Saturday 2 November 2019

Week 14 - The Grambler solves the housing shortage

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 .

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.

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


"So, this new material you've developed... this ‘plastic’ stuff. Tell me about it."

"Wel, it is very cheap to produce and it can take the place of expensive wood, glass and metal products. Also, unlike wood, it will never rot, unlike metal it won't rust and unlike glass it won't smash. No more broken glass bottles; plastic can be the new material for containers."

"It sounds tremendous."

"It would also seem to be indestructible. Basically, it will last forever."

"Cheap to make, you say? It sounds the perfect disposable product."

"Disposable? No, I think not. As I said, it will last forever."

"Well, that's not much use. I need a product that has to be replaced. We'll just tell everyone it's a one-use item and get them to throw them away."



"Where would they throw them?"

"In the bin... landfill... anywhere."

"But it won’t decompose like other materials; it isn’t biodegradable."

"S.E.P. old boy."

"Ess ee pee? What does that mean?"

"Somebody else's problem. Let's get them moulds working..."

That conversation definitely, possibly, or probably-never took place many moons ago in the infancy of plastics. If it didn't, it should have done. If it had, maybe somebody would have realised that plastic is most certainly not a throwaway material. It lasts forever, it would seem. It was a fact that wasn't lost on Earl Tupper [Ooh, he was good him. The tough of the track. Welder during the week, world class athlete at the weekend... Ate nothing but fish suppers, you know. - Ed.] That's Alf Tupper, ya numpty. Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, Earl Tupper, the maker of the plastic food container that bears his name. He knew from the start that plastic would last a lifetime, or several lifetimes, and so he guaranteed his products for life. If ever anything failed, it would be replaced, free of charge, no matter how old the product was. Okay, the goods made by his company were expensive, but they were of excellent quality and returns were infrequent.

Sadly, he was the only one who had such vision. The opening 'conversation' would seem to cover the attitude of everybody else involved in the manufacture of plastics.

Of course, as young Greta Thungammyberg points out, we are now paying the price for living in a chuck-it society. It is a crazy situation that has developed and is now causing chaos, because nobody knows what to do about all this waste that has been created... and yet still we buy our liquids in plastic. What is the answer? Pull up a chair and I'll tell ee.

While this mountain of waste plastic containers continues to grow, there are some people who can't even afford to buy the products contained within them; can't even afford a home. Well, the grambler has the answer to the housing problem. [You bloody would have. - Ed.] Build more homes [Is that it? - Ed.] out of plastic containers. [You what? - Ed.] Clever, huh?

Yes, I hear you say, but plastic containers come in all shapes and sizes, how can you possibly use them to build houses? At the moment, that would seem to be a problem, but plastics manufacturers could be 'persuaded', that is, forced, to standardise their products so that they are of uniform dimensions and, instead of liquid containers being cylinder shaped they would have to conform to a square or rectangular shape with the base being concave rather than convex such that the cap of another bottle can fit into the hollow formed. Thus, bottles could be placed end to end without any gaps. Fill each bottle with any heavy-ish material such as gravel, dirt or sand and voila, plastic bricks. Glue together a few and you have a dwelling. Brilliant, huh?

How many millions of bottles are chucked away each day? How many houses could be built out of them? Hunners, I reckon.

As genius ideas go, it's up there with anything Jems Vacuum-Cleaner has ever come up with.

So there you have it, The Grambler solves the world housing problem by making use of plastic that might otherwise be thrown away. It really has to be one of the greatest... [What about the roof? - Ed.] Sorry pardon excuse me? [The roof. How do you make plastic bottles into 'slates'? - Ed.] Erm...I'll get back to you on that one. [Or floors. - Ed.] All right, all right... The plan needs a bit of development... I never said I was an architect. The plastic bottle bricks would be a start. Okay? [Or ceilings... - Ed.]
A new housing estate.




Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 2nd of November? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Edward V 1470 (The short-lived monarch. Uncle Dick... the bloke found in a Sainsburys car park... assumed the throne soon after Eddie became king. Remember the princes in the Tower? Eddie was one of them. Uncle Dick had something to do with their demise... allegedly.), Daniel Boone 1734 (Hunter and explorer.), Marie Antoinette 1755 (The well-known queen consort with a cake fixation.), Joseph Radetzky von Radetz 1766 (The not-very-well-known Austrian field-marshall with an incredibly well-known toon named after him.  You will recognise this, I am sure.  Incidentally, that guy shaking everyone's hands is the conductor, not some random drunk.), Victor Trumper 1877 (Strine creekuddy blake.), Battista Farina 1893 (Founder of the Pininfarina Company.), Luchino Visconti 1906 (Film director. Death in Venice was one of his.), Burt Lancaster 1913 (Actor. Factoid: he was a circus acrobat before turning to acting.), Sidney Luft 1915 (Film producer. The third Mr Garland.), Ken Rosewall 1934 (Strine Tinnisy blake.), Brian Poole 1941 (Singer with the Tremeloes. [Oh dear, how awful for him. - Ed.] Here’s a clip which will appeal to fans of the Mighty ‘Well.  All together now... Well shake it up baby now...), Bruce Welch 1941 (A Shadow. Here’s a live performance from 1964. It might even get your feet tapping.), Shere Hite 1942 (A sexologist.), Stephanie Powers 1942 (Actress. [Wasn’t she married to Robert Wagner? - Ed.]), Keith Emerson 1944 (Keyboard wizard. Have a clip. Here’s a famous piece by Aaron Copland... No not that one... It’s Hoedown. Yee Hah!), Alan Jones 1946 (Strine ricing caaar drawver.), Dave Pegg 1947 (Bit of Fairport Convention. He has been the go-to bass player for many artists and bands including... deep breath... Jethro Tull, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Sandy Denny, Steve Ashley, Richard and Linda Thompson, Ralph McTell, Dave Swarbrick, Julie Covington, Murray Head, Dick Gaughan. A heck of a lot to choose a clip from. How about this? Dave doing a Jethro Tull toon.), Maxine Nightingale 1952 (Chanter. Let’s have a clip. Here's a right old jolly toon.), Peter Mullan 1959 (Actor. Mum’s man.), k.d. lang... That’s how she writes it... 1961 (Chanter. Have a clip. A song about chocolate, perhaps?), Bobby Dall 1963 (A bit of Poison. This is the band’s biggest hit... Every rose has its thone. Every day has its done.), David Schwimmer 1966 (A friend. ) and Cornell Haynes aka Nelly 1974 (A wrapper. Here he is flapping his wings.).


I’ve received a letter...


Dear Mr. Mangler,

I am a huge fan of the guitar group, The Shadows, and was pleased that you played a rare clip of them performing Foot Tapper. That was the last of their five number one hit singles. Can you remember which tune gave them their previous number one?

Yours quizzically,

Dan Son.



Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last week? It won; sort of. A return of £1.36 from a £2.20 bet isn’t exactly a resounding success. What happened? Read on.


Birmingham vs Luton - Prediction Home win

Result - Birmingham 2 Luton 1


Blues opened the scoring with the last kick of the first half when Kristian Pedersen headed in fellow full-back Maxime Colin's cross.

Pedersen was at fault for Luton's equaliser, however, losing possession before substitute Harry Cornick, aka Junior, blasted the ball beyond keeper Lee Camp.

But Birmingham retook the lead with eight minutes remaining as Lukas Jutkiewicz nodded home a corner.


Middlesbrough vs Fulham - Prediction Away win

Result - Middlesbrough 0 Fulham 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Boro drew a blank despite the dismissal of Whites goalkeeper Marek Rodak after just 17 minutes.

The Slovakian youngster was shown a red card for handling Jonny Howson's shot outside the area but, although Lewis Wing's second-half effort struck the post, the hosts failed to take advantage.

Aleksandar Mitrovic squandered Fulham's best opportunity to snatch the win, heading Joe Bryan's cross wide from close range.


Nottingham vs Reading - Prediction Home win

Match postponed


Peterborough vs Coventry - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterborough 2 Coventry 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

The Sky Blues had taken a deserved first-half lead through Amadou Bakayoko before Marcus Maddison equalised from the penalty spot.

Bakayoko's opener came in the 12th minute from a Biamou through ball after Peterborough's Louis Reed had lost the ball. The striker slotted home at the near post.

But the dominant visitors were punished for not scoring a second goal seven minutes into the second half when Posh defender Mark Beevers flicked a header on to Ivan Toney who was fouled inside the area by Kyle McFadzean. Maddison sent goalkeeper Marko Marosi the wrong way.

Max Biamou's superb effort from 15 yards on 85 minutes looked to have won the match before Siriki Dembele found Mo Eisa inside the area and he curled in a stoppage time equaliser goal.


Southend vs Ipswich - Prediction Away win

Result - Southend 1 Ipswich 3


The Shrimpers did have an early Rob Kiernan header ruled out for offside but the Tractor Boys soon hit their stride.

Ipswich opened the scoring in the eighth minute when James Norwood latched onto Kayden Jackson's through ball to fire home with Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley rooted to his line.

Norwood grabbed his second to double the lead in the 70th minute when Jackson's left-wing cross picked out the striker who sent a low, left-footed shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net from 12 yards.

Six minutes later, Ipswich made it 3-0 with Jackson firing home after Jon Nolan's effort had been parried out by Oxley.

The Shrimpers netted a consolation effort in the 83rd minute with substitute Emile Acquah scoring from close range.


Ho hum. Two right, two nearly right and one postponed; not The Grambler’s worst effort. Still not good enough, though. Can he/she/it maake amends this week? [Yes, by not predicting anything. - Ed.] Oh ye of little faith.

Lets have a look at this week’s random selections.

Game - Result - Odds

Brechin vs Edinburgh City - Prediction Away win - 4/5

Cowdenbeath vs Cove Rangers - Prediction Away win - 11/20

Elgin vs Annan Athletic - Prediction Home win - 11/10

Stenhousemuir vs Queens Park - Prediction Home win - Evens

Stirling vs Albion - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Uh oh... The Grambler has chosen all the games from Scottish League Two. Expect a report-free blog next week as nobody bothers providing a match report on Scottish games lower than the Championship.


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 Predictions (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!), the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping....



That’s not particularly whopping.


Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what team in the English league currently plays at a stadium called Highbury. The answer is Fleetwood Town.

One for this week? Here’s a good un. Which country qualified for the 1950 World Cup but refused to play because FIFA wouldn't let them play barefoot?




As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), 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



Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).




And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther I am indebted to a Mr D. Schwimmer and somebody else who looks very like him. About a year ago, a man stole a crate of beer from a Blackpool shop and, when his face appeared on-line, people were convinced that Mr Schimmer was behind the theft.  We end this week's edition of the world's greatest ill-informed blog with a news item that proves the Friends actor has a good sense of humour.


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


Happy grambling.


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