Thursday 16 August 2018

Week 3 - The Grambler remembers Aretha Franklin

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


You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was resurrecting the gramblerplan diet (the diet that really works) to try and shed a few flabby pounds that I had gained on a recent holiday.

You may be wondering how I am progressing. Oh, you’re not. Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. The answer is... not too well. It was going fine until last Friday and then... oh dear.

You see, on Friday I was going out for the evening. Sorry? Where to? I was going to a rum tasting, if you must know. More of that later.

En route, I decided to stop for something to eat and visited a favourite haunt of mine, Wetherspoons. Good old Wetherspoons. Good food and drink at reasonable prices (I’m not getting paid to advertise this, incidentally, although if anyone from Wetherspoons is reading this...). One good thing about the menu is that all meals have their calorific value shown, so that those, like me, who are on a healthy eating regime can choose the healthy option. Did I do this? Did I fu... No I didn’t. Haggis, neeps and tatties wins hands down... Oh, I’m dribbling... and its calory content is fairly hefty.

No matter, thinks I, it’s only a minor blip. Unfortunately, I followed my meal with a coffee and cake. Oh dear.

Well, at least the rum tasting wouldn’t hurt the diet. Not many calories in a few small rums with a drop of lemonade. There are plenty of calories in bread, cheese, ham and crisps, though. These were the ‘nibbles’ provided at the rum tasting. Well, it would be rude to refuse an offer of food, wouldn’t it. Wouldn’t it?

Saturday dawned and I was determined that I would behave myself and eat sensibly. This I did. I ate a small breakfast and a very light lunch. I had forgotten, however, that I was visiting people for an evening meal.

Have you ever heard of people being described as feeders? Whenever you visit them, you barely have time for your bottom to hit the couch and you are being presented with biscuits/cake/sandwiches (delete as applicable) and tea/coffee/large whisky (ditto). The people I visited on Saturday were definitely feeders. There were already ‘nibbles’ on the coffee table when Mrs G and I arrived and I hadn’t even parked my backside when a large glass of prosecco was stuck in my hand.

It was one of those evenings where the drink flowed freely and the food was plentiful...

‘Thank you.’ 
‘Thank you.’ 
‘More soup?’ 
‘No, you’re all right.’ 
‘Go on.’ 
‘Oh, all right then.’
The main course followed... 
‘More chicken?’ 
‘No thanks, I’ve had plenty.’ 
‘It’ll only go to waste.’ 
‘Go on, then.’ 

Then there was the dessert...

‘Would you like seconds?’
‘No thanks; I’m absolutely stuffed... oh, go on then.’

And so the evening went on. More drink. More nibbles. By the time I got to bed, I really did feel absolutely stuffed.

Sunday was weigh-in day. Guess what. I didn’t lose weight. [There’s a surprise. - Ed.] I had gained exactly one pound. Considering the amount of food and drink I had consumed over the previous two days, that was actually not a bad result.

It was an even better result for the Bobby Moore Fund. Remember, for every pound in weight that I lose, I donate one pound to the fund, but if I put weight on, two quids per pound go to the fund.

I really should have a bit more willpower; this could prove costly otherwise.




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 18th of August? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Antonio Salieri 1750 (Composer. A clip? Here is Sinfonia Veneziana. A nice wee bit cult’yer  fur yeez therr.), Caspar Weinberger 1917 (Politician.), Godfrey Evans 1920 (Crickety bloke and useful expletive if you hit your thumb with a hammer and there are children around.), Shelley Winters 1920 (Ectress), Brian Aldiss 1925 (Orfer.), Just Fontaine 1933 (Footballeur. See for his claim to fame.), Roman Polanski 1933 (Film directing nonce... allegedly.), Robert Redford 1936 (Ectaw.), Johnny Preston 1939 (Singer. Here’s a clip of him running bare. [Some mistake, surely. - Ed.] Don’t call me Shirley.), Carl Wayne 1943 (Singer. A bit of The Move. Here is Blackberry Way.), Patrick Swayze 1952 (Ectaw. Let’s have a bit of mucky jigging.  I have never seen that film and nor would I want to; it looks unbelievably cheesy.), Ricky Villa 1952 (Futbolista.), Marvin Isley 1953 (Bassist for a group formed with his brothers. Can you guess the name? While you try to remember, here’s a clip.  There's a bit of a draught in here...), Ron Strykert 1957 (A musician. A man at work, no less. Here is their huge hit Down Under.), Huw Edwards 1961 (News...rea...der.), Edward Norton 1969 (Ectaw.), Christian Slater 1969 (Another Ectaw.), Victoria Coren Mitchell 1972 (Writer, presenter and professional poker player.), Robert Huth 1984 (Fußballer.) and Ross McCormack 1986 (Footy bloke. Played for the mighty ‘Well... long long ago.).

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gumboil,

We have always been fans of The Move and wonder if you know the answer to a little teaser. When the BBC started Radio One in 1967, a song by The Move was the very first record played. Can you remember which one?

Yours affectionately,

Flo Urs, Ian de Wren.



Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet go? Er... not too well. We didn’t lose... not entirely. 62 pees back from a £2.20 stake isn’t exactly an unqualified success though. What happened? Read on...


Inverness CT vs Ayr - Prediction Home win

Result - Inverness 0 Ayr 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Inverness Caledonian Thistle missed a penalty as they were held to a draw by 10-man Ayr United in the Championship.

Daniel Harvie was sent off for a second booking after his foul on George Oakley resulted in a spot-kick but Liam Polworth shot wide from 12 yards. Pillock!

Earlier, Caley Thistle's Tom Walsh connected with a Nathan Austin cross but fired past the post. Tw*t!

Michael Rose's header for the visitors forced Mark Ridgers into a save and Lawrence Shankland also threatened.

The Ayr striker's shot ran across the face of goal and wide.

Inverness defender Coll Donaldson had a long-range effort from 30 yards late on but it went narrowly over. Prat!


Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win

Result - Partick 2 Falkirk 1


On 24 minutes, Partick’s James Penrice cut in from the left, beating two defenders, before firing a deflected shot into the Bairns net.

Chris Erskine doubled Thistle's lead before the interval, breaking infield from the opposite flank.

Falkirk were better in the second half, Andrew Irving striking the crossbar before Rees Greenwood's consolation goal.
James Penrice celebrates his goal with
a rendition of Me Old Bamboo from
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
although it would appear that someone
has half-inched his old bamboo.  Would
you Adam-and-Eve it?


Airdrie vs Montrose - Prediction Home win

Result - Airdrie 0 Montrose 1


Match report? Come off it. This is a Scottish First Division game, for goodness sake. Who’d be interested? After all, it’s only a game between two teams in the third tier of Scottish football. Obviously, the Beeb wouldn’t consider that important enough to provide us with a match report. It’s not as if it was the game between Havant & Waterlooville and AFC Fylde, which the Beeb did fn well cover. [I’m sensing a touch of sarcasm. - Ed.]

Dumbarton vs Forfar - Prediction Home win

Result - Dumbarton 0 Forfar 2


See above.

Raith vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Home win

Result - Raith 2 Stenhousemuir 0


See above.


Ho hum. Not a great week for The Grambler. What has he/she/it predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Grimsby vs Lincoln City - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Bury vs Forest Green - Prediction Home win - 11/10

Northampton vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Oldham vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Stevenage vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 7/10

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...




Well that’s a bit more whopping than usual.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which team has had the worst all-time total goal difference since the Premiershit began. The answer was that yo-yo team Sunderland with minus 292 goals (612 for, 904 against). Not too impressive.

One for this week? How about this? Free-scoring Harry Kane didn’t score last weekend, but against which Premiershit side has he scored the most times? Hmm... One to ask down the pub, I reckon.




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, as I write this I have just heard that Aretha Franklin aka the Queen of Soul has died. There’s a thing... Why was she called the queen of soul, but James Brown, the male equvalent, if you like, was only the godfather of soul? Why not king of soul? Or, conversely, why wasn’t Aretha simply a godmother of soul? Nah... Sounds daft. Any road up, another great singer bites the dust. She was always more successful in the States than in the UK, racking up 16 US solo top ten singles and only achieving three in Britain. Respect reached number 10 back in 1967 and I Say a Little Prayer reached number 4 the following year. She had to wait another 26 years before she had another solo top tenner with this, our finishing clip, A Deeper Love which, as you can see from the promotional video, was on the soundtrack of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (Oh how we laughed.).

Incidentally, that song never troubled the top ten in the US.

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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