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…
"You want to leave this golf club?"
"Why is that?"
"It's far too expensive."
"Oh dear, I'm sorry you feel like that."
"I feel I'm spending an awful lot of money and not getting much out of it."
"Well, we all pay the same. Won't you reconsider?"
"No, I think I'll jack it in."
"Okay. I'll set the wheels in motion and get that arranged for you. You realise of course that this is the only club around these parts. Where will you go to play golf?"
"I was hoping I could still come here."
"Yes. I thought I might still be able to use the facilities."
"But you'll have left. You can't carry on as before."
"Erm... because you've left."
"Erm... I don't understand."
"Well, although I'll have left, I still want to be able to use all the facilities."
"But you can't."
And so on and so on...
Aren't you getting peed off with all this nonsense about Brexit? Maybe the golf club analogy is over simplifying things a bit, but it seems to sum things up. It seems to me that the European union is just a big club and, if you are a member, you can use the facilities on offer. If you opt to leave, that's it. You've left. Why all this nonsense about brokering a deal?
Actually, I get the feeling that nobody really wants the thing to happen anyway. The problem seems to be that none of the politicians involved want to lose face by admitting that the whole thing is a complete and utter shambles. Nobody knows what the outcome is going to be; they make all these positive sounding remarks about how wonderful things will be after Brexit, but I doubt if anybody is actually confident about things changing for the better.
Think of the emperor's new clothes story. That sums it up for me. We just need somebody brave enough to stand up and say to these disillusioned mps that Brexit is bollocks. Hang on, that would make a brilliant campaign slogan.
The only person I know who has made a sensible remark about Brexit is my four year old granddaughter. She told me that she had a weetabix for Brexit.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 17th of November? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Charles Pachelbel 1690 (Composer. Here’s his most famous piece, Canon in D Major. Snappy title, eh?), William Webb Ellis 1806 (In 1823, so the legend goes, William Webb-Ellis, a pupil at Rugby School, picked up the ball and ran. With this "fine disregard for the rules", Webb-Ellis is described as having invented the game of Rugby Football, as distinct from its kicking counterparts. That is, of course, utter bollocks. What is true is that the school did popularise the game and it is thanks to some of its pupils that the rules of the game were first written down in 1845.), Frances Hodgson Burnett 1849 (Orfer. Wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864 (Painter.), Scott Joplin 1868 (Composer. Here he is playing Maple Leaf Rag.), Joan Sanderson 1912 (Actress.), David Kossoff 1919 (Actor.), Ken Barrington 1930 (Crickety bloke.), Fred Titmus 1932 (Another crickety bloke.), Alfred Schnittke 1934 (Composer. Here is his score for 'Clowns und Kinder'.), Pete Best 1941 (Original drummer with the Beatles. He was kicked out because Ringo was a better drummer. Really?), Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn 1941 (An MG. Here’s a treat... a live version of Green Onions with Dunn’s bass solo really to the fore.), Billy Connolly 1942 (Comedian.), Robin Williamson 1943 (A bit of Incredible String Band. Here they are from 1968 coming over a bit transcendentally meditative.), Bev Bevan 1944 (A Brummy drummy bloke. Here he is in his Move days with Flowers in the Rain.), Tony Clarkin (Musician. Have a bite of Magnum (Do you see what I did there?), here’s Start Talking Love.), Dwight Schultz 1947 (Actor. Murdock in The A-Team.), Dave Sinclair 1947 (Musician. A bit of Caravan. Have a clip. This is For Richard.), Ian Botham 1955 (Crickety bloke.), Clem Burke 1955 (Drummer with Blondie. A clip? Here’s Heart of Glass.), Roy Aitken 1958 (Footy bloke.), John Squire 1962 (Geetarist. A Stone Rose, then a Seahorse. Have a clip. Here’s Love is the Law.), Neale Cooper 1963 (Footy Bloke.), Shirley Henderson 1965 (Actress.), Russell Watson 1966 (Singer. Kleenex at the ready, here’s Someone to Remember Me.), Stephen Merchant 1974 (Writer, director, radio presenter, comedian, and actor... in fact, all together now, a right old smarty boots.) and Tom Odell 1990 (Singer/songwriter. A clip? Aye, go on then. Here’s Jubilee Road.).
As well as being the day that saw three fairly famous drummers make their debut, today also saw the birth of three utterly nasty individuals: Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano 1897, Charles Starkweather 1938 and Ted Bundy 1946. B*st*rds one and all.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Dongler,
Interesting that you gave a link to Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag rather the other more famous one that was used as the theme music for the Robert Redford/Paul Newman film, The Sting. It was so famous that I’ve forgotten the name of it. Can you remember it?
D. N. Tertainer.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Well, after the previous predictive success of The Grambler, he/she/it is back to normal with a grand total of, wait for it, 74 pees. Oh dear. Not too good. What happened? Read on...
Fleetwood vs Walsall - Prediction Home win
Result - Fleetwood 0 Walsall 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Fleetwood Town and Walsall played out a lacklustre League One goalless draw at Highbury.
The chances were there but both sides lacked a cutting edge in the final third and a draw was a fair reflection of a forgettable affair on the Fylde coast.
Walsall's Josh Ginnelly and Russell Martin wasted chances as Fleetwood's defence and goalkeeper Alex Cairns struggled in the air.
Jason Holt had the best chance for Town, blasting the ball way over after Nathan Sheron had put the ball on a plate for him.
Ross Wallace acrobatically thundered the ball straight at Roberts at the start of the second half as Fleetwood tried to capitalise on the sun advantage early.
Ash Hunter was thwarted by Nicky Devlin's block as his thunderous effort looked destined to finally break the deadlock.
Walsall substitute Morgan Ferrier nearly won it for the Saddlers, nodding Zeli Ismail's cross from the right just wide of the right post.
Fleetwood nearly got the reward for their patient play late though but Paddy Madden blasted over Ched Evans' cut back.
Doncaster vs Wimbledon - Prediction Home win
Result - Doncaster 2 Wimbledon 1
Tommy ‘Dizzy’ Rowe netted a late winner in a 2-1 victory for Doncaster.
Matthew ‘Doug’ Pinnock opened the scoring for Wimbledon via a fine sweeping counter-attack which he concluded with a drilled effort under Ian Lawlor.
Doncaster responded well and were level by 35 minutes.
From a short free-kick routine, Ali ‘Barber’ Crawford played a one-two with Ben Whiteman before curling his effort into the top corner from 20 yards.
Doncaster looked much the more threatening for the remainder of the game, though it took a fine save from Lawlor to keep out a Scott Wagstaff piledriver.
The second half was one-way traffic but it took until the 86th minute for Doncaster to go ahead when Rowe surged through several challenges and lashed a low shot home.
Oxford vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win
Result - Oxford 1 Gillingham 0
James Henry hit the winner from the penalty spot on 59 minutes, after Marcus Browne was brought down.
Browne raced on to Cameron Brannagan's pass into the box and reached the ball just before Tomas ‘Keep Sunday’ Holy, but he tumbled over the goalkeeper's body.
Referee Neil Hair pointed for a spot-kick, despite strong protests from the Gillingham players, and Henry converted it confidently into the top-left corner.
Henry also hit the post with a right-footed shot in the 77th minute from Browne's deep cross.
Ricky Holmes had been Oxford's main threat in the first half, twice forcing decent saves from Holy with low shots.
But the Gills began the second half strongly and, after Brandon Hanlan went close with an angled drive, U's keeper Simon Eastwood denied Regan Charles-Cook.
Late on Hanlan went close again with a 25-yard drive that Eastwood saved to his right.
Peterborough vs Bradford - Prediction Home win
Result - Peterborough 1 Bradford 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The Bantams were rewarded for a fast start and took the lead through Anthony ‘Sinead’ O'Connor, before substitute Ivan Toney rescued a point for Posh in the 61st minute, despite furious protests from the visitors that he was offside.
Posh goalkeeper Aaron Chapman had little to do for much of the match but was kept busy early on as he pushed aside a curled effort from Paul Caddis and denied Jack Payne with his legs.
However, he was unable to keep out O'Connor's low shot after Hope Akpan steered a loose ball in the area to him.
Siriki Dembele and Toney were brought on at half-time and the latter latched on to Marcus Maddison's long cross-field pass to shoot low into the net from inside the area.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages but had to settle for a point.
Sunderland vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win
Result - Sunderland 1 Wycombe 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Wycombe winger Fred Onyedinma struck the opener, but substitute Josh Maja scored his 11th goal of the season with six minutes left to share the points.
Had Chairboys skipper Adam El-Abd converted Joe Jacobson's corner then they would have been ahead earlier. But Sunderland wasted a couple of late chances before the break too.
Aiden McGeady was almost rewarded for a performance of intent with the opener but he rolled an effort wide when he got free of his marker in the area.
Other than that there was very little for either goalkeeper to deal with until a routine ball into the Sunderland area was not dealt with and Onyedinma controlled and then powered a finish high inside Jon McLaughlin's net from 14 yards.
Sunderland pulled it back when Maja controlled a lovely pass from George Honeyman.
What a shame. Too many bars being hit. Perhaps The Grambler can make amends this week. [Though, probably not. - Ed.] What has he/she/it randomly selected for us to bet on this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Leeds vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Wigan vs Reading - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Barnsley vs Doncaster - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Charlton vs Bristol - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Gillingham vs Luton - Prediction Away win - 17/20
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...
Hmm... a little bit whopping.
This edition is particularly late going to 'press'; so late, in fact, that I can actually reveal that The Grambler's predictions didn't quite come off. A return of £2.06 from a £2.20 bet is the best he/she/it could manage.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which team was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup because of which new means of selection. The answer is Senegal who were kicked out of the competition even though they were on exactly the same points tally as Japan, with both teams having won one game, drawn one and lost one and having the same goals scored for and against. Senegal lost out because of the ‘fair play’ rule, having accrued six yellow cards to Japan’s four. So now you know.
One for this week? Brazilian Alisson became the most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Liverpool this year for a fee of 72.5 million euros. Who was the most expensive goalkeeper prior to this and how much did he cost? Hmm...
As usual, I remind you 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. Connolly who, as one of this week’s birthday celebrants, gets the accolade of providing this week’s edition with its finishing clip, or, this week, clips.
Billy Connolly is one of the world’s greatest comedians ever. Who says so? Me. I just wrote it. Actually, many agree with me. He changed comedy forever when he started out. There were no jokes in his act, just rambling anecdotes about the absurdities of life which had audiences in stitches.
Before I end this week’s blog, I wanna tell you a story (shakes hands in an attempt at a Max Bygraves impression). Connolly (aka the Big Yin) first made it big in Scotland with his classic ‘Solo Concert’ double album of 1974. That summer, it was Scotland’s best-selling and most listened-to album. I recall a visit from my Uncle Syd from Sheffield at that very time. I played him the album and, though he didn’t understand all the gags, he absolutely loved it. He returned home to South Yorkshire determined to get hold of this brilliant record to play to his family and friends. The only problem was, he couldn’t remember what it was called or who made it. No matter. He headed for his nearest record shop and asked for ‘Hey Jimmy’. Obviously, in Sheffield, 300 miles away from Glasgow, nobody would know what he was on about, surely. (Don’t call me Shirley.) Wrong! He actually managed to track it down with that flimsiest of descriptions.
Let’s finish with a sample of that very album; ladeez and genullum I give you The Crucifixion..
Also tae as well (as the Big Yin might have said), do you recall a television programme called An Audience With? One was made with Billy Connolly. Now, speak to anyone about that show and, without a doubt, this is their highlight.
Haw, it's the Big Yin, by the way.
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