Saturday 27 January 2018

Week 24 - The Grambler and Banksy

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


Shall we start this week’s edition with a song? Why not.

Here’s Tony Christie...


‘Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la

When the day is dawnin'
On a Texas Sunday mornin'
How I long to be there
With Marie who's waitin' for me there
Ev'ry lonely city where I hang my hat
Ain't as half as pretty as where my baby's at

Is this the way to Amarillo?’






Here is a story from a wee while back that caught my eye. It is the heartwarming tale of two US sailors and their two pet dogs [So, should that be heartwarming tail? Geddit? Tail? Never mind. - Ed.]... ahem...who were rescued after spending five months adrift in their boat. It's nice to see a news story with a happy ending.
Apparently, they set off in May and shortly afterwards, bad weather damaged the boat's engine. The sailors thought that if they allowed the boat to drift they would soon reach land. That didn't happen, obviously, and five months later they were found drifting 1500km southeast of Japan.
Several things bother me about this story. They set off from Hawaii headed for Tahiti; a distance of over 2600 miles. In mixed sailing conditions, a small yacht can cover the journey in around 25 to 30 days. It is strange, then, that it was only after two months, long after our dozy duo were due to arrive in Tahiti, that they began sending distress signals. Excuse me? They drifted for two months before thinking, do you know what, it might be a good idea to seek a bit of help? Also, why did nobody on Tahiti or Hawaii contact the rescue services when the women failed to arrive? Did these simpleton sailors just set off across the biggest ocean in the world without telling anyone they were going? How mental is that?
But do you know what really intrigued me about the whole episode? In the news article which I read, there is a picture of the ladies and their canine companions being rescued from their yacht. You read that correctly. Yacht. In the picture, it is quite clear that there is a sail furled up. Now, call me Mr Thicky, but if I had been in their position, stranded at sea, with no engine, I reckon I would consider another option... like putting the fn sail up.

Or am I missing something here?



Another, more recent, news item has caught my eye (and ire). The picture you see is a piece of Banksy grafitti on a disused Hull bridge. Now, Banksy is my favourite artist and I am really a bit... no, a lot... annoyed that someone has dared to suggest that his work is not ‘real art’. Excuse me? His amusing grafitti images are more deserving of the term art than a pile of bricks or a fn unmade bed! Worse, the man who made the statement is a councillor and he wants to have the image cleaned off. He claimed that grafitti of any kind should be removed.

I hope the people of Hull get together and carry out the removal... of the councillor.
An example of real art



Were any famous or notorious people born on the 27th of January? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Wolfgang Mozart 1756 (A bit of a composer, apparently. This is his idea of a musical joke.  Can you watch that without thinking of showjumping?), Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832 (Who? Better known by his pen name of Lewis Carroll. Wrote about Alice in Wonderland. Liked to spend a lot of his time with children. An odd character by all accounts. Funny he never married.), Edward Smith 1850 (Captain of the RMS Titanic.), Kaiser Wilhelm II 1859 (The first impetuous German leader of the 20th Century.), Harry Ruby 1895 (Composer and screenwriter. He wrote this song in 1923; here’s Connie Francis’ hit version of Who's Sorry Now.), Elmore James 1918 (The King of Slide Guitar. Here, he wants us to dust his broom... that sounds like a euphemism. [That’s like a tuba, isn’t it? - Ed.]), Helmut Zacharias 1920 (Composer. Here’s one of his compositions that sports fans of a certain age will recognise... Tokyo Melody.), Donna Reed 1921 (Ectress. Married to James Stewart, but only in It’s a Wonderful Life.), Brian Rix 1924 (Ectaw who couldn’t keep his trousers on.), Fritz Spiegl 1926 (Musician, journalist, broadcaster, humorist and professional Liverpudlian. Arranged and performed this well-known piece of music for use as the theme tune for a popular TV police series. Watch for a very young Judy Dench.), Michael Craig 1928 (Jobbing actor and scriptwriter.), Mohamed Al-Fayad 1929 (Shopkeeper.), Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland 1930 (Singer. Of the ‘Blues’. The clue is in the name. Here’s a sample... I'll Take Care of You), Troy Donahue 1936 (Ectaw.), Nick Mason 1944 (Drummer and petrolhead. Here’s a Pink Floyd track that features his deft touch... Time.), Mikhail Baryshnikov 1948 (Hoofer.), Seth Justman 1951 (Keyboard player in the J. Geils Band. Want a clip? It could only be one song.  All together now... Does she walk? Does she talk?), Alan Milburn 1958 (Politician.), Bridget Fonda 1964 (Ectress from Hollywood’s most famous acting dynasty.), Alan Cumming 1965 (Barry), Rosamund Pike 1979 (Ectress.) and Marat Safin 1980 (Tennisy bloke. Now a politician.).


I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grimbling,

Wow! A track from my fave ever album, Dark Side of the Moon. Really far out and down to Earth, man. Yeah? You know where I’m coming from, man? I absolutely love that album, man. Whenever I hear it I am taken back to... I can’t remember, but I am taken back there anyway. Every track just sends me. Somewhere... Don’t know where. You know what I mean, man? Like, woo, man. I love them all from the first track, Speak to Me, to the last... I can’t remember what it’s called, man. Can you help?

Yours absentmindedly,

E. Clips.



Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet go? All right, actually. We made a profit. Really. We got a return of £2.57 from our £2.20 bet. 37 pees profit. [Whoop de fn doo. - Ed.] What happened? Read on...



Charlton vs Walsall - Prediction Home win

Result - Charlton 3 Walsall 1


Joe Aribo's 31st-minute opener for the Addicks was cancelled out shortly before the break by Erhun Oztumer's equaliser.

Both sides hit the woodwork in an entertaining encounter, with Kory Roberts' untimely 73rd-minute own goal restoring Charlton's lead.

And the points were wrapped up in the final minute by Stephy Mavididi.


Oxford Utd vs Bury - Prediction Home win

Result - Oxford Utd 1 Bury 2


James Henry had put Oxford in front the stroke of half-time. On-loan Manchester City winger Isaac Buckley-Ricketts won the ball to set up Dwight Tiendalli, whose low cross was turned in at the far post by Henry.

Bury were earlier unlucky when Peter Clarke's header from a Chris Maguire corner came back off the post.

And Zeli Ismail had strong appeals for a penalty turned down after he appeared to have been brought down by Tiendalli, but George Miller began the fightback as he poked the ball home with nine minutes remaining after a long throw was nodded on.

Three minutes later fellow substitute Harry Bunn seemed to have all the time in the world as he ran on to a long ball and slotted home under goalkeeper Simon Eastwood to secure the points.


Scunthorpe vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Scunthorpe 1 Gillingham 3


Lee Martin put the visitors ahead before Josh Morris levelled seven minutes after the restart, but goals from Josh Parker and Tom Eaves secured Gillingham's fifth win in seven games.


Accrington vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win

Result - Accrington 3 Port Vale 2


Vale opened the scoring early on when Tom Pope headed home his 15th goal of the campaign from David Worrall's ball in from the right.

The visitors doubled their lead before the break when Michael Tonge's free-kick from the edge of the area went through a sea of bodies and into the bottom corner of Aaron Chapman's goal.

Stanley got a goal back early in the second half when Billy Kee flicked the ball back for Sean McConville and the winger struck from 10 yards.

Kee scored a controversial equaliser three minutes later from within the six-yard box after Kayden Jackson's initial strike was blocked.

Vale felt Kee had handled the ball over the line, but it was given and the striker celebrated his sixth goal in six games.

Vale should have been in front, but Chapman touched a Tom Anderson header onto the bar.

And McConville made them pay soon after with a fierce strike, set up once again by Kee.

All together now... Here comes a new craze...


Crewe vs Wycombe - Prediction Away win

Result - Crewe 2 Wycombe 3


The high-flying Chairboys got off to the worst possible start when Nathan McGinley was adjudged to have tripped Charlie Kirk and (ex-Motherwell striker) Chris Porter beat keeper Scott Brown with an early penalty.

Luke O'Nien wasted a good chance when Crewe keeper Ben Garratt parried the ball to his feet, but the midfielder lifted his effort over.

Some sustained Crewe pressure ended with Eddie Nolan's thumping header flying a yard wide of the Chairboys' goal.

But the struggling Railwaymen looked resolute in defence, with Michael Raynes in excellent form until Adebayo Akinfenwa headed on Joe Jacobsen's free kick and Paris Cowan-Hall rifled a half-volley into the far corner with an hour gone.

Then Akinfenwa played a decisive presence in the box again, setting up Nathan Tyson for Wycombe's second from close range, with Crewe boss Dave Artell then sent to the stands for protesting.

Crewe substitute Harry McKirdy drove in the rebound after Ryan Wintle's shot was parried by Brown with two minutes left, but Craig Mackail-Smith poked home deep in stoppage time for Wycombe to take all the points.


Oh well. Two boos and three yays. Can The Grambler give us five Yays this week? Let’s see what he/she/it has predicted...


Game - Odds - Results

Barnsley vs Fulham - Prediction Away win - 21/20

Brentford vs Norwich - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Bristol City vs QPR - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Ipswich vs Wolves - Prediction Away win - 8/11

Portsmouth vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win - 5/4

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...




Uh oh. Like last week, a bit too whopping.


As this edition is being published so late, I already have the results to hand. I’ll leave the details til next week. For now, I will tell you that this week’s winnings were £2.11 (9 pees lost).




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which ex-Premiershit player is the only man to have scored, provided an assist, scored an own goal and then been sent off in a Premiershit game. The answer is Real Madrid’s very own Planet of the Apes star Gareth Bale when he played for Tottenham Hotspur.

One for this week? Let’s have a Champions League question. Only two players have scored five goals in a Champions League game. Lionel Messi was one, scoring five in Barcelona’s 7-1 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen back in 2011, but can you name the other player? Hmm...




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 Messrs V. McIlveney and B. McLeish who provide us with our concluding link. Who, I hear you ask. Victor and Barry, the Kelvinside alter egos of Forbes Masson and birthday celebrant Alan Cumming. Here is a short clip from their Edinburgh Fringe show of 1988. A little dated perhaps, but I do hope you enjoy Kelvinside Men .


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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