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.
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?
Dee Carney, Val E. Sover.
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...
That is mince. There’s no whoppingness at all there.
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.
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 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