Sunday, 13 January 2019

Week 21 - The Grambler has a haircut


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

 

I've just been for a haircut [Really? How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] Just a number two at the back and a little off the top. Ooh, and a trim of the eyebrows. And the ears got a burning bit of cotton wool swung at them. [Is this relevant? - Ed.] Relevant? Not really, but you will realise from the brief description that this was a Turkish barber I was visiting. Not in Turkey, you understand, but here in polomint city.

There seems to have been quite a proliferation (That’s a good word. Wonder what it means.) of Turkish barbers setting up business in the town and it started me wondering... Is this a way round immigration restrictions?

Racist? Me? Never. Mind you, the wee barber I go to... That's the premises, not the guy who cuts the hair... did raise some suspicions.

When I first went, there was a talkative guy ran the one man operation. Blimey, he could rabbit. A haircut should have lasted less than ten minutes; with him, you could bet on it lasting twice that. I learnt all about his family and how his brother owned another barber shop in another part of the town. I also learned that he was something of a racist which struck me as odd considering his background.

Any road up, after a while, another, younger, Turkish guy took over. In his not very fluent English, he told me he was working for his 'uncle'.

The next time I went, another young Turkish guy was running the shop. He said, in broken English, that he was the other guy's 'cousin'.

That was when I began wondering about the immigration thing. Was this shop just a front to get so called family members into the country?

The next time I went, nephew number one was back in charge and I discovered that he and his cousin were sharing the shop, one working three days, the other working four.

So my immigration theory was wrong, I'm pleased to say. Since that time I have made a couple of visits and he manages to get some information across as his English improves. I know which football team he likes... Borussia Dortmund in case you were interested. I know that he goes to college on a Monday to improve his English.

Anyway, on this most recent visit he asked me how I had enjoyed the holiday (Christmas). I told him that it had been quite boisterous with our grandchildren aged five, seven and nine. I realised then that, although he was able to ask a question, he wasn't quite able to grasp the answer because, after thinking for a minute, he asked if they were all the same age.

I then tried to explain that they had all had chicken pox over the holiday. That was perhaps a step too far. He wanted to know if that was what we had instead of turkey. The more I tried to explain what it was, the less he seemed to understand what I was prattling on about and asked if they liked chicken.

He muttered the words 'chicken pox' a few times as if he was enjoying the sound of the words, then he stopped cutting my hair and picked up his phone to check the internet for chicken pox. I think it made his day when he found out exactly what it was.  He had learned something new.  I reckon the next time he met his English teacher he would be desperate to tell him of his new-found knowledge.

My views on immigration, in typical grambler fashion, tend to be the opposite of those you hear on the news bulletins. What makes somebody want to give up everything to move to another country where they cannot even speak the language? Maybe they live in abject poverty. Perhaps they are living in fear of persecution. Whatever it is, it’s a brave decision to up sticks and head into the unknown the way some people do.

It always strikes me as odd when I hear Brits bleating on about there being too much immigration; Britain was built on immigration... The Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Irish, Indians, West Indians and now eastern Europeans have all arrived down the years as well as people from countless other starting points. Eventually, they all fit in to and shape the culture of their new chosen country.

So all this talk about reducing immigration is just nonsense spouted by hateful jingoistic types who think that any change is a bad thing.

Britain is a melting pot of peoples. Long may it continue.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 12th of January? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Jack London 1876 (The writer, not the boxer. Nor is it anything to do with a short-lived dance style from the nineties popularised by a troupe known as the Reynolds Girls.), Hermann Göring 1893 (... has two, but very small.), Georges Carpentier 1894 (Boxy bloke.), Woodward ‘Tex’ Ritter 1905 (Curntroy n wyusturn sanger n ayuctor. A clip? Here he is with Rye Whiskey.  Think he spent too long in the green room.), Mary Wilson 1916 (Harold’s missus. Lived to be 102.), Tim Horton 1930 (Ice hockey player and businessman. Guess which fast food chain he co-founded.), Des O’Connor 1932 (Comedian and singer. Another clip? Here’s Des doing his best Roger Miller impression.), Michael Aspel 1933 (Newsreader.), Shirley Eaton 1937 (Ectress. Got gold-plated in a 1964 Bond film.), Bob Hewitt 1940 (Sarth Ifrican tennisy blike.), Long John Baldry 1941 (Singer. Here’s his only number 1, Let the Heartaches Begin.), Joe Frazier 1944 (Boxy bloke.), George Duke 1946 (Musician. Have some jazz funk.), Anthony Andrews 1948 (Ectaw.), Brendan Foster 1948 (Geordie sprin’er.), Kirstie Alley 1951 (Actress.), John Walker 1952 (New Zealand runny bloke turned politician.), John Lasseter 1957 (Animator or ‘imagineer.’), Heather Mills 1968 (Ex Mrs Macca.), David Mitchell 1969 (Orfer. Not the comedian bloke.), Melanie Chisholm 1974 (Chanter. Known as Melanie C or Sporty Spice. Here’s a solo hit,  I Turn to You.), Victoria ‘Pixie’ Lott 1991 (Another chanter. Had three number ones. Here’s her last charting song Caravan of Love... it reached number one... hundred and twenty nine.) and Zayn Malik 1993 (Solo singer... then a bit of One Direction... then a solo singer again. His first solo record to chart reached number 1. His last charting single Entertainer reached number nine... ty five.).

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Rumpler,

Thank you for giving us a song from Des O’Connor. He is a very amusing comedian, as we all know, but he was also a talented singer. He had a number one with his song I Pretend, but I believe he had a top ten hit prior to that one. I can’t remember what it was called. Can you assist?

Your servant,

K. R. Le Sands.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? A little better than the previous week. At least we got something back. Okay, it was only 66 pees. Better than a smack in the puss. What happened? Read on...

 

Annan vs Elgin - Prediction Home win

Result - Annan Athletic 2 Elgin City 0

Yay!

Cowdenbeath vs Berwick - Prediction Home win

Result - Cowdenbeath 2 Berwick Rangers 0

Yay!

Edinburgh vs Stirling - Prediction Home win

Result - Edinburgh City 0 Stirling Albion 1

Boo!

Peterhead vs Clyde - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterhead 1 Clyde 2

Boo!

Queen’s Park vs Albion - Prediction Home win

Result - Queen’s Park 2 Albion Rovers 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

 

Hmm... not a great showing from The Grambler. Can he/she/it improve this week? Let’s see this week’s predictions.

Game - Result - Odds

Leicester vs Southampton - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Burton vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 8/11

Portsmouth vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win - 8/13

Exeter vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home 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...

 

£10.00

 

Ooh... there’s a nice round figure. Talking of nice round figures...

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what Sutton’s goalkeeping coach, Wayne Shaw, was doing during the cup between Sutton and Arsenal that resulted in him receiving a fine? He ate a pie. Is that all, I hear you ask. Well, no. Here is the Daily Telegraph article on the matter (in full).

Former Sutton United goalkeeper Wayne Shaw has been charged with breaching betting rules after eating a pie live on television.

Shaw, who was forced to resign after being filmed eating what he said was “a pasty” during his side’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, faces punishment for intentionally influencing a football betting market, and improper conduct.

He was given until 6pm next Friday to respond to the Football Association charges.

The 45-year-old, dubbed the ‘Roly-poly goalie’, ate the pasty in the dugout towards the end of February’s fifth-round tie after a bookmaker had offered odds of 8/1 on him doing so.

As well as being investigated by the FA, the incident was probed by the Gambling Commission, after Sun Bets claimed to have paid out a “five-figure” sum for a bet placed on their promotion.

Shaw, who returned to the game in May after being appointed as AFC Totton's commercial manager, told the Daily Telegraph he would take “legal advice” before deciding whether to accept or deny the charges.

Insisting he had not “put a bet on” himself eating the pasty, he described the incident as “something I’ve done for a little bit of fun” which had been “taken out of all context”.

“Hopefully, common sense will prevail,” he added, comparing the matter to John Terry’s contrived farewell substitution on the final day of the Premier League season, also under investigation by the FA.

Revealing he had shared his bank and mobile phone records with the governing body, he said: “They were looking to obviously get me on spot-fixing.”

Speaking shortly before his appointment at Totton, Shaw told the BBC he had suffered “depression” as a result of the fallout from the affair.

He said: “My world fell in. I was in tears. I had never been sacked in my life. It’s on my mind every day; it probably will be for a long time.

“I’ve been through depression. I wasn’t sleeping right, I could feel myself getting stressed. And I’ve still got that knot in my stomach.”

He added of his departure from Sutton: "It was a situation where I either resigned or they sacked me.

“No-one asked for my side of the story. The club’s knee-jerk reaction was that they wanted nothing to do with it.

“I haven’t made any money and my friends haven’t made any money. I probably got carried away, after a whole career of having the mickey taking out of me. That was all it was meant to be.”

Guess what they called the whole affair. Yep, you’ve guessed it ‘Pie-gate’. Groan.

Okay, after all that, how about a teaser for this week? Which Englishman has managed Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Hull City in the Premier League? Answer next week.
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to Messrs W. Cobham and, from the birthday honours, G. Duke for this week’s closing item. It is a long time since we finished with an odd album cover, so let’s remedy that with something truly weird from the two gentlemen mentioned.

 

 
The product of a truly warped imagination.
Don't have nightmares


 

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
 
Happy grambling.

 

Friday, 4 January 2019

Week 20 - The Grambler on... That's never Marilyn Manson!


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

 

Well it's the end of another year and, in spite of Donald, Vladimir and Kim's threats to each other, we are still here.

As always at the end of a year, there are lots of retrospective items in newspapers and on television; cheery things like who has died, either naturally or in natural disasters that have occurred, or thanks to wars.

One more amusing thing that crops up is word of the year. Perhaps a new word has been coined that deserves the accolade.

For some odd reason, the word that has been selected by some know it all types at the Oxford English dictionary is toxic. How excited are you by that one? Not at all, I imagine. Why toxic? It's not a word that has been bandied about too much. The folk from that dictionary obviously think differently. I'm just disappointed that a new word hasn't been selected... remember twerk or selfie?

I would like to nominate not a new word, but an overused one. What should it be, I hear you ask.  Brexit? It's a word that has been used on every news bulletin over the past year and more. Usually, it's closely followed by words such as 'deal', 'negotiations' and 'complete and utter shambles'. The words piss up and brewery come to mind.

Politicians talk of a smooth transition. Oh, aye, sure. They'll be the same ones that think Boris Johnson has one of the sharpest minds in politics and Theresa May is the epitome of elegance.

Any road up, Brexit isn't my overused word of the year... Mind you, it could be used for one hell of a drinking game. Listen to a news bulletin and down a shot every time you hear the word Brexit. You'd be rat-arsed within two minutes.

My overused word? Robust. Sorry pardon excuse me? Robust. Every time a politician talks about any topic, no matter what, you can bet your house that the word robust will crop up... How is the national health service these days? Robust. How is the economy? Robust. Jobs situation? Robust. The housing market? Yeah, we know... Robust.

I don't know who first began the trend or when it started, I just know that I am sick to the third molars of it. I'm guessing that one person composes all the speeches made by every single politician.

Well come on Mr or Mrs scriptwriter, open up a thesaurus when you are putting a speech together. There are other words out there. According to my own thesaurus there are...

Booming, hearty, hefty, potent, powerful, prosperous, sturdy, tough and vigorous.

Plenty in there to choose from. Robust, indeed. It’s time politicians were more in tune with the voters.

There were also some possible, but less specific words in my thesaurus. What about well? Or wicked? If you really want to get down wiv da massive, just combine the two. ‘De conomy is well-wicked, innit.’

Hmm... Perhaps robust isn’t so bad.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 5th of January? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. King Camp Gillette 1855 (The razor blade bloke.), Jane Wyman 1917 (Actress. The first Mrs Reagan.), Sam Phillips 1923 (Founder of Sun Records.), Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 1928 (Politician. President of Pakistan.), Walter Mondale 1928 (Politician. Vice-President of the US of A.), Alfred Brendel 1931 (Ivory tickler.), Robert Duvall 1931 (Actor. Boo Radley, that was him.), Juan Carlos I of Spain 1938 (A king.), Atholl Guy 1940 (A Seeker. Time for a clip?  Here's Georgy Girl.  Atholl’s the Buddy Holly lookalike.), Jan Leeming 1942 (Newsreader.), Diane Keaton 1946 (Actress. Works with Woody Allen a lot.), Chris Stein 1950 (A bit of Blondie. Another clip? Here’s Union City Blue.), Vinnie Jones 1965 (Footy bloke. Famous for his uncompromising approach to tackles.), Brian Warner 1969 (Who? Oh, Marilyn Manson. Want another clip? Tough. We have standards to maintain, you know.), Iwan Thomas 1974 (Sprinty bloke.) and Bradley Cooper 1974 (Actor and film-maker.).

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Groaming,

Thank you for giving us a little song by The Seekers. They were very popular in the 1960s and had six top ten hits. I believe one of them even reached number one, but can’t remember which. Can you help?

Yours curiously,

Dee Carney, Val E. Sover.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Oh dear. Not a brass farthing back. What happened? Read on...

 

Watford vs Newcastle - Prediction Home win

Result - Watford 1 Newcastle 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

The Hornets had dominated possession during the match but found it difficult to create chances against the Magpies, who took the lead when Salomon Rondon nodded in. The Venezuelan striker also had two goals disallowed for offside, although the first decision was marginal.

Watford finally breached Newcastle's last line of defence in the 82nd minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure powered home from Gerard Deulofeu's right-wing cross.

Forward Isaac ‘Not always guaranteed’ Success was impressive in attack for the home side, and went close when his goal-bound shot was brilliantly blocked by Federico Fernandez.

 

Bolton vs Stoke - Prediction Away win

Result - Bolton 0 Stoke 0

Ooh! ’It the bar! Again!

Stoke took the game to their hosts, with Tom Ince and Tom Edwards combining to good effect on the right flank, but they were unable to find a way through.

Ince set up Sam Clucas for a shot that rolled wide, while James McClean fired another chance over the bar.

At the other end, goalkeeper Jack Butland denied Christian Doidge after the Potters defence failed to clear a throw-in and produced another crucial save when Josh Magennis set up Mark Beevers.

Oghenekaro Etebo went close for Stoke, while Tyrese Campbell might have won it in injury time, but his curling drive fizzed wide of Ben Alnwick's goal.

 

Swansea vs Wigan - - Prediction Home win

Result - Swansea 2 Wigan 2

Ooh! ’It the bar! Yet again!

Wigan were in control at the interval thanks to a double from Joe Garner. The striker scored from the penalty spot and headed home from a corner.

However, Swansea responded and scored two goals from corners themselves as Mike van der Hoorn blasted home on 82 minutes after a Dan Burns own goal.

 

Accrington vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Result - Accrington 0 Peterborough 4

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Ivan Toney opened the scoring after 19 minutes when he headed home Marcus Maddison's free-kick.

Toney made it two after 41 minutes when Louis Reed's ball over the top found the frontman and, with keeper Connor Ripley* rushing out, he had an easy task to fire into the empty net.

It should have been three a minute later in a carbon copy move but this time Ripley got a hand to Toney's goalbound shot and turned it onto the post.

Stanley looked for a breakthrough in the second half with sub Offrande Zanzala forcing Conor O'Malley into a save after 51 minutes.

However, Posh made the game safe in the 67th minute when Maddison's free-kick hit the crossbar and bounced down and Rhys Bennett headed over the line.

Toney completed his hat-trick after 85 minutes as Stanley failed to clear their lines and the striker stooped to head home from close range for his 16th goal of the season.

*Stanley’s keeper Conor Ripley is actually on Middlesbrough’s books but, since joining them in 2011, he has been put out on loan to eight different clubs. Do you think they are trying to tell him something?

 

Sunderland vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 1 Shrewsbury 1

Ooh! ’It the bar! Yet a-fn-gain!

Shrewsbury took the lead after half an hour when defender Luke Waterfall glanced a header from 12 yards off Greg Docherty's free-kick.

Sunderland pulled a goal back a minute before the break when Josh Maja's downward header from close-range hit the net after Bryan Oviedo's fine run and cross.

Oh dear. Four ‘It the bars’. How unlucky was that? Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on that this week.

The predictions are in and this week’s selections are...

Game - Result - Odds

Annan vs Elgin - Prediction Home win - Evens

Cowdenbeath vs Berwick - Prediction Home win - 13/20

Edinburgh vs Stirling - Prediction Home win - 13/20

Peterhead vs Clyde - Prediction Home win - 7/10

Queen’s Park vs Albion - Prediction Home win - 8/15

 

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...

 

£8.62

 

That is mince. There’s no whoppingness at all there.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which striker scored the first hat-trick of the 2018/19 Premier League season. The answer was Sergio Aguero in the August the 19th game between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town which City won 6 - 1.

One for this week? Here’s an interesting one. Sutton United faced Arsenal in the 5th round of the FA Cup. What was Sutton’s goalkeeping coach, Wayne Shaw, doing during the match that resulted in him receiving a fine? Hmm... Try that one out down the pub before resorting to Googlie.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr B. Warner who celebrates his birthday today. Mr Warner is better known by his stage name of Marilyn Manson. He is a singer whose work I have decreed is unsuitable for inclusion in this esteemed blog. I may not be keen on his vocal style, but that doesn’t stop me appreciating his views on himself and on the world today. He actually comes up with some thought provoking ideas; think Bill Hicks without the underlying humour. So let’s finish this week with the thoughts of Mr Manson/Warner.

Music is the strongest form of magic.

If you want to find out who your real friends are, sink the ship. The first ones to jump aren't your friends.

I never said to be like me, I say be yourself and make a difference.

Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.

We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.

Most of the world's problems could be avoided if people just said what they f*ck*ng meant.

The death of one is a tragedy, but death of a million is just a statistic.

When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.

Relationships never break cleanly. Like a valuable vase, they are smashed and then glued back together, smashed and glued, smashed and glued until the pieces just don't fit together anymore.

All the drugs in the world won't save us from ourselves.

Find what you are afraid of, face it, and then you won't be afraid of it anymore.

We don't like to kill our unborn; we need them to grow up and fight our wars.

Not only are love and hate such closely related emotions, but it's a lot easier to hate someone you've cared about than someone you never have.

Is adult amusement killing our children, or is killing our children amusing adults?

The aspiration to save the world is a morbid phenomenon of today's youth.

If you intend to create something that people will observe and listen to, you've got to listen to them first.

A lot of people don't want to make their own decisions. They're too scared. It's much easier to be told what to do.

This is the culture your raising your kids in, don't be suprised when it blows up in your face.

If every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off of your life, every game of Dungeons & Dragons you play delays the loss of your virginity by seven hours.

People are too lazy and too stupid to think for themselves that we've got sitcoms with canned laughter that lets you know when to laugh if you're too stupid to know when the joke is.

Art is a big question mark.

The imagination is precious. Don't lose it. Don't lose the child in you.

As a performer, I wanted to be the loudest, most persistent alarm clock I could be, because there didn’t seem like any other way to snap society out of its Christianity and media-induced coma.

Morals are worn as a badge to make you look good and it's so much easier to talk about your beliefs than to live up to them.

And lastly, a comment which is almost humorous...

I have mood poisoning. Must be something I hate.

 
Yes, this really is Marilyn Manson


 

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

 

Happy grambling.