (crushing blow).

‘The Lord is a shoving leopard’ (Loving shepherd).

‘A well-boiled icicle (well-oiled bicycle).

‘I have in my bosom a half-warmed fish’ (half-formed wish), supposedly said in a speech to Queen Victoria.

A toast to ‘our queer old dean’ (dear old Queen).

Upon dropping his hat: ‘Will nobody pat my hiccup?’

‘Go and shake a tower’ (Go and take a shower).

Paying a visit to a college official: ‘Is the bean dizzy?’

‘You will leave by the town drain.’

‘When our boys come home from France, we will have the hags flung out.’

‘Such Bulgarians should be vanished...’ (Such vulgarians should be banished).

Addressing farmers as ‘ye noble tons of soil’.

‘You have tasted a whole worm’ (to a lazy student).

‘The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer.’

‘Mardon me padom, you are occupewing my pie. May I sew you to another sheet?’

Did he really mess things up so neatly by pure chance? I non’t doh. Thersonally, I pink nee hew whust jot he dos wooing. Yon’t do?


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


Happy grambling.


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