Thursday 7 September 2017

Week 6 - Happy grambleday to Michael Buble

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


I bought a pineapple the other day. [Really? How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] I know that is an odd way to begin this week’s (g)ramble, but everything has to start somewhere. It cost me 69 pees. Cheaper than a Mars Bar (that well-known unit of price comparison). Why do I mention this? [Yes. Why? - Ed.] Three centuries back, pineapples were expensive and prized. A single specimen would cost the equivalent of over £7000 in today’s dosh. Yes, a pineapple was actually considered that valuable. Why, you could buy a brand new Dacia Sandero hatchback for less. [Not three centuries ago, you couldn’t. - Ed.] Ahem.

Talking of cars, the highest price ever for a British car was recently paid at auction for a 1956 Aston-Martin DBR1. How much? £17.5 million. You read that correctly - seventeen and a half million quid! For a car! An old one at that. You could buy over 2,900 brand new Sanderos (currently Britain’s cheapest new car) for that! Probably over 3,000 with dealer discount.

Seventeen and a half million? Peanuts! in 2014 a 1962 Ferrari 250GTO went for over £29 million (4,895 Sanderos).

What point am I making? Basically, I am saying that at any given time there is someone, somewhere, who has so much excess money that they will spend it on anything.

In 2010 a Picasso painting with the catchy title Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was sold at auction for... wait for it... £82 million (13,678 Sanderos). Eighty two million quid? For a picture? They want their bumps felt.

Why on earth do such fripperies command crazy prices? Simply because some self-styled expert has decreed that an item is collectable and is therefore worth a lot of money. Sure enough some idiot with more money than they know what to do with will come along and buy it.

It happened with the pineapple in the past and it happens with works of art today. Rich people believe that they have bought an object of value. They haven’t. They have spent a lot of money on something of little or no use. At least you can drive a car (although if you had spent so many millions on it, you might not dare). Some items that have had millions spent on them, probably never get to be seen again; instead they languish in a bank vault somewhere.

The words more money than sense come to mind. See also: A fool and his money are soon parted. Ah, they would argue, it is an investment. Yeah, sure. If they can find someone with even more money to waste than themselves, to take it off their hands, it’s an investment.

Anyone with such obscenely large amounts of spare dosh should consider the world around them. In my view, anyone who wastes such serious amounts of money on such useless objects, should be forced by law to give the same amount to good works such as building, staffing and operating a few schools/hospitals/care homes for several years.

Yes, all very altruistic, but it would never happen. Such people would never dream of using their vast fortune on something so humanitarian. All that would happen would be that auction prices for artworks and rare cars would tumble to values which reflect their real worth... probably less than the cost of a Dacia Sandero.


Were any famous or notorious people born on the 9th of September? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Cardinal Richelieu 1585 (Petula Clark impersonator. One for Python fans there. Would you like a clip?  Go on then.), William Bligh 1754 (‘I’ll live to see you, all of you, hanging from the highest yard arm in the British fleet.’ Actually, he probably didn’t say that, but Charles Laughton did in the 1935 film ‘Mutiny on The Bounty’.), Leo Tolstoy 1828 (Orfer. Factoid: According to Wikipedia, a photograph of him taken on his 80th birthday - see below - was the first colour photo ever taken in Russia.), Harland ‘Colonel’ Sanders 1890 (‘Finger licking good.’), Arthur Freed 1894 (Film producer and lyricist. Here’s one of his - often heard in Tom and Jerry cartoons - Sing Before Breakfast.  Buddy Ebsen comes across as quite camp in that clip, don’t you think? Rather disturbing factoid about Freed: He intentionally exposed himself to 12 year old Shirley Temple. I’ve no idea what reaction he was expecting, but I am certain that her laughing was not it.), Margaret Tyzack 1931 (Ectress. Winifred Dartie.), Chaim Topol 1935 (Ectaw. Here is his most famous moment, complete with subtitles, so now you know how to spell biddy biddy bum.), Otis Redding 1941 (Singer. Here is his posthumous number one.), John Curry 1949 (Skatey bloke.), Dave Stewart 1952 (A Tourist and a Eurythmic. Want a clip? Cue pretentious video.), Hugh Grant 1960 (Ectaw. Pirate Captain.), Adam Sandler 1966 (Comedian - it says here.), Julia Sawalha 1968 (Ectress.), Rachel Hunter 1969 (New Zealand ictriss. Could have been lady Stewart if she’d stuck with Rod.), Natasha Kaplinsky 1972 (Newsreader.), Gok Wan 1974 (Fashion consultant - it says here. What the fu... What is a fashion consultant? Someone who tells you what clothes to wear? And he’s famous because of that?), Michael Buble 1975 (Frank Sinatra wannabe.), Luka Modric 1985 (Footy bloke. He lives on the second floor.), Danilo D’Ambrosio 1988 (Footy bloke who likes rice pudding. [The jokes don’t get any better, do they. - Ed.]) and Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior 1991 (Who? Footy bloke known simply as Oscar.).

 Leo Tolstoy in 1908 - the first ever
colour photograph of a man with a
comb over



I’ve received a letter...

Dear Paul Gramblercini,

As you are famous for knowing all about musical matters, could you answer a question for us? We know that Dave Stewart was in The Eurythmics with Annie Lennox and we know that they were both in a band called The Tourists before that. We also know that they had a hit record, but none of us can remember what. We think it might have been a cover of a Dusty Springfield song.

Yours sincerely,

I. Owen, Lee Warner, B. Witt, Hugh.


I’ve received another letter...

Dear Mr Mumbler,

I am writing to apologise for my son Hugh who I believe has written you a letter. He tells me that he signed it with just his first name. I keep telling him that a formal letter should be properly signed, but he refuses to do it. I don’t know why he behaves like this.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Jarse.



Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did The Grambler’s predictions for last week fare? We won. Yay! I say won, we made a slight profit. How slight? 18 pees. That is incredibly slight. What happened? Read on...


Doncaster vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 0 Peterborough 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Doncaster started the stronger and should have been ahead when John ‘Mary’ Marquis was presented with a clear shot from a Jack Baldwin error but tamely hit straight at Jonathan Bond.

Peterborough's Marcus ‘Oscar’ Maddison came closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the crossbar with a superb curling effort from close to 30 yards.

The visitors grew into the game and swarmed forward with pace and power but Doncaster had the better of the second half, keeping Peterborough at bay well and attacking quickly themselves.

Ben Whiteman drilled a shot narrowly wide and substitute Andy ‘Moon River’ Williams had a shot blocked on the line after reaching a Matty ‘Lionel’ Blair cross.


Oldham vs Charlton - Prediction Away win

Result - Oldham 3 Charlton 4


The Addicks grabbed an 18th-minute lead when Ricky ‘Eamonn’ Holmes unleashed a stunning 30-yard drive into the top corner.

Tarique Fosu-Henry doubled the advantage three minutes later, cutting in from the left and firing beyond goalkeeper Ben Wilson from 10 yards.

Struggling Oldham responded after 34 minutes as Charlton defender Patrick Bauer was penalised for fouling Craig Davies, who drilled the resulting penalty past the dive of Ben Amos.

The Latics levelled six minutes after the break when the visitors failed to handle a long ball, allowing Eoin Doyle to mark his Oldham debut with a clinical 12-yard finish.

However, Oldham were soon down to 10 men as Ousmane Fane received a second yellow card for bringing down Chris Solly.

Charlton capitalised after 62 minutes, Fosu-Henry feeding Billy Clarke to score from close range, and - 10 minutes later - they made it 4-2 when debutant Joe Dodoo went clean through to beat Wilson.

The home side regained hope with Jack Byrne's 20-yard strike eight minutes from time.


Southend vs Rochdale - Prediction Home win

Result - Southend 0 Rochdale 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Nile ‘Lone’ Ranger came on as a 53rd-minute substitute in place of Marc-Antoine Fortune but was unable to help Southend make the breakthrough against a Rochdale side who had skipper Ian Henderson sent off five minutes into the second half for a late challenge on Stephen Hendrie.

The Shrimpers had earlier seen Simon Cox's first-half penalty saved by Brendan Moore after Joseph Rafferty had fouled Ryan Leonard.

Rochdale threatened first in the opening exchanges with Jordan Williams having a powerful left-footed shot tipped onto the left post by Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

The Shrimpers wasted an even clearer chance just before the break when referee Tim Robinson pointed to the spot but Cox's low spot-kick was saved down to his right hand side by Moore.


Walsall vs Plymouth - Prediction Home win

Result - Walsall 2 Plymouth 1


Burnley striker Daniel Agyei nodded home in the first half and Erhun Oztumer sealed the points for Walsall before Graham Carey's late penalty reduced the deficit.


Wycombe vs Forest Green - Prediction Home win

Result - Wycombe 3 Forest Green 1


Wycombe went ahead in the seventh minute when Adebayo Akinfenwa knocked down a long ball and Paris Cowan-Hall swept past a static Sam Russell.

The dominant Chairboys then doubled their lead, with Anthony Stewart being given too much time and space to fire into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

Liam Noble senselessly gave the ball away to Akinfenwa, who rumbled through on goal only for Russell to parry his shot and give Luke O'Nien an easy tap-in.

Forest Green finally had something to cheer midway through the second half when Christian Doidge nodded into an empty net after his initial header from Luke James' cross had struck the post.


Not a bad showing from The Grambler there. A slight improvement could see us winning even more dosh this week. So what has he/she/it randomly selected?

Game - Result - Odds

Fulham vs Cardiff - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Norwich vs Birmingham - Prediction Home win - 5/6

QPR vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Wolverhampton vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Sheffield Wed vs Nottingham Forest - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Hmm. All games are from the Championship. Odd.

Any road up, 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...



Moderately whopping, I think.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which Yugoslav born full back made 167 appearances for Southampton and later managed a Scottish club to Cup Final success. The answer was Ivan Golac who took over from Jim McLean as Dundee United’s manager in 1993, leading them to Scottish Cup victory in 1994. He apparently had an odd approach to football management, sometimes taking his squad of players to Camperdown Park to ‘smell the flowers’. Hmm.

One for this week? A relatively easy one. Who was the only man to win caps for Scotland while playing for Barcelona? Try that one down the pub.




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 Ms J. Sawalha for some amusing moments from Absolutely Fabulous in which she played the sensible daughter of the somewhat less sensible Edina... Poor Saffy.


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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