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…
This week's topic is towel origami. Sorry pardon excuse me? Towel origami: the art of folding towels into the shape of various animals, although a swan tends to be the favourite choice.
What the blithering flip are you talking about, I hear you ask.
Okay, anyone out there who has ever stayed in a reasonable holiday hotel with daily maid service has probably experienced this phenomenon. The room gets cleaned each day and before leaving the room, the maid takes a towel and folds and twists it into the shape of some creature. Sometimes the maid in question is quite artistic and the envisaged animal is easily recognised. Other times, the towel looks like a... towel that’s been twisted a bit.
I have some questions regarding this. Who came up with the concept? Is there a towel twisting school these maids go to? More importantly, why does anyone bother?
While I was on the ship the other week.... I told you. I did. Do you remember? The one about the whistle. On the lifejacket... Anyway, the cleaning service on board was great. Beds made every day; loo cleaned; towels and sheets changed. The only thing they didn't do every day was Hoover the carpet, but you can’t have everything, I suppose.
What they did do every day was leave a towel sculpture. We had swans, crabs, turtles, etc. (That was my favourite; it's not easy to make an etc out of a towel.)
All very clever, but again I ask why. The answer is this: they want a decent tip at the end of the voyage.
Cynical? Me? As if. Don't worry, they got a good tip.
Mind you, it might have been more if they had vacuumed the carpet a bit more often.
A swan? An elephant's trunk? A cobra?
No, it's a badly folded towel.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 1st of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Marie Tussaud 1761 (Sculptress who began the waxwork museum.), Lilian Marks 1910 (Who? Oh, Alicia Markova, the hoofer.), Mary Martin 1913 (Chanter. Larry Hagman’s maw.), Dick Shawn 1923 (Actor and comedian. Played Hitler in ‘The Producers’), Keith Michell 1926 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Lou Rawls 1933 (No, not toilet paper. He was a singer. Here’s his best known song. All together now... You'll never find... That was worth watching just to try counting the afros... No, I’m not being racist, it was the name of the hairstyle that black Americans all wore back in 1976.), Paul Williams aka Billy Paul 1934 (Singer. Have another clip. Here he is with Mrs Jones Mrs Jones Mrs Jones. More afros.), Allan Konigsberg aka Heywood ‘Woody’ Allen 1935 (Comedian, actor, writer and film director.), Sandy Nelson 1938 (Drummer. Another clip? Go on then. Here’s Let There Be Drums. Or, indeed, let there be drummers... How many did you recognise?), Lee Trevino 1939 (Golfy bloke.), Mike Denness 1940 (Crickety bloke.), Richard Pryor 1940 (Comedian. It says here.), Eric Bloom 1944 (A bit of Blue Oyster Cult. I said cult. Here is their best known toon. Hmm... From a band labelled as heavy rock, that is decidedly wimpy.), John Densmore 1944 (A Door. The drummy one. Have another clip. Here's L. A. Woman.), Bette Midler 1945 (Singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer... In fact, a right old smarty boots. I suppose you want another clip. What will it be? The Rose? The Wind Beneath My Wings? I think not. Let’s have her first big hit... in the US anyway.), Raymond O’Sullivan 1946 (Who? Oh, Gilbert O’Sullivan. He wrote a song... Well, he wrote several... They just all sounded the same. Let’s have his first hit. Here's Nothing Rhymed.), Sarfraz Nawaz 1948 (Crickety bloke.), Neil Warnock 1948 (Footy managery type bloke.), Pablo Escobar 1949 (Bad man. Drug ‘baron’. At the height of his drug running to the US, he was raking in $21.9 million per year in personal income... Sorry, billion, not million. Bad man.), Jaco Pastorius 1951 (A bit of Weather Report. Time for some jehhhzzzz... Have some chicken.), Treat Williams 1951 (Actor with a daft name.), Stephen Poliakoff 1952 (Playwright.), Alan Dedicoat 1954 (An ouncer. Known as ‘the voice of the balls’.), Julee Cruise 1956 (Singer. A clip? Why not. Here’s her hit, Falling.), Vesta Williams 1957 (Singer. Here is her only UK hit.) and Emily Mortimer 1971 (Ectress dontchaknow.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Gondola,
We are both great fans of Gilbert O’Sullivan and have got a little teaser for you. What song got to number one in the US but only reached number three in Britain?
Al O’Naggen, Nat Yurally.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? A little better than the week before, but still not great. £2.06 back from our £2.20 stake. Ho hum. What happened? Read on...
Leeds vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win
Result - Leeds United 2 Bristol City 0
The game was evenly balanced before Josh Brownhill, booked on 20 minutes for a foul on Ezgjan Aliosk, was sent off for a poor challenge on Kemar Roofe.
Leeds took charge thereafter and Roofe gave them the lead from close range for his eighth of the campaign.
The hosts added some late gloss to the scoreline when Samu Saiz played Hernandez in with a well-weighted pass and the Spaniard finished neatly.
Wigan vs Reading - Prediction Home win
Result - Wigan 0 Reading 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Wigan paid the price for spurning a series of openings as they were held to a draw by battling Reading.
The home side created the better opportunities but could not find a winner.
Reece James and Josh Windass spurned good chances, while Nick Powell had a goal ruled out for offside.
A late goalmouth scramble almost saw Joe Garner grab the winner for Wigan, but his shot was cleared off the line.
Barnsley vs Doncaster - Prediction Home win
Result - Barnsley 1 Doncaster 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Barnsley were better in possession in the first half and created more chances. However, Doncaster were always a threat on the counter attack. The best chance fell to James Coppinger, who hit the bar after cutting in from the left.
Six minutes after the restart Doncaster took the lead. The ball was won on the right-hand side and Coppinger aimed a perfect cross to Herbie Kane who headed in from seven yards out.
In the 62nd minute Barnsley were level. Brad Potts nodded on a free-kick to substitute Cauley Woodrow who poked the ball home to level the scores within two minutes of his introduction.
Fifteen minutes from the end, Alfie May missed a golden opportunity to win the game for Doncaster.
Barnsley conceded possession deep in their half and found themselves outnumbered at the back but May blazed his effort over.
Charlton vs Bristol - Prediction Home win
Result - Charlton Athletic 3 Bristol Rovers 1
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 10th minute.
Jed Steer's long clearance was latched on to by Jamie Ward, who burst through on goal before coolly lofting the ball over advancing Rovers keeper Jack Bonham.
Rovers should have been back on terms but Tom Nichols was just unable to apply a vital touch to Stefan Payne's dangerous low cross.
However, they did not have long to wait to draw level as Joe Martin drilled an unstoppable left-footed effort from 20 yards beyond the reach of Steer on the half-hour mark.
With their tails now up, Liam Sercombe tried his luck with a long-range volley that flew just off target and then Steer produced an excellent reaction save from Ollie Clarke.
Nicky Ajose was denied at the other end by Bonham moments later and saw a free-kick deflected inches wide of the post just before the break.
Rovers' hopes of going in level were cruelly dashed on the stroke of half-time as some sloppy defending was punished by Joe Aribo's close-range header to restore the Addicks' advantage.
Patrick Bauer headed wide after the restart and Ajose was just behind Ward's inviting pull back on the hour as Charlton looked to move further clear.
Steer had to be alert to deal with Sercombe's volley at the other end and the Rovers midfielder blazed an effort well off target four minutes from time to sum up a disappointing second-half display from the visitors.
And Charlton wrapped it up deep into injury time as Karlan Grant capitalised on Bonham's decision to go up for a corner when he was set clear to fire into an empty net.
Gillingham vs Luton - Prediction Away win
Result - Gillingham 1 Luton Town 3
Town midfielder Andrew Shinnie opened the scoring after 25 minutes, firing home from the edge of the box to end a move started by Harry Cornick in his own half.
Cornick appeared to have turned provider again four minutes later, but James Collins was ruled to have fouled Barry Fuller before heading home his team-mate's deep cross.
However, Luton did double their advantage shortly before the hour, as Elliot Lee capitalised on woeful Gillingham defending to fire in off the bar from Collins' low cross.
Lee scored another to make sure of the Hatters' victory after 68 minutes, coolly slotting home into an empty net after Cornick's low shot rebounded off the post.
Gillingham created just one shot on target before Tom Eaves beat James Shea from a tight angle for a consolation goal.
So close and yet so far. Three results spot on and the others hitting the bar. Perhaps The Grambler will come up trumps this week. Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly predicted.
Game - Result - Odds
Leicester vs Watford - Prediction Home win - 5/4
Blackburn vs Sheff. Wed. - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Derby vs Swansea - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Nottm. Forest vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 4/6
QPR vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 19/20
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...
Oh dear, a little bit whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I told you that Brazilian Alisson became the most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Liverpool this year for a fee of 72.5 million euros. I then asked you who was the most expensive goalkeeper prior to this and how much did he cost. The answer is, Gianluigi Buffon who cost Juventus almost 52 million Euros back in 2001. During his 17 year stay with the club, he played 656 times. In a career of over a thousand games, he has been capped for Italy a record 176 times, has won nine Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia five times, the Uefa Cup and the World Cup once each. At the end of last season he was transferred to PSG; not bad for someone who is now the wrong side of 40.
What about one for this week? Here’s a daft one for you. In September 2013 which famous ex-politician was escorted from his seat in the home section of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground after 'wildly celebrating' a goal scored by visitors Cardiff City in a Premier League fixture? Easy peasy?
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. Allen who provides us with some interesting thoughts to end this week’s edition.
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
I don't believe in the after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.
In Beverly Hills... they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.
Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.
You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.
Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.
I failed to make the chess team because of my height.
I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys.
I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
I ran into Isosceles. He had a great idea for a new triangle!
Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
I'm not a drinker -- my body will not tolerate spirits. I had two Martinis on New Year's Eve and I tried to hijack an elevator and fly it to Cuba.
I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.
Love is the answer. But while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.
Can we actually "know" the universe? My God, it's hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown.
Sex between a man and a woman can be wonderful, provided you can get between the right man and the right woman.
Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
A deranged person is supposed to have the strength of ten men. I have the strength of one small boy ... with polio.
Some guy hit my car fender the other day, and I said unto him, "Be fruitful and multiply." But not in those words.
I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.
I know what I think but I don't know how to put it into words. Maybe I could get a little bit drunk and dance it for you.
The difference between sex and death is, with death you can do it alone and nobody's going to make fun of you.
To me there's no real difference between a fortune teller or a fortune cookie and any of the organized religions. They're all equally valid or invalid, really. And equally helpful.
The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God's mind -- a pretty uncomfortable thought, particularly if you've just made a down payment on a house.
My relationship with death remains the same -- I'm strongly against it.
The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep.
It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.
I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
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