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…
It's that time of year again. The time when common sense is cast to the wind and people just go a bit mental. Yes, gramblemas is on its way and the shops are full of expensive tat which retailers have the cheek to call gifts. Well, you know my views on gifts. Please don't buy me any. Vouchers, yes. Money, yes. Indeed, I am happy to receive anything that is on some way useful. But don't get me a 'gift'.
Gifts tend to be something considered as witty by whoever designed them. I've had my fair share of 'amusing' underwear and socks over the years and I've hated every single example.
I particularly dislike Christmassy socks. Underwear can be worn simply because it remains out of sight. Socks, however, are visible to others. Thus, they can see what dreadful taste you have in hosiery.
So, if anyone is interested, please... definitely no novelty socks.
Mrs G recently bought me a pack of socks; just plain black socks. I say plain, they did have the makers name discreetly embroidered on them. I won't say the name of that company except that it makes jumpers which are popular with golfers.
Everything was fine... initially. The problems arose after the first wash. When they dried, I paired them up in the right colours... Did I tell you some had red embroidery and some had blue? Any road up, the next time I was wearing a pair, somebody remarked that I was wearing odd socks. How can that be, I thought. I paired them myself, how can they possibly be odd?
He was right though. The right sock had its embroidered name, but the left one didn't. What kind of witchcraft was afoot? [A foot. Sock. Very good. - Ed.] None, obviously. except that these socks are handed, or should I say, footed. There is only embroidery on one side. Thus, for a right foot sock it is to the right of the heel and on the left foot to the left. Dead simple. Bloody annoying though that I have to check each sock has the correct partner when I'm pairing the damn things.
I tell you what, just don't buy me Pringles' socks. Oops... I've said the brand name now. And their crisps are rubbish too.
Here's a story (supposedly true, but more likely apocryphal. Ooer, that's a big word. Wonder what it means.) which is loosely related.
Some lads in a small village decide that, as a change from their usual evening haunt, the local pub, they should visit the nearby golf club for a drink or two. When they enter the bar there are sharp intakes of breath and tutting sounds from the golf types drinking there. Ignoring these, one of the lads orders some drinks, but the barman refuses to serve them and points to a sign on the wall which reads - ‘No denims or trainers to be worn’.
Rather than cause trouble, our thirsty crew head back to their local. A discussion ensues about the treatment received at the golf club. They all agree that it was a bit unfair when it was quite acceptable for members of the golf club to drink in their pub, which they frequently did. They also agree that they should get their own back...
The next night some golfers drop into the hostelry for a drink after playing a game at their club. One orders drinks and is refused service. The barman nods towards a sign on the wall which reads - ‘No Pringle jumpers to be worn’.
Boom and, as it were, tish.
A 'tasteful' garment
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 8th of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Horace 65BC (Poet. Want a sample? Here goes... Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa / perfusus liquidis urget odoribus / grato, Pyrrha, sub antro? / cui flavam religas comam / simplex munditiis? heu quotiens fidem / mutatosque deos flebit et aspera / nigris aequora ventis / emirabitur insolens! Wise words there, mate.), Mary, Queen of Scots 1542 (The well-known queen. Factoid: she married the Dauphin of France when she was 15 and was widowed just two years later.), William C. Drant 1861 (Founder of General Motors and Chevrolet.), Georges Méliès 1861 (Film pioneer.), George Feydeau 1862 (Playwright.), Jean Sibelius 1865 (Composer. Time for a clip, methinks. Here’s, arguably, his most famous work, Finlandia. Go on, have a guess where he came from.), Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez. Blimey, no wonder he shortened it to Diego Rivera 1886 (Artist.), E. C. Segar 1892 (Cartoonist. Created Popeye.), James Thurber 1894 (Humorist.), Arthur Leslie 1899 (Actor. Played Jack Walker in Corrie.), Lee J. Cobb 1911 (Actor. An angry man; one of a complete set of 12.), Richard Fleischer 1916 (Film director. Fantastic Voyage, that was one of his.), Lucien Freud 1922 (Artist, it says here. Grandson of Sigmund and big brother of Clement.), Sammy Davis Jr. 1925 (All-round entertainer, it says here. One of a pack of rats.), Jimmy Smith 1925... or possibly 1928 (Musician. Let’s have a clip. What about some jehhhzzz, or is it soul funk? I said funk. Here’s Midnight Special.), Julian Critchley 1930 (Journo and politico.), Maximilian Schell 1930 (Actor. Won a Noscar for Judgment at Nuremberg. He must have been good at pretending, then.), Flip Wilson 1933 (Comedian, it says here.), David Carradine 1936 (Actor. Glasshopper, that was him.), James McArthur 1937 (Actor. Danno, that was him.), James Galway 1939 (Flautist. Another clip? Why not. Let's rawwwk!!!), Soko Richardson 1939 (Drummer. He is responsible for this arrangement of Proud Mary featuring her with the legs.), Bobby Elliott 1941 (Another drummer. A Holly. Another clip? Aye go on then. Here’s a smashing bit of footage.), Geoff Hurst 1941 (Footy bloke. Factoid: he is the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. [When was that, then? - Ed.]), Jim Morrison 1943 (A Door. A clip? Here’s Hello, I Love You... or is it All Day and All of the Night?), George Baker 1944 (Singer/songwriter. With his Selection, produced this song which a certain Mr Tatantino must have liked.), Ray Shulman 1949 (Musician. A bit of Gentle Giant. Have a clip from his Gentle Giant days and another from his time as Head-Doctor. Contrast and compare.), Dan Hartman 1950 (Musician. Have a bit of 70s’ disco with Instant Replay.), Bill Bryson 1951 (Writer.), Kim Basinger 1953 (Actress.), Kasim Sultan 1955 (Musician. A bit of Utopia. Here he is asking to be set free.), Teri Hatcher 1964 (Actress. Lois Lane, that was her.), David Harewood 1965 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Les Ferdinand 1966 (Footy bloke.), Sinéad O'Connor aka Magda Davitt aka Shuhada Davitt 1966 (Singer. Here’s her biggest hit... Nothing Compares 2U.), Amir Khan 1986 (Boxy bloke.) and Raheem Sterling 1994 (Footy bloke.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Strangler,
I am pleased that you gave a link to some Hollies footage; they are a much underrated act. I know that the dirge ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ reached number one, but I am sure they had another number one record back in the sixties, but can’t remember the name of it. Can you help?
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? We actually made a profit. Woo hoo! £4.58 back from our £2.20 stake. Not bad at all. What happened? Read on...
Leicester vs Watford - Prediction Home win
Result - Leicester 2 Watford 0
Taking the ball beautifully from Marc Albrighton’s crossfield pass, Leicester’s James Maddison advanced towards goal and then took full advantage of Adrian Mariappa’s attempted clearance to crash a volley past Ben Foster.
On 23 minutes, a Ben Chilwell pass released Jamie Vardy and he was taken out in the area by Watford’s goalkeeper Foster, presenting referee Graham Scott with a simple decision.
Vardy’s penalty was equally simple, directing the ball into the bottom left corner with Foster diving the other way.
Blackburn vs Sheff. Wed. - Prediction Home win
Result - Blackburn Rovers 4 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Danny Graham scored a hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers as his side claimed a deserved 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Goals from Graham and Bradley Dack gave Blackburn a 2-0 lead with less than half-an-hour to go, before Lucas Joao's thunderous strike put Wednesday within touching distance.
Graham's second restored Rovers' two-goal lead before a David Raya own goal against the run of play gave Wednesday hope once again.
But Graham had the last word as he prodded home from close-range.
Derby vs Swansea - Prediction Home win
Result - Derby County 2 Swansea City 1
Derby again benefited as Harry Wilson made the most of his chances with a spectacular opener after half an hour and equally impressive second effort ten minutes later.
The hosts could have scored more after the break, but a lack of accuracy allowed the visitors to gain second-half momentum.
That culminated in Tomori putting the ball into his own net under pressure on the line from Leroy Fer with three minutes remaining.
It made for a tense final few minutes, but the Rams held on to secure a victory .
Nottm. Forest vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win
Result - Nottingham Forest 2 Ipswich Town 0
Bartosz Bialkowski's inability to hold Tendayi Darikwa's shot allowed Lewis Grabban to fire home the opener on the rebound.
Gil Dias saw a headed effort come off the inside of the post for the Reds before Grabban met a Darikwa cross to tap-in from close range before the break.
Forest hit the woodwork twice more after half-time, Michael Hefele sending another header against the post before Grabban was denied a hat-trick by the crossbar.
QPR vs Hull - Prediction Home win
Result - Queens Park Rangers 2 Hull City 3
Jarrod Bowen scored two and created a third as Hull City had an entertaining win at Queens Park Rangers.
A fine left-footed finish from Bowen and a header from Markus Henriksen put Nigel Adkins' side two goals up inside 25 minutes, before Pawel Wszolek halved the deficit for QPR.
Bowen's second-half effort looked to have sealed the win for Hull before a Luke Freeman goal in injury time ensured a nervous finish for the visitors.
Not a bad showing for The Grambler, can he/she/it repeat or even improve on that result this week? [Don’t talk daft. - Ed.] Let’s see the random predictions.
Game - Result - Odds
Leeds vs QPR - Prediction Home win - 7/10
Aston Villa vs Stoke - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Bolton vs Leeds - Prediction Away win - 4/6
Swansea vs Sheffield Wed. - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Wycombe vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win - 10/11
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...
Back to normal... not in the least bit whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you 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. The answer is pretty obvious when you consider that the ex-politician was celebrating a goal by a Welsh side; how many famous Welsh politicians have there been during the time the Premiershit has been in existence? It was, of course, ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock. As he himself would have said, lovely, lovely, lovely.
One for this week? Here’s a good un. Who was the first black player to win a full England cap? A secondary question - What year? Hmm, very interesting. That could start a conversation or two down the pub.
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, there is a sad ending to this week’s edition as news arrives of the death of Pete Shelley, singer and guitarist with the Buzzcocks. Having lived through, and thoroughly enjoyed, the ‘punk’ era, I am saddened to hear of the demise of one of the more original singers from that time.
Shelley formed the Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto in 1975, taking over as frontman in 1977 when Devoto left to form Magazine. Several hits followed for the Buzzcocks including the song later covered by Fine Young Cannibals ‘Ever Fallen in Love (with Someone You Shouldn’t’ve). He left the band in 1981 to pursue a solo career and had some success with his album ‘Homosapien’. The Buzzcocks reformed in 1989 and continue to this day.
You’ll have gathered that I was a Buzzcocks fan in the ‘new wave’ days, so I will end with a link to an early hit of theirs. Here’s Love You More.
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