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…
First of all, let’s have a song to start us off...
Who put the bomp in the bomp buh bomp buh bomp.
Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong.
Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop.
Who put the dip in the dip dee dip dee dip.
Who was that man...
I'd like to tell him that he knows f*** all about plumbing!
Second of all, I would like to apologise for there being no edition of thegrambler.com last week. What do you mean, you never noticed? There are no excuses... only reasons too boring to mention. Anyway, let’s get on with this week’s (g)ramble; a hairy time, I’m sure you will agree.
Mrs G and I were in a restaurant the other day. [Really? How interesting. - Ed.] Very nice meal we had. Haggis, and tatties as a starter, then lentil soup and, after that, cod in... you’re not really interested, are you? [Yawn. - Ed.] Anyway, that’s not this week’s topic. No, this week’s (g)ramble concerns fashion [Oh blibbing heck. Let’s get back to food. - Ed.]
A poash restaurant provides some excellent opportunities for a spot of people watching; one of my favourite pastimes. There was a couple of folk in that place that deserve a mention.
There was a lady there who was dressed in a very bold self-coloured two-piece suit that might have been fashionable in the 1950s. She also wore an over-the-top blouse and sported the sort of perm that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Sybil Fawlty or Katie Boyle (ask your grandad). The oddest thing about this vision was that she was probably aged no more than 28. This was ‘statement’ dressing for sure. Definitely a touch of ‘look at me’ syndrome.
The second person that caught my eye was a gentleman of about 80 whose hairstyle bore more resemblance to a crash helmet than actual hair. It featured that most ridiculous of hair ‘styles’ - the combover. It was also longish at the sides and back which suggested to me someone who perhaps played the trumpet in an over-the-hill jazz outfit. Added to this, was the fact that he had obviously used a whole can of hair lacquer to achieve this ‘style’. The hair did not, could not, move. It was fixed in this position. He reminded me of Arthur Scargill (ask your grandad) whose open briefcase was once photographed to reveal a can of ‘Cossack’ hair lacquer (ask your grandad).
These individuals reminded me of other folk I had encountered who continued to sport hairstyles which were from an earlier era.
I recall a chap I worked with in the 1980s who wore his hair in the style popularised by ‘Teddy Boys’ in the 1950s. So, 25 or more years after the style had become unfashionable, this guy continued to tease his receding locks into a Brylcreemed quiff.
Similarly, in the late 1970s there was a young guy lived nearby who was obviously a diehard Gary Numan (ask your dad) fan. When Numan sported a black leather outfit coupled with bleached locks, that was how this lad dressed. When Numan moved onto dyeing his hair black, so too did his obsessive fan. In fact, so obsessed was he that his attire continued to be exactly as Numan wore even when the guy’s hair had long deserted him. Little did he realise that Gary Numan sported a wild black syrup* to hide his own baldness.
A couple of streets away from where I live, there is an equally obsessive ‘ageing’ music fan. This time, the obsession is not with an individual, but a genre. This guy is a ‘Mod’. He has several classic scooters stored in his garage. Nothing wrong with that, you might be saying. Indeed not. What makes this bloke noticeable is the hairstyle. He must be in his fifties but still wears his hair in the mod style made popular by bands such as the Small Faces and Dave Doo, Cozy, Boaky, Stick and Bitch. Yes, silly hairstyles (and names) are just about acceptable on teens and twenty-somethings, but on a guy in his fifties? No. Daft doesn’t come near to describing how he looks.
Another restaurant, another hairstyle. Mrs G and I couldn’t agree on whether the chap (aged around 65) sitting at a table nearby had naturally curly hair or whether he still had his hair permed a la 1970s footballers. Whatever, the broccoli look is definitely no longer fashionable.
In a busy week for dated hairstyles, I also spotted someone who, as far as barnets* are concerned, was stuck firmly in the 1980s. The mullet was never the best style of hair, but this guy obviously had an affinity with Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and Sir Macca circa 1980. Sadly, the ravages of time meant that the rest of his appearance bore no resemblance to his attempts to perpetuate the 1980s’ style... Style! Ha!... and his wrinkly face and paunch looked wrong when coupled with his odd locks.
No, it is definitely wrong to try and stick with a hairstyle from an earlier age. When I recently had my hair cut I was going to discuss the matter with a friend, but he smothered the topic before I even got started...
‘Nice haircut. Do you think the pre-war preference for short back and sides should make a comeback, then?’
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? And, as there was no edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog last week, you are treated to two week’s of birthdays.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 2nd of March? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Bedřich Smetana 1824 (Composer. A clip to start us off? Here is the beautiful Moldau.), Carl Jacobsen 1842 (Who? The son of the Carlsberg brewery founder... His dad named it in his honour. So now you know.), Kurt Weill 1900 (Composer. Another clip? Here is perhaps his most famous toon, Mackie Messer.), Theodor Geisel 1904 (Writer and cartoonist. Who? Took his middle name Seuss as his pen name... Dr. Seuss.), Desi Arnaz 1917 (Actor, musician and television producer... more famous for being Mr Lucille Ball.), Jennifer Jones 1919 (Actress.), Basil Hume 1923 (The well-known cardinal.), Mikhail Gorbachev 1931 (The well-known cardinal.), John Tusa 1936 (Journalist.), Billy McNeill 1940 (Footy bloke.), Lou Reed 1942 (Singer, it says here. A clip? No, not that one... or that one. Here’s Satellite of Love.), George Layton 1943 (Actor.), ’Erry Rednepp 1947 (Foo’y blowke. He has managed... deep breath... Bournemuff, West ’Aim, Portsmuff, Sahffaimpton, Portsmuff anavver toim, Totnaim ’Otspur, Queens Park Rangers, Jordan, de cantry not de modull aind Birminghaim ci’y.), Rory Gallagher 1948 (Musician. Have another clip. Here’s Moonchild.), Karen Carpenter 1950 (Boxing commentator [Stop it and give us a clip. - Ed.] Here’s Calling occupants of blah blah blah...), Jay Osmond 1955 (A brother. Another clip? Love Me For A Reason. Prepare to be dazzled... by the teeth.), Kevin Curren 1958 (Tennisy bloke.), Ian Woosnam 1958 (Golfy bloke.), Jon Bon Jovi 1962 (Singer and rhyming slang.* What? You want another clip? Here’s Livin' on a Prayer.), Lembit Öpik 1965 (Politician. Chairman of Parliament of the Space Kingdom of Asgardia. I’m not making this up... I wish I was.), Daniel Craig 1968 (Ectaw. James Bond number... who cares.), Mauricio Pochettino 1972 (Footy bloke.), Trevor Sinclair 1973 (Footy bloke.), Chris Martin 1977 (A coldplayer. Another clip? And why not. Here’s Paradise... with its intriguing video.), Andrew Strauss 1977 (Crickety bloke.), Damien Duff 1979 (Peileadóir.) and Nicky Weaver 1979 (Footy bloke.).
Now then, let’s move quickly on to those born on the 9th of March. Amerigo Vespucci 1454 (Explorer. America was not named after him... though an Italian scooter might have been.), Eddie Foy 1856 (Vaudevillian... They can’t touch you for it. Looked nothing like Bob Hope.), Vyascheslav Molotov 1890 (Politician who had a cocktail named after him. [I wouldn’t order one, If I were you. - Ed.]), Vita Sackville-West 1892 (Author and poet famous for... erm... having a cracking name?), Will Geer 1902 (Actor. Richard’s dad.), Samuel Barber 1910 (Composer. Have a clip. Here’s Adagio for Strings.), Mickey Spillane 1918 (Orfer. Created the Mike Hammer character.), Keely Smith 1928 (Chanter. Have a clip. Here’s When Day is Done. Pity about the awful attempts at comedy at the start.), Ornette Coleman 1930 (Musician. Let’s have some jehhhhzzz. Here’s Lonely Woman. That was him performing it when he was 78.), Lloyd Price 1933 (Chanter. Known as Mr Personality. Wonder why.), Yuri Gagarin 1934 (The original spaceman. Factoid: Gagarin was only 5’ 5”/165cm tall.), John Cale 1942 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s Cordoba.), Mark Lindsay 1942 (Paul Revere of Raiders fame. Here’s their biggest ’it - Indian Reservation.), Bobby Fischer 1943 (Chess player... erm... that’s it.), Robert Calvert 1945 (A bit of Orkwind. He wrote their ’it, Silver Machine.), Robin Trower 1945 (Musician. Did you know he was guitarist on this?), Alexandra Bastedo 1946 (Ee... Champion.), Jeffrey Osborne 1948 (Musician. Another clip? Here’s On the Wings of Love.), Trevor Burton 1949 (Geetarist. Founding member of The Move. Here’s a toon you might recognise, I Can Hear the Grass Grow.), Neil Hamilton 1949 (Christine’s man.), Howard Shelley 1950 (Musician. Have a bit of Mozart.), Bill Beaumont 1952 (Rugby bloke.), Martin Fry 1958 (Chanter with ABC. A clip? Certainly. Here’s their paean (That’s a good word. Must look it up.) to Smokey Robinson.), Pete Wishart 1962 (Musician turned politician. Keyboard player with Runrig. Let’s have the song that concludes every Scottish wedding... indeed, any party or gathering - Loch Lomond. A few mullets on display there.), Juliette Binoche 1964 (Actrice.) and Youri Djorkaeff 1968 (Homme de football.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Willekspeler,
We are two big fans of the band ABC. It was good that you played the great song When Smokey Sings. They had a few hits, but can you remember their first record to chart?
T. R. Sarnott, E. Nuff.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week... sorry, a fortnight ago? £1.94 back from our £2.20 stake money, so still a loss... technically. What happened? Read on...
Birmingham vs Blackburn - Prediction Home win
Result - Birmingham City 2 Blackburn Rovers 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The Blues went ahead through a Che Adams' low strike before half-time.
Rovers captain Charlie Mulgrew levelled shortly after the break when he scored direct from a corner.
Danny Graham's deflected strike put Blackburn 2-1 up with eight minutes to go, but Adams equalised from a tight angle to earn a point for Garry Monk's side.
Brentford vs Hull - Prediction Home win
Result - Brentford 5 Hull City 1
Said Benrahma set up Kamohelo Mokotjo to cancel out Fraizer Campbell's opener for the visitors before grabbing a quickfire double to put the Bees on top before half-time.
Top scorer Neal Maupay made it 4-1 with his 22nd goal of the season early in the second half and the classy Benrahma completed his treble 10 minutes from time.
Middlesbrough vs QPR - Prediction Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 2 Queens Park Rangers 0
Middlesbrough went ahead when Mo Besic whipped a cross into the box and Jonny Howson challenged Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley, with the ball falling for the midfielder to roll it into the net.
Besic almost doubled his side's advantage soon afterwards, steaming across the halfway line and firing just wide of the post from 20 yards out.
But he registered his second assist of the game just after the half-hour mark, playing in Ashley Fletcher, who hammered a thunderous shot in off the crossbar.
Britt Assombalonga had a goal ruled out for an earlier foul in the second half, while home keeper (ex-Motherwell man) Darren Randolph was belatedly called into action to deny Osayi-Samuel and Wells at the other end.
Norwich vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win
Result - Norwich City 3 Bristol City 2
The visitors went in front when Jamie Paterson blasted past goalkeeper Tim Krul from close range.
Norwich equalised when Kenny McLean guided the ball in off the post, but Callum O'Dowda restored Bristol City's lead with a superb solo goal less than a minute later, weaving his way past a series of challenges before slotting home.
Ben Godfrey tapped in from close range to make it 2-2, before McLean's brilliant half-volley across goal completed the turnaround.
The home side went close to extending their advantage when Marco Stiepermann struck the bar in the closing stages, while Marley Watkins had the Robins' best chance to make it 3-3.
Wigan vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win
Result - Wigan 1 Ipswich 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the first half as Jonas Knudsen saw red for a foul on Leon Clarke, who had been through on goal.
But Ipswich went in front when Collin Quaner was tripped by Chey Dunkley and Will Keane found the net from the penalty spot.
However, Joe Garner netted in the 90th minute to snatch a point for the Latics when he turned home Reece James' in-swinging cross.
Ho hum. Once again The Grambler is denied a clean sweep by a couple of draws. What has he/she/it come up with this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Southampton vs Tottenham - Prediction Away win - 4/5
Plymouth vs Luton - Prediction Away win - 3/4
Macclesfield vs MK Dons - Prediction Away win - Evens
Morecambe vs Forest Green - Prediction Away win - 21/20
Stevenage vs Bury - Prediction Away win - 4/5
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...
More whopping than last week.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week... sorry two weeks ago... I asked you what League One team plays in a stadium which has a bigger capacity than the grounds of all Championship sides. The answer was the freefalling Sunderland, relegated from the Premiershit to the Championship in 2016 and relegated to Division One the next season. The Stadium of Light with its capacity of 49,000 is the seventh biggest ground in England.
One for this week? Which Englishman has managed Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Hull City in the Premier League? 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, as this week’s topic dealt with dodgy haircuts, I thought I would consider that section of society that is famous for sporting the most ludicrous barnets* known to mankind... professional footballers. There is something quite odd about the footballer psyche. They want to be noticed, of course, but come on, what are all these about?
*Did you work out the rhyming slang?
Barnet = Barnet fair = Hair
Syrup = Syrup of figs = wig(s)
Jon Bon Jovies = Ovies = Overalls
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