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…
Let’s have a song to start...
Who remembers ‘The Silver Fox’, Charlie Rich? In the early 70s he was the acceptable face of country music. He had a couple of big hits; Behind Closed Doors was one that now gets used to accompany adverts urging women to report domestic abuse. His first hit is the one we shall begin with this week. Ladeez and genullum, here is The Most Beautiful Girl...
Did you happen to see
The most beautiful girl in the world?
And if you did, was she crying, crying...’
‘Are you talking about your missus? I did see her, actually. She was putting a suitcase into the back of some bloke’s car... She was definitely not crying. Quite the reverse; she looked really happy. In fact, she was all over him like a rash.
That’s not what you wanted to hear, is it?’
I have learned a new word this week: upskirting. It was the topic of a Beeb Beeb Ceeb online news article. Has anyone ever heard of that one?
At first, I wondered if it was a joinery term. Perhaps, I thought, it is a word to describe the removal of a skirting board (or wainscotting, if you prefer). No, it isn’t that.
Or what about the famous scene from the Marilyn Monroe film The Seven Year Itch where she stands over a subway grating and her dress gets blown up? It may have been a dress rather than a skirt she was wearing, but a skirt would do much the same thing, wouldn’t it? No, it isn’t that, either.
Or perhaps it is referring to the practice adopted by many schoolgirls of hitching their skirts up on their way to school. Sorry pardon excuse me? Let me explain. [I think you better had. - Ed.] When I were a lad [Uh oh; Hovis time. - Ed.] mini skirts were high fashion... especially for the girls. However, many mothers of schoolgirls refused to allow their children to go to school wearing such provocative clothing. This is where skirt hitching comes into play. As soon as the girls were out of sight of their ‘old-fashioned’ parents, they would raise the hemline by tucking the folds of the skirts into their belts. Thus, they were able to dress in the same mini-skirted way as their peers [I believe there are a few Peers who like to dress that way. - Ed.] while providing a major distraction for us lads.
Anyway, back to the subject. None of these is what upskirting means. The news item states that women are campaigning against it. Oh dear. So it is something women aren’t happy about; and with good reason. Apparently, upskirting is, in the Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s words, ‘The practice of covertly photographing under the skirts of women’. What? Why would anyone do such a thing. Surely, only a person who is incredibly depraved would consider it and yet, the practice has become so widespread that women are having to campaign for it to be criminalised. [Who’s Shirley? - Ed.]
Seriously. An act which, to me, seems to be very much a criminal offence is not even treated as one in England and Wales. Why not, I ask. Surely, it should at least be considered to be an attack on someone’s privacy. [Why do you keep mentioning Shirley? - Ed.] I reckon it could be classed as assault, even. If nothing else, it ought to be outlawed because of the sheer deviancy of it. It is, let’s face it, a bit pervy.
In Scotland, that enlightened land where I reside, upskirting has been classed as an offence since 2010. It is simply an act of voyeurism and, as such, is illegal. Simple.
Eight years on, legal folk in England and Wales can’t seem to work that out.
I’ll tell you what, people of England and Wales, here’s how to get a law passed pretty damned quick. The next time you see a female police officer/lawyer/politician wearing a skirt, walk up to her with your mobile phone attached to a selfie stick and take that picture. I wonder what kind of reaction you will get when you point out that what you have done is not an offence.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 24th of February? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Wilhelm Grimm 1786 (Orfer. With his brother, produced a book of fairy tales which included such gems as Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel. Did you know that in the original edition of the book, Rapunzel’s shenanigans with the the prince were rumbled when she asked the witch why her dress was becoming tight around her belly, thus revealing that she was preggers?), Lydia Becker 1827 (One of the founders of the women’s suffrage movement. Published the Women’s Suffrage Journal between 1870 and 1890.), Marjorie Main 1890 (Ma Kettle.), Ralph Erskine 1914 (Architect. Designed Tom Collins House in Newcastle’s Byker Wall Estate.), Richard Hamilton 1922 (Arteest. Father of Pop Art.), Brian Close 1931 (Crickety bloke.), Michel Legrand 1932 (Composer. Known as Big Mike. Not really. Time for a clip? He wrote hunners of toons so let’s pick one you might recognise. Here is the man himself singing What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life.), James Farentino 1938 (Ectaw. Simon Peter to Robert Powell’s Jesus of Nazareth.), Pete Duel 1940 (Ectaw. Alias Smith... or was it Jones?), Denis Law 1940 (Footy bloke.), Paul Jones 1942 (Singer/DJ. The original vocalist with Manfred Mann. Clip? Here’s Doo wah diddy doddy doo dah diddly aye day... or something. You certainly got meaningful lyrics back then.), Nicky Hopkins 1944 (Keyboard player extraordinaire. Considered one of the greatest rock pianists of the 60s and 70s and was the go-to man for many bands including... ahem... Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, Cyril Davies All Stars, Jerry Garcia Band, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Jeff Beck Group, Sweet Thursday, the Beatles, Steve Miller Band, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messanger Service, the Who, Night... Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. Another clip? Go on, then. Here’s The Dreamer.), Rupert Holmes 1947 (Musician. Who, I hear you ask. Remember Escape? No? Perhaps you remember it as The Pina Colada Song.), Walter Smith 1948 (Footy bloke. See Week 42 - New York New York, so good they grambled it twice.), Dennis Waterman 1948 (Popular actor, it says here.), George Thorogood 1950 (Musician. Another clip? Here he is with Bad to the Bone.), Derek Randall 1951 (Crickety bloke.), Roger Francois Jouret 1954 (Who? Better known as Plastic Bertrand. Who? Well, you might know his hit... Ca Plane Pour Moi.), Steve Jobs 1955 (Greengrocer.), Alain Prost 1955 (Racey car bloke.), Karen Johnson 1962 (Who? Oh, Michelle Shocked. Who? Here’s a nice toon, from Alaska.), Billy Zane 1966 (Ectaw. Provided the voice of John Rolfe in Pocahontas II - that’s the straight to DVD one.), Neil Sullivan 1970 (Footy bloke.), Floyd Mayweather Jr. 1977 (Boxy bloke.) and Lleyton Hewitt 1981 (Tennisy bloke.).
I’ve received a letter...
FTAO Mr Wilfred Gramble,
Thank you for the link to a Michel Legrand song. We have always been great fans. Our favourite track is that one that was a hit for Noel Harrison; it was featured in The Thomas Crown Affair, but we cannot remember the title of it. Can you help.
Yours with love,
Derwin Mills, Sophia Mined.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? We won. Yay! Actually in profit, we were. A return of £4.85 from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...
QPR vs Bolton - Prediction Home win
Result - QPR 2 Bolton Wanderers 0
Bolton played most of the second half a man down as Mark Little was sent off for a mistimed tackle on midfielder Massimo Luongo.
QPR made the most of their numerical advantage shortly afterwards as Joel Lynch diverted Matt Smith's header into the net from Luke Freeman's free-kick.
And Smith made certain of the points late on with a well-timed header from Paul Smyth's cross in added time.
Doncaster vs Fleetwood - Prediction Home win
Result - Doncaster 3 Fleetwood 0
Tom Anderson scored twice after Alex Kiwomya had opened the scoring for Rovers.
Doncaster went ahead when Kiwomya marked his first start for the club with his first goal, poking in a John Marquis cross from close range.
Rovers were comfortable against a Fleetwood side bereft of confidence and doubled their advantage when Anderson pounced on a parry from goalkeeper Alex Cairns to slot home.
Fleetwood offered very little in attack with their best effort coming from substitute Jordy Hiwula, who drew a fine save from Marko Marosi from close range.
It always seemed likely Doncaster would extend their lead and Alfie Beestin struck the post early in the second half.
But Rovers did find a third when Anderson stooped to head in a fine cross from Tommy Rowe.
MK Dons vs Charlton - Prediction Away win
Result - MK Dons 1 Charlton 2
The Addicks took a deserved lead when Conor McGrandles was dispossessed on the edge of his own penalty area, before Ahmed Kashi took one touch and fired a powerful right-footed drive past keeper Lee Nicholls.
Charlton doubled their lead on the hour when Josh Magennis nodded home from Jake Forster-Caskey's cross.
And, despite the home side pulling one back through Keiran Agard just two minutes later from Robbie Muirhead's corner, it proved only to be a consolation goal for MK.
Scunthorpe vs Northampton - Prediction Home win
Result - Scunthorpe 2 Northampton 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The Cobblers took the lead against the run of play when Chris Long converted at the back post after Matt Crooks had flicked on a free-kick in the box.
Although the Iron rallied, they struggled for quality in the final third, until Funso Ojo found the bottom corner from 20 yards after a driving run through midfield just after the half-hour.
Having got men behind the ball to frustrate the home side, the Cobblers hit Scunthorpe with a sucker punch when John-Joe O'Toole powered home a header from a corner.
But the Iron also underlined their threat from set-pieces with defender Murray Wallace rising highest above a scrum of players to head home his side's second equaliser after a free-kick had spun high into the air.
Buoyed by the goal, the Iron piled forward in search of a winner, but Northampton goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell preserved his side their point by brilliantly pushing away Josh Morris' late free-kick.
Carlisle vs Chesterfield - Prediction Home win
Result - Carlisle 2 Chesterfield 0
There was an early scare for the home side when Josh Kay played in Bradley Barry, whose low cross-shot spun up off the boot of central defender Clint Hill and struck the bar.
Carlisle went in front after 19 minutes when Hallam Hope's initial effort was blocked and Ashley Nadesan laid the ball back for Kelvin Etuhu to slam a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner - giving goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale no chance.
It was Etuhu's final contribution as a couple of minutes later he was led off with a hamstring injury.
Cole Stockton missed an excellent chance to double Carlisle's lead after 56 minutes after Nadesan nicked the ball off Alex Whitmore to play it across the six-yard box. Stockton got himself in a tangle and scuffed his effort wide.
The struggling Spireites were denied an equaliser in the 72nd minute when a defensive header was hammered straight back past Jack Bonham by Louis Reed, only for the referee's assistant to raise his flag. After a brief consultation, the officials disallowed the strike.
Carlisle made it safe eight minutes from time when Tom Parkes headed on a Jamie Devitt corner and substitute John O'Sullivan was on hand to drive the ball home from eight yards.
So close to a full house from The Grambler; only the one draw denying us a five out of five. Can he/she/it improve things just that little bit this week? [Don’t talk wet. - Ed.]
What has The Grambler selected from Saturday’s 3pm games this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Burton Albion vs Millwall - Prediction Away win - 21/20
Norwich vs Bolton - Prediction Home win - 4/7
Preston vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 7/10
QPR vs Nottingham Forest - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Reading vs Derby County - Prediction Away 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...
A little bit whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which club holds the record for the most highest number of goals ever scored in the old Division One with 128 goals. The answer is Aston Villa who were one place behind champions Arsenal in season 1930-31. Arsenal themselves were just a goal away from being in the record books on 127 goals.
One for this week? As we have had some Champions League games this week, let’s have a related question. Here’s a good un. Who was the last Swedish player to win a Champions League medal? 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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, a different ending to this week’s edition. I would like to inform the readership of this august blog that today marks a very sad anniversary and one that is pertinent to all of us. It is exactly 25 years since the death of Bobby Moore, the man who we remember from the charity that bears his name. He died on the 24th of February 1993.
Here are the words of that charity...
Bobby Moore was just 51 years old when he died. The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK was set up by Stephanie Moore MBE, Bobby’s widow, in his memory to fund pioneering, life-saving bowel cancer research.
Since the fund was set up in 1993 mortality rates have fallen by more than 30% and over £23.5 million has been raised for research, but we still have so much more to do.
Our purpose is simple – to bring forward the day when bowel cancer is cured.
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