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…
Ooh, it’s nearly Gramblemas. Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you are a certain journalist from the Daily Tale. Whatever do you mean, I hear you ask.
Let me explain. There was a scathing article in a recent edition of the said journal. It concerned a programme fronted by domestic goddess (it says here) Nigella Lawson. The show is supposedly set in Ms Lawson’s sumptuously appointed kitchen. We, the humble viewers, are obviously meant to see this as being the trappings of success; we are in the presence of greatness. Here is something for us mere plebs to aspire to. Either that or we think how the hell does anyone make that kind of dosh from fn cooking! I suppose being the daughter of a top politician and businessman doesn’t do any harm either.
Whatever, the journalist who wrote this piece is not happy. In fact, angry is more apt. Why? Because, shock horror, all is not what it seems. This is not Ms Lawson’s kitchen; it is simply a nest factory that has been kitted out to look like the kitchen of someone who is fabulously wealthy. What? You mean it’s nothing more than a TV studio? The journo gets really worked up that we, the great viewing public, are being duped. The TV company is simply conning us is the message.
I can’t believe that a TV company would stoop so low. So are you suggesting that, back in the 60s, Dean Martin didn’t just have guests ringing his door bell and being invited into his living room?
Are you seriously trying to tell me that Noel Tidybeard’s Houseparty wasn’t filmed in his own house which just happened to have seating for an audience of 500? [Actually, I wouldn’t put that past him. - Ed.]
Next, you’ll be telling me that a snow-covered David Bowie didn’t walk in off the street into Bing Crosby’s living room (in a castle?) and, after some cringeworthy scripted nonsense, launch into song. I am shocked. Stunned. Shocked and stunned. Mind you, a bit of extra rehearsal wouldn’t have gone amiss; they couldn’t decide what they were meant to be singing. One’s parap-pap-pum-pumming away while the other’s busy peace-on-earthing. Make your minds up lads.
All right, nobody is so stupid that they actually believed these shows took place in the star’s, or Noel Tidybeard’s, actual house. Similarly, we are not surprised that Nigella’s pad is only pretend. The only person that seems bothered by the fact is that Daily Pail reporter who obviously had a half page or so to fill with any old non-story he could come up with.
I have some advice for anyone planning to get married in the month of December. Don’t. Why ever not, you may ask. I will tell you. Anniversary meals. Sorry pardon excuse me? Mrs G and I married in December some time in the last century. In those days, Gramblemas celebrations, such as office parties, would take place perhaps in the week leading up to Gramblemas day. With me so far? Nowadays, as soon as December is upon us, celebrations begin and what do restaurants do? They swap their standard menus for what they call a ‘festive menu’. That means the prices are doubled for a start. That doesn’t bother me when I take Mrs G for an anniversary meal; she deserves a bit of fuss. [Yeuch, pass the sick bag. - Ed.] What does bother me is that the choice on most festive menus is roast turkey and trimmings or a weirdo... sorry, vegetarian option. Do you know what? I think an anniversary meal ought to be a bit special. Dried up roast turkey, with a burnt sausage, rock-hard roast potatoes and undercooked sprouts does not equate to special in my book. Similarly, the sweet is basically restricted to Gramblemas pudding, although some I have had have been praised by Michelin. Yes indeed; they have been microwaved for so long, they are only fit for making into tyres.
Take my advice, young lovers, wait til January to get wed.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 16th of December? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Catherine of Aragon 1485 (Henry VIII’s first wife. Prior to that, she was married to Henry’s elder brother, Arthur. Talk about keeping it in the family!), Ludwig van Beethoven 1770 (Composer. I think a wee clip is in order. Here’s a rather nice, gentle version of Fur Elise.), Jane Austen 1775 (Novelist.), Wassily Kandinski 1866 (Abstract painter... The paintings were abstract, not him.), Jack Hobbs 1882 (Crickety bloke.), Zoltan Kodaly 1882 (Composer, ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher... In fact, a right old smarty boots. Another clip? Here’s Romance Lyrique.), Noel Coward 1899 (The original luvvie. Playwright, composer, director, actor and singer... Another right old smarty boots. Another clip, vicar? Here's Med dogs end Englishmen dontchaknow.), Arthur C. Clarke 1917 (Sci fi writer. Co-wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey.), Philip K. Dick 1928 (Another sci fi writer. Gave us Blade Runner and Total Recall.), Nicholas Courtney 1929 (Ectaw. Most famous as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart who chased around with Jon Pertwee in the Earth-bound Dr Who series of the late sixties.), Quentin Blake 1932 (Writer and illustrator. His cartoons gave Roald Dahl books their ‘look’.), Liv Ullman 1938 (Norvegian ectress. Mother of Tracey [Really? - Ed.] No.), Steven Bochco 1943 (TV producer and writer. He is the main man behind Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Doogie Howser M.D. and NYPD Blue.), Tony Hicks 1945 (A Holly. Time for another clip. Here’s Carrie Anne.), Benny Anderson 1946 (A quarter of ABBA. Time for another clip, methinks. There are just so many to choose from. What about this?), Trevor Pinnock 1946 (Harpsichordist and conductor. Would you like another clip? Of course you would. Have a bit of Scarlatti.), Ben Cross 1947 (Ectaw. Starred in Chariots of Fire. Er... That’s it. No, I’m doing him an injustice; he has appeared in over 60 films), Billy Gibbons 1949 (A bit of Zed Zed Top. They were popular for a while. Have a clip. Here’s a video highlighting bullying and sexual harassment... Apt these days.), Joel Garner 1952 (Crickety bloke. Here’s a story about him. He is 6 feet 8 inches tall. A woman once asked him if he was in ‘proportion’. He answered, ‘No. If I was, I’d be 8 feet 4.’), Bill Hicks 1961 (Controversial comedian.), William Perry 1962 (American footy bloke. Aka The Fridge.), Dennis Wise 1966 (Footy bloke.), Donovan Bailey 1967 (Sprinty bloke.), Simon Grayson 1969 (Another footy bloke.), Michelle Smith 1969 (Swimmy bloke. Triple gold medallist at the 1996 Olympics. Allegations of doping at the time were never proven. Ironically, she is now a practising barrister.), Sylvain Distin 1977 (Le football type Francais.), Mame Biram Diouf 1987 (Le football type Senegalaise.), Anna Popplewell 1988 (Ectress. Susan Pevensie; that’s her.) and Tom Rogic 1992 (Strine footy bloke.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Rambler,
Thank you for giving us ABBA fans a clip to click on. We were always big fans, right from the Eurovision winner to their very last number one. Our memories not being what they were, we can’t actually remember the titles of those two songs. Can you help.
Yours with everlasting love,
Walter Lew and Sue Petroopa.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? It won. Again. Amazing, or what? [What, definitely. - Ed.] It was the same as last week; four out of five results went our way. In profit again, though. £4.07 back from our £2.20 stake. Woo hoo! What happened? Read on...
Aston Villa vs Millwall - Prediction Home away
Result - Aston Villa 0 Millwall 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Millwall produced a dogged away performance to hold in-form Aston Villa to a goalless draw at Villa Park.
Albert Adomah and Keinan Davis spurned early chances for Villa, but the Lions fought back and had chances of their own. Jed Wallace forced a good save from Sam Johnstone with a low shot and Lee Gregory struck the crossbar from a tight angle and glanced a header wide.
Fulham vs Birmingham - Prediction Home away
Result - Fulham 1 Birmingham 0
Jeremie Boga missed a penalty as Birmingham City's miserable away form continued with defeat at Fulham.
Sheyi Ojo sidefooted Neeskens Kebano's cross into the roof of the net to score the game's only goal on 14 minutes.
Blues keeper David Stockdale made a fine save to deny Stefan Johansen before Kevin McDonald's foul on Emilio Nsue gave Blues a chance to equalise.
But Boga, obviously mindful of the fact The Grambler had predicted a home win, blazed the spot kick over the bar. Thanks, mate; the cheque’s in the post.
Middlesbrough vs Ipswich - Prediction Home away
Result - Middlesbrough 2 Ipswich 0
Martin Braithwaite gave Boro the lead just before the break when he pounced at the back post as the visitors failed to clear a Stewart Downing cross.
Patrick 'J.C.' Bamford doubled the lead after the restart, finding space in the box for a shot off the base of the post.
Ipswich failed to build on back-to-back wins and could only muster one shot on target from substitute Joe Garner.
Nottingham Forest vs Bolton - Prediction Home away
Result - Nottingham 3 Bolton 2
Barrie McKay turned in Tyler Walker's low ball from close range to put Forest ahead, but Will Buckley headed Bolton level from Josh Vela's cross.
Joe Worrall pounced on a loose clearance to smash home and Liam Bridcutt put Ben Brereton clear to make it 3-1.
Aaron Wilbraham set up a nervy finale as he reduced the arrears with a deflected finish in stoppage time.
Norwich vs Sheffield Utd - Prediction Home win
Result - Norwich 3 Sheffield Utd 1
The Owls led when Zandra and Gary's lad Jordan Rhodes nodded in, but the Canaries then edged the rest of a relatively subdued first half.
James 'Square Garden' Maddison's close-range finish on the rebound and Timm Klose's powerful header turned the match around.
Nelson Oliveira added a third from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Barry Bannan slid in on Harrison Reed.
That was so close. Can The Grambler have us making a profit for a third week? [No chance. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly selected for our bet...
Game - Result - Odds
Watford vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Bolton vs Burton Albion - Prediction Home win - Evens
Brentford vs Barnsley - Prediction Home win - 4/7
Bristol vs Nottingham Forest - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Cardiff vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 8/11
Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.
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...
No, not in the least bit bit whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I told you that Liverpool’s beat Besiktas 8-0 a Champions League game in 2007 and I asked which other team matched that score. The answer was Real Madrid who beat Malmo by the same margin in 2015. And guess who scored four on that occasion. Yep. Chocolate boy himself, Cristiano Ronaldo.
One for this week? An oldie this time. Remember George Best? Of course you do. It’s a European Cup question. Sort of. What pop star nickname was George Best given by adoring Portuguese fans after his dazzling display in a Manchester United v Benfica match? Easy peasy.
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
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Hicks who would have been 56 today, had he lived. Sadly, he died at the far too young age of 32 from pancreatic cancer. 32. No age really and yet, in a short life and career, he showed more wisdom than a planeload of philosophers. Yes, he courted controversy, but much of what he said summed up, and took a swipe at, modern-day Western attitudes. Please appreciate the wit and wisdom of Bill Hicks...
‘They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do just as well - you just realize that it's not worth the f***ing effort. There is a difference.’
‘I'm tired of this back-slappin' "isn't humanity neat" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes.’
‘I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.’
‘The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.’
‘We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.’
‘I was in Nashville, Tennessee last year. After the show I went to a Waffle House. I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me: 'Hey, whatcha readin' for?' Isn't that the weirdest f***in' question you've ever heard? Not what am I reading, but what am I reading FOR? Well, goddamnit, ya stumped me! Why do I read? Well . . . hmmm...I dunno...I guess I read for a lot of reasons and the main one is so I don't end up being a f***in' waffle waitress.’
‘I loved when Bush came out and said, 'We are losing the war against drugs.'
You know what that implies? There's a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.’
You know what that implies? There's a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.’
‘Folks, it's time to evolve. That's why we're troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything's failing? It's because, um – they're no longer relevant. We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?’
‘This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.’
‘Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?’
‘The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty f***ing cruel isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?’
‘It's always funny until someone gets hurt.
Then it's just hilarious.’
Then it's just hilarious.’
‘The definition of black irony is Pro-lifers killing Doctors who do abortions.’
‘I ascribe to Mark Twain's theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House.’
‘You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal f***ing high on drugs. The Beatles were so f***ing high they let Ringo sing a few tunes.’
‘People often ask me where I stand politically. It's not that I disagree with Bush's economic policy or his foreign policy, it's that I believe he was a child of Satan sent here to destroy the planet Earth. Little to the left.’
‘I can't watch TV longer than five minutes without praying for nuclear holocaust.’
‘I never got along with my dad. Kids used to come up to me and say, ‘My dad can beat up your dad.’ I'd say Yeah? When?’
‘Not all drugs are good.. some of them are great.’
‘It's great to be here. I thank you. Ah, I've been on the road doing comedy for ten years now, so bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plough through this shit one more time.’
‘I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.’
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
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