Saturday, 27 June 2020

Weeks 46 to 48 - Grambling in A


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.


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

 

This lockdown has meant that Mrs G and I have been watching a lot more TV than usual. I didn’t think I would watch something like The A Word, but I did. More of that later. First, a question for you...

Did you ever watch the original Star Trek on TV back in the 1960s? I watched it when I was a kid; basically because there wasn't much else on. I always found it to be a bit silly. The bleeping noises whenever the captain was sitting in his big chair on the bridge; all the actors throwing themselves left and right when the spaceship was supposed to be being rocked by missiles; the wooden acting. It was meant to be a serious attempt at a sci-fi programme, but I just found the whole thing hilarious. I apologise to all you geeky Star Trek lovers, but I am just too cynical to take such bollocks seriously.

Worst of all was the accent of the character known as Scottie who, as the name suggests, was supposed to be from Scotland. Really? It must go down as the worst attempt at a regional accent since Dick van Dyke ruined the Mary Poppins... Sorry, Murry Pappuns... film with his hilarious cockney accent.

At least old Dick made an attempt. Sean Connery never did. Robin Hood? Scottish. Moroccan Barbary pirate? Scottish. Russian submarine commander? Scottish. Any character he was tasked with playing? Scottish. What a brilliant actor. [I take it you are being sarcastic. - Ed.]

Where is all this heading, I hear you ask. Well, as I said, I have just finished watching that charming little series on the Beeb, The A Word. Earlier series centred around a little boy, Joe, who has autism and the stories dealt with his family's attempts to have his problems addressed by the education authorities. It was lauded for its delicate treatment of what, to many, is an awkward situation... hence the title.

This most recent series still centres on Joe but also deals with his extended family, all of whom seem to sit somewhere on the autism spectrum. Simple everyday things are the staple of the storylines... Joe's problems on relating to moving to a new home or the marriage of two characters who have Down’s syndrome. It's all done in a pleasantly humorous way and features a lot of running around by Joe's grandfather who races through life at a hundred miles an hour.

The programme is set in the English Lake District and makes much of the stunning scenery around Keswick.

All very nice. All very twee. But I have a problem with it. Accents.
The programme is set in Cumbria. So why is there not one Cumbrian accent in evidence?

It is typical of so many television dramas that, often, no attempt is made to use an authentic local accent. North of England? A Yorkshire accent will do. Or Lancashire. Anything further south? A Somerset yokel type accent will do. Or Cockney... as long as it's not old Dick van Dyke's version.

Liverpool and Tyneside are quite individual in that their accents are so different to those of anywhere else on the Yuk; most productions will give them a go.

I say that Tyneside is individual but, in some respects, it isn't so different to the Cumbrian accent. Take the word computer. Tynesiders would probably miss out the t so that it becomes compu'er. Now if you take that pronunciation, but emphasise the t, you would be doing a fair take on a Cumbrian accent. Obviously, there are other differences... or deeferences as a Cumbrian might pronounce eet.

A Mancunian accent weeth more emphasees on the t might also feet the beell. While eet wouldn't be quite perfect Cumbrian, eet would be better than not even trying. Or would eet?

Living in Scotland as I do, one accent that grates with me is any non-Scot's attempt at a Scottish accent. It rarely works. See above. Or think groundsman Willie in The Simpsons and you'll understand. How anyone can believe it to be acceptable, beats me.

I’m sure other regions feel a similar way when their accent is similarly mangled.

One thing a person with a Scottish accent has to put up with, that other accents don’t, is mockery. I've previously mentioned in this august blog about my dislike of TV comedians when they encounter a Scot. They all seem to think it is acceptable to mock the accent. Why? They wouldn’t treat any other accent the same way.  And I certainly don't recall any Scottish comedian doing the same when he meets a cockney.  I wonder what sort of reaction that would elicit. A smack in the mouth I shouldn’t wonder.  Don't get me started.

Can I just end with a little joke which is related to accents? [If you must. - Ed.] It features a Yorkshireman... Don’t worry, it is not accentist (I think I have just added a new word to the English language); it was first told by Yorkshire comic, Duggie Brown. [An old joke, then. - Ed.]

Any road up, a Yorkshireman goes to see the vet about his pet cat.

“Is the cat a tom?” asks the vet and the man replies, “No, I’ve got him here, int basket.”

Boom and I think I can state quite categorically, tish!

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?  Although, before we do, may I apologise in advance for the size of the typeface being all over the shop?  No matter what I try to do to correct it, it stubbornly refuses to change.  I do hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment of three weeks' worth of honours. 

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 13th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Charles Parsons 1864 (Inventor of the steam turbine.), W.B. Yeats 1865 (Poety bloke.), Basil Rathbone 1892 (Actor. Famous for one role, Sherlock Holmes. He played the character in 14 films plus a radio series.), Dorothy L. Sayers 1893 (Orfer. Lord Peter Wimsey was one of her creations.), Paavo Nurmi 1897 (Urheilija.), Ian Hunter 1900 (Actor. Appeared in more than 80 films. [Ooh, I liked him. Especially when he sang All the Young Dudes. - Ed.]), Mary Whitehouse 1910 (Famous for minding other people’s business.), Mary Wickes 1910 (Jobbing actress. Sister Mary Lazurus in Sister Act. Factoid: She was the live-action reference model for Cruella de Ville in One Hundred and One Dalmations.), Don Budge 1915 (Tennisy bloke.), Teddy Turner 1917 (Actor. Chalky Whiteley in Corrie. Him.), Ben Johnson 1918 (Stuntman turned actor. Won a Noscar as Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show. [He must have been a really convincing lion, then. Not like that bloke in The Wizard of Oz. - Ed.]), Leslie Duxbury 1926 (Journalist turned scriptwriter for... would you Adam and Eve it... Corrie.), Brian Wilde 1927 (Actor. Mr Barrowclough in Porridge. [Sounds a bit messy. - Ed.] Ahem... Him.), Gary Watson 1930 (Actor. Aremis in BBC’s 1966 production The Three Musketeers. Him.), Tom King aka Baron King of Bridgwater 1933 (Politician.), Uriel Jones 1934 (Drummer with the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band. Here’s You Keep Me Hanging On.), Malcolm McDowell 1943 (Actor. Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Him.), Ban Ki-moon 1944 (8th Secretary-General of the UN.), Dennis Locorriere 1949 (A bit of Dr Hook. Have you met Sylvia's mother?), Richard Thomas 1951 (Actor. John-Boy in The Waltons. Him.), Peter Brackley 1951 (Footy commentator.), Tim Allen 1953 (Actor. Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. Him... well, he does the voice.), Tony Knowles 1955 (Snookery bloke.), Alan Hansen 1955 (Fitba guy.), Anders Järryd 1961 (Tennisspelare.), Bob Crow 1961 (Trade unionist. Not a real crow.), Ally Sheedy 1962 (Actress.), Mark Frankel 1962 (Actor. Leon Geller in Leon the Pig Farmer. Him.), Angie Brown 1963 (Singer. Here she is on Bizarre Inc’s hit I'm Gonna Get You.), Kathy Burke 1964 (Actress. Waynetta Slob in Harry Enfield and Friends. Her.), David Gray 1968 (Musician. Here he is with The One I Love.), Ben Lurie 1968 (Geetarist. A bit of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Here’s a nice toon, Sometimes Always [That can't be right. - Ed.]), Marcel Theroux 1968 (Orfer and broadcaster. Paul’s lad and Louis’ bro.), Denise Pearson 1968 (A bit of Five Star. A toon? Why not. Here is the Pearson family’s first single which proved problematic in that it didn’t trouble the chart compilers.), Stephen Glover aka Steve O 1974 (Nutcase.), Lisa Riley 1976 (Actress. Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale. Her.), Kym Marsh 1976 (Singer and actress. A bit of Hear’Say. Here’s a solo effort. Hopefully, it won’t make you cry.), Darius Vassell 1980 (Footy bloke.), Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen 1986 (Former child actors.) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson 1990 (Actor. David "Dave" Lizewski / Kick-Ass in the Kick-Ass films. Him.).

And now the 20th of June.

Jacques Offenbach 1819 (Composer. Let’s have a bit of cult’yer. Here’s his most famous work. [Hardly very cultural. - Ed.]), Eddie Laughton 1903 (Who? He was an actor who appeared in many of the films of The Three Stooges. In all, he made over 200 films.), Errol Flynn 1909 (Actor.), Terence Young 1915 (Film director. He was in charge of the Bond films, Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Thunderball.), Tommy Godfrey 1916 (Jobbing actor. One of those faces that seemed to be everywhere in the 60s and 70s.), Johnny Morris 1916 (TV presenter. Used to dress up as a zoo keeper and talk to the animals.), Margaret Belsky 1919 (Political cartoonist for The Herald newspaper which later became The Sun. When a certain Australian gentleman purchased the paper in 1969, she refused to work for him. Yay!), Chet Atkins 1924 (Musician. Y’al wanna cliyup? Here’s Mr. Sandman. Incidentally, Steve Howe, the guitar guru from Yes was asked which other guitarist he might like to have been and his choice was Chet. High praise.), Audie Murphy 1925 (Actor. Won the war, he did... Him and John Wayne. [Audrey? Funny name for a bloke. - Ed.]), Martin Landau 1928 (Actor.), Ken Parry 1930 (Jobbing actor. Another one who seemed to be on everything in the 60s and 70s.), Olympia Dukakis 1931 (Actress.), Wendy Craig 1934 (Actress.), Billy Guy 1936 (A Coaster. Here is a lesser-known solo song... with a decidedly dodgy title.), Philip Lowrie 1936 (Actor. Denis Tanner in Corrie. Him.), Jerry Keller 1937 (Singer. Here’s his big hit,  Here Comes Summer.), Keith Clifford 1938 (Actor. Billy Hardcastle in Last of the Summer Wine. Him.), Michael Hayes 1938 (Better known as record producer Mickie Most. Behind many acts signed to RAK Records, owned by... Mickie Most. The Simon Bowel of his day.), Penelope Horner 1939 (Jobbing actress. Her face was everywhere in the 60s.), John Mahoney 1940 (Actor. Martin Crane in Frasier. Him.), Stephen Frears 1941 (Film and television director.), Brian Wilson 1942 (The brains behind The Beach Boys. A toon? Definitely. Here is a track from Pet Sounds, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times.), David Roper 1944 (Actor. Chris Hawthorne in The Cuckoo Waltz. Him.), Oliver Cotton 1944 (Actor. Cesare Borgia in The Borgias. Him.), Anne Murray 1945 (Singer. Have a clip... Here’s Snowbird.), Tony Aitken 1946 (Jobbing actor.), Ray East 1947 (Crickety bloke.), Alan Longmuir 1948 (A Bay City Roller. Manager, Tam Paton fired him aged 27 for being too old. B*st*rd! Anyway, here’s Keep on Dancing.), Lionel Richie 1949 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s an upbeat toon, All Night Long.), Gillian Gilks 1950 (Badders bloke.), John Goodman 1952 (Actor. He actually does resemble Fred Flintstone.), Raúl Ramírez 1953 (Jugador de tenis.), Allan Lamb 1954 (Crickety bloke.), Colin Lamont aka Scottie McClue 1956 (Radio presenter.), Peter Reid 1956 (Footy bloke.), John Taylor 1960 (Duran Duran bassist. Time for a clip? This is Planet Earth.), Suzanne Packer 1962 (Actress. Tess Bateman in Casualty. Her. Factoid: She is Colin Jackson’s big sis.), Paul Kane 1965 (Fitba guy.), R. J. Ellory 1965 (Orfer.), Nicole Kidman 1967 (Ictress.), Ian Matthews 1971 (Drummy bloke with Kasabian. A clip? Why not. What is it they shout at football matches? Eez-eh.), Craig Thomson 1972 (Footy referee.), Kerrie Taylor 1973 (Actress. Lucy Benson in Hollyoaks. Her. What do mean, you can’t remember that far back?), Frank Lampard 1978 (Footy bloke.), Julie Fowlis 1979 (Musician/singer. Here’s a lovely rendition of a lovely song that you might recognise, Blackbird.), Charlotte Hatherley 1979 (Musician/singer. Once a bit of Ash. A clip? Why not. As someone has already told us, Summer is coming.), Julian Corrie 1985 (Who? Oh, Miaoux Miaoux. Who? Musician. Now with Franz Ferdinand. Here he has Star Sickness.), Shefali Chowdhury 1988 (Actress. Parvati Patil in the Harry Potter films... Well, three of them, anyway. Her.), Tom Grabham 1991 (I have no idea who he is, but he is a rugby player with a perfect name.), Curtis Main 1992 (Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell, you know.) and Luke Watt 1997 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, as well.).
 
Woof!
[You did that gag five years ago. - Ed.]
Sorry.




 
Not forgetting, June 27th

Ettie Grenfell 1867 (Never heard of her? Neither have I. I just liked her job description... Lady of the bedchamber. Best not to ask.), Helen Keller 1880 (Orfer and political activist.), Catherine Cookson 1906 (Orfer.), John McIntire 1907 (Jobbing actor. Mainly cowboy roles.), Skelton Knaggs 1911 (Jobbing actor with a brill name. [Sounds more like somewhere in Yorkshire... I’m off up to Skelton Knaggs. - Ed.] One of those faces that you see once and never forget. Appeared in a lot of horror films.), Muriel Pavlow 1921 (Ectress. Appeared in many films, often playing the wife or girlfriend of the main character.), Peter Bayliss 1922 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in hunners of things on telly.), David Mercer 1928 (Playwright. Morgan, A Suitable Case for Treatment. One of his.), Ross Perot 1930 (Privateer, would-be president... a bit like Donald Trump. On second thoughts, nothing like Donald Trump.), Harvey Hall 1931 (Another jobbing actor. Appeared in many TV dramas in the 60s and 70s, but gave up acting to become an English Teacher. [How very rock and roll. - Ed.]), Robin Hall 1936 (Singer. With Jimmie MacGregor was one of Scotland’s most recognisable showbiz faces. Here’s a short tribute to him.), Shirley Anne Field 1936 (Actress who supports Liverpool.  Geddit?  Anne Field... Anfield.  Oh, please yourselves.), Thomas Derbyshire 1938 (Who? Better known as Tommy Cannon, half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball.), Alan Coren 1938 (Humourist/satirist/writer. Vicky and Giles’ dad.), Kathryn Beaumont 1938 (Actress/singer. Most famous as a Disney voiceover artist. She was Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan.), Andy Cameron 1940 (Comedian who once had a hit record and here it is. All together now... We're on the march wi Ally's army...), Eric Richard 1940 (Actor. Desk Sergeant Bob Cryer in The Bill. Him.), Margaret Lake 1942 (Who? Better known as Mystic Meg. She owns racehorses nowadays. That’s good, she’ll be able to predict if they are going to win and bet accordingly. Aye. Right.), Bruce Johnston 1942 (A Beach Boy. Here is a solo instrumental from him called Pipeline.  Check that shirt collar.), Joanna McCallum 1950 (Actress. Daughter of actors John McCallum and Googie Withers. [That reminds me of an old joke. - Ed.] Well, please don’t tell it.), Charles Shaar Murray 1951 (Journalist and broadcaster. Music-related stuff.), Gilson Lavis 1951 (Drummy bloke with Squeeze. A clip? And why not. A bit of Slap and Tickle, vicar?), David Shilling 1956 (Dressmaker.), Jeremy Swift 1960 (Actor. Played butler, Septimus Spratt in Downton Abbey.), Meera Syal 1961 (Actress, comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer... in fact, a right old smarty boots.), Tim Whitnall 1961 (Actor? You might not have heard of him but, if you have young kids, you might have heard him; he provides voices for many kids’ TV programmes such as Underground Ernie, Roary the Racing Car and Tree Fu Tom.), Michael Ball 1962 (Singer/actor. A clip? Why not. Here is his lockdown number one with Captain Tom Moore.), Wendy Alexander 1963 (Former politician.), Ravi Kapoor 1969 (Actor. In Crossing Jordan, he played Dr. Mahesh 'Bug' Vijayaraghavensatanaryanamurthy. [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.]), Anthony Howell 1971 (Actor. Paul Milner in Foyle’s War. Him.), Lee Warburton 1971 (Actor. Tony Vincent in Casualty and Holby City. Him.), Jo Frost 1971 (Supernanny. Wonder what her special super-power is.), Anna Kumble aka Lolly 1973 (Singer. Had one or two big hits back in the day. Here’s Viva la Radio.  Who on earth was that introducing it?), Tobey Maguire 1975 (Actor. Spider-man. Him.), Leigh Nash 1976 (Singer with Sixpence None the Richer. Here’s their Biggie Kiss Me. [We hardly know each other. - Ed.]), Kevin Pietersen 1980 (Sarth Ifrikin creeckutty blike.), John Rankin 1983 (Fitba guy.), Nico Rosberg 1985 (Renfahrer.), Jack Gordon 1985 (Actor. Ronnie Biggs in The Great Train Robbery (2015). Him.), Sam Claflin 1986 (Actor. Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games. Him.), Matthew Lewis 1989 (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. Him.) and Oliver Stark 1991 (Actor. Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley in 9-1-1. Him.).



 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Grambleweed,

We were so pleased that you included a Beach Boys track in this week’s birthday honours, but can’t understand why you didn’t give us one of their many hit singles. There was God Only Knows, followed by Good Vibrations, followed by... Actually, neither of us can remember what came next. Can you help?

Yours cordially,


 

.....oooOooo.....

 

This week we could have had a gramble. Yay! But the matches seem to be all over the place... and we are too late, anyway. Boo! Let’s just move straight on to....

 

Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I began my playing career at Högaborgs BK before transferring to Helsingborg in 1992. After moving to Feyenoord I was signed by Celtic for a fee of £650,000. I spent seven years there and scored over 242 goals in 315 games.

Henrik Larsen (Who else?)

2. Who is the only Israeli player to have won a UEFA Champions League medal?

Yossi Benayoun

3.Which player has scored the most Premier League goals for Chartlon... or even Charlton... Athletic?

Jason Euell

4. How many UEFA European Cup and Champions League finals have been held at Glasgow’s Hampden Park?

Three: 1960 Real Madrid 7-3 Eintract Frankfurt, 1976 Bayern Munich 1-0 Saint Etienne and 2002 Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen.

5. What is the link between football clubs Aston Villa, Millwall and Livingston?

They all have the nickname ‘The Lions’.

Five for this week?

1. Who am I?

I hailed from Belshill. In my playing career I was at Manchester City for eight years before spending nine years at Liverpool. When I moved into management I coached the same club for 24 years, during which time I led them to European Cup victory.

2. Which Norwegian was in Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League winning team?

3. Who made the most Premier League appearances for Derby County?

4. Which company sponsored both Rangers and Celtic in 1984?

5. What first was seen at the 1933 FA Cup Final between Everton and Manchester City?

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie? Must... re...sist.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr A. Aitken who provides us with our finishing clip this week. A. Aitken? Yes, birthday boy Tony Aitken who, though uncredited, was the ‘Merrie Balladeer’ seen at the end of each Blackadder II episode. So, let’s close with... a close .  But not too close; remember social distancing.

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

 

Happy grambling.

 

Monday, 8 June 2020

Weeks 43 to 45 - Rip van Gramble

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.
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
 
Did you hear the one about the guy who buys a fish supper from a Chinese chippie and was somewhat taken aback when the server wanted to inflict an injury on him?
What the server actually said was, 'You want sore finger?'
Okay, so that was a somewhat racist joke to start this week's gramble. Why, I hear you ask. I promised you an explanation to being a little tardy with the blogs in the past week or three and that joke serves as an introduction to this edition.
I've got a sore finger. [Ahh, poor you... he said without an ounce of sympathy. - Ed.] It's not funny. [Nor was that introductory joke. - Ed.]
A few weeks back I was in the garden pottering away in the potting shed, potting seedlings into... erm... pots. As you do. How interesting, I hear you remark. [You're confusing the word interesting with tedious. - Ed.] Any road up, the following morning my finger was a bit sore. Oh dear, I thought. As the day progressed, the pain increased and my whole finger... stop sniggering at the back... was swollen and turning quite red.
Although the lockdown has meant that we would prefer not to go to doctors' surgeries, I felt I had no alternative so I phoned the surgery fully expecting to be told to take a couple of painkillers, but no, I was told to hot foot it down to the surgery.
Have you been to such a place lately? It is a strange experience. My first instruction was to clean my hands with sanitising gel. Then I was told to don a face mask. Finally I was told to stand around the corner so that I was nowhere near the reception staff. Charming!
After a couple of minutes I was instructed to head round the corner where I was greeted by the doctor who was also wearing a face mask. She also had on a protective apron and rubber gloves.
I was taken to her surgery and the finger was examined. I was prescribed a week long course of antibiotics (Odd... when I typed antibiotics, the spell checker altered it to anti Boris.).
What has that got to do with this blog being a bit late, I hear you ask. [I should see someone about all these voices you're hearing. - Ed.] Well, the dose was the highest possible of that particular powerful drug. One of the side effects associated with it was drowsiness. Not a problem in itself, but I take a load of other drugs each day... prescribed, I hasten to add... and a few of those also cause drowsiness. The additional anti Boris made my already dopey state even more lethargic than usual.
Asleep became my default setting.
My reason for telling you that things would soon be back to normal, in my last blog, was that I thought by the time I was due to publish the next edition, the antibiotics would be finished and my finger would be sorted.
As Brendan Foster so succinctly put it when he made a complete arse of quoting Robert Burns, 'It’s at times like these that the best laid plans of mice and men go right out the window.' And they certainly have with me.
I finished my course of anti Bor... antibiotics. Unfortunately, whatever was causing the poisoning in my finger hadn't finished. Once again,I contacted my doctor's surgery. This time, I was not asked to go to the surgery so that someone could have a look at it. The lady on the phone said, 'I'm not asking you come to the surgery so that I can look at it; instead I'll put you on another course of anti Borises... I mean antibiotics. If it isn't right after that, phone again and we'll take a look.'
Guess what, after another week of sleepiness, it still isn't right. So the call has been made and an audience has been granted so I will be heading to see doctor Darth Vader later on today. I'll keep you posted.*
On the subject of fingers, my favourite news rag, the Daily Fail, recently had a 'news' article that claimed 'research' has shown that men whose ring finger is longer than their fore finger are more likely to suffer mild Covid-19 symptoms. It didn't say whether those with a shorter ring finger were unlikely to get the virus or whether they would be hit harder. For news article read random bollocks lifted straight from the net. It is an utterly meaningless piece of sh... writing. It is possible to compare any physical attributes and come to a similar conclusion. It might as well say that people with big noses are more likely to suffer symptoms. Or people with blue rather than brown eyes. Or facial hair. Or glasses. I'm straying into Guess Who territory now. I do apologise.
Was it Mark Twain who said there are lies, damn lies and statistics? Or was it Disraeli. Whoever it was, he was right; statistics can be used to come to whatever conclusion you want.
I checked my own hands nonetheless... Just in case there was any truth in the newspaper article. Now, like many people, my left hand and right hand are slightly different. On my left hand, the ring finger is shorter. Phew. No, not phew. On my right, the ring finger is longer. Thus, I would appear to be susceptible to getting the virus... Or am I? Possibly not. Perhaps. Maybe.
Thank goodness we've cleared that up.
*I have been seen by doctor Vader and, would you Adam and eve it, I've been given another course of anti Borises... a different, even stronger type.
If this goes on much longer people will be calling me Rip van Winkle.
 
.....oooOooo.....
 
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 23rd of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
William Hunter 1718 (Physician.), Thomas Orde-Lees 1877 (Explorer and parachutist... probably not at the same time.), Herbert Marshall 1890 (Actor.), Billy Smith 1895 (Footy bloke.), Marius Goring 1912 (Ector, dear leddie.), Denis Compton 1918 (Crickety bloke.), Humphrey Lyttleton 1921 (Posh trumpety bloke.), Norman Thelwell 1923 (Cartoonist. Famous for his drawings of pony club girls.), Desmond Carrington 1926 (Broadcaster.), Nigel Davenport 1928 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Joan Collins 1933 (Ectress, luvvie.), Ian Kennedy Martin 1936 (Scriptwriter. Wrote The Sweeney, dint he.), Robert Sangster 1936 (Racehorse owner.), Johnny Ball 1938 (TV presenter. Zoe’s dad.), Fred Wedlock 1942 (Musician. He once had a hit record and here it is. The Oldest Swinger in Town.), Vivian MacKerrell 1944 (Not particularly successful actor. So, why is he honoured here? Withnail from Withnail and I was based on him. So now you know.), Andrew Burt 1945 (Actor. The first actor to play Jack Sugden in Emmerdale Farm. Him.), Anthony May 1946 (Jobbing actor.), Don Warrington 1951 (Actor. Philip in Rising Damp. Him.), Dillie Keane 1952 (Actress, Comedienne and member of Fascinating Aida. Have a clip. It’s called Dogging. It is a bit rude. You have been warned.), Rick Fenn 1953 (Geetarist. One fifth of 10CC. [That’s 2cc. - Ed.] Here’s Last Night.), Dave MacKinnon 1956 (Fitba guy.), Simon Honey 1956 (Who? A porn ‘actor’ known as Ben Dover. Oh dear.), Craig Brown 1957 (Satirist.), Bob Mortimer 1959 (Comedian.), Michel Roux Jr. 1960 (Cook.), Simon Gilbert 1965 (Drummy bloke with Suede. A clip? Why not. Here’s Electricity. [Alec who? - Ed.]), Jon Champion 1965 (Footy commentator.), Graham Hick 1966 (Crickety bloke.), Philip Selway 1967 (Drummy bloke with Radiohead. Have a clip. Here’s a song dedicated to Marvin.  One for Douglas Adams fans there.), Craig Whyte 1971 (Businessman, it says here.), George Osborne 1971 (Politician.), Martin Saggers 1972 (Crickety umpiry bloke.), Richard Jones 1974 (A Stereophonic. A clip? And why not. Here’s The Bartender and the Thief.  [Here are the bartender and the thief, for goodness’ sake. And I prefer the term barman to bartender... Although, it could be a female; a barmaid. At least bartender covers both male and female bar workers. Mmm... I’ll get me coat. - Ed.]), Darren Styles 1975 (Record producer, DJ, singer and songwriter. Here he is as half of Styles and Breeze with Heartbeats.), Stephen Glass 1976 (Fitba guy.), Richard Ayoade 1977 (Comedian, actor, filmmaker, writer, author and television presenter. In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Ross Davenport 1984 (Swimmy bloke.), Scott Morrison 1984 (Fitba guy.), Ross Wallace 1985 (Fitba guy.), Heidi Range 1985 (A Sugababe. Have a clip. Here’s Hole in the Head.), Ryan Fulton 1996 (Footy bloke.) and Joe Gomez 1997 (Footy bloke.).
 
And now... May the 30th
 
Robert Darwin 1766 (Doctor. Charlie’s dad.), Alfred Moss 1896 (Racing driver. Stirling and Pat’s dad.), Howard Hawks 1896 (Film producer.), John Gilroy 1898 (Artist famous for his advertising posters.), Irving Thalberg 1899 (Film producer.), Mel Blanc 1908 (Voice actor.), Benny Goodman 1909 (Known as The king of Swing. Have a clip. Sing Sing Sing.), Freddie Frith 1909 (Motorbike racey bloke.), Hugh Griffith 1912 (Actor, isn’t it.), Clint Walker 1927 (Actor. Cheyenne Bodie. Him.), J.D. Power III 1931 (Founder of marketing firm that bears his name.), Ray Cooney 1932 (Playwright. Wrote the successful Run for Your Wife. Oh, how we laughed. You think that title was punny? How about Stand by Your Bedouin? Wife Begins at Forty?), Peter Ellis 1936 (Actor. Chief Superintendent Brownlow in The Bill. Him.), Christopher Robbie 1938 (Actor. He was in Doctor Who. He played a cyberman.), Charles Collingwood 1943 (Actor. Brian Aldridge in The Archers. Him.), Lenny Davidson 1944 (Geetarist with the Dave Clark Five. He sang lead vocal on this, Everybody Knows. [Well, I didn’t know. - Ed.]), Norman Eshley 1945 (Actor. Seemed to be in everything in the early seventies. Played two different characters in Man About the House and then a different character again in the spin-off George and Mildred.), Bob Willis 1949 (Crickety bloke.), Wild Willie Barrett 1950 (Geetarist. Here are a couple of songs he performed with John Otway on The Old Grey Whistle Test.), Joshua Rozenberg 1950 (Journo.), Nicholas ‘Topper’ Headon 1955 (Drummy bloke. A clip? Why not. Here’s one that highlights his style of playing, Tommy Gun.), Philip Bretherton 1955 (Jobbing actor. Alistair Deacon in As Time Goes By. Him.), David Shukman 1958 (Journo.), Stephen ‘Tintin’ Duffy 1959 (Musician. Here’s his ‘it. Kiss Me.), Harry Enfield 1961 (Actor, comedian.), Helen Sharman 1963 (Astronaut.), Sally Dynevore 1963 (Actress. Sally Metcalfe in Corrie. Her.), Chris Sharrock 1964 (Jobbing drummer. He has worked with... deep breath... The Icicle Works, The La’s, The Wild Swans, World Party, Terry Hall, Del Amitri, Spiritualized, The Lightning Seeds, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Eurythmics, Sack Trick, Sinead O’Connor, Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart. Here’s an early toon, Love is a Wonderful Colour.), Mark Sheppard 1964 (Actor. Crowley in Supernatural. Him.), Troy Donockly 1964 (A bit of Nightwish. A clip. Here is a track called Noise complete with creepy video.), Tim Burgess 1967 (Musician and record label owner. Frontman for The Charlatans. Here is One to Another.), Rachael Stirling 1977 (Actress. Becky in Detectorists. Her. Diana Rigg is her mum, you know.) and Steven Gerrard 1980 (Footy bloke la’.).
An Old Grey

 
Let’s not forget the 6th of June...
 
Diego Velázquez 1599 (Painter. Very reasonable rates.), Alexander Pushkin 1799 (Orfer.), Robert Falcon Scott 1868 (Explorer. Not a real falcon.), Annie Knight 1895 (Supercentenarian. She lived til she was 111 years and 174 days old.), Henry Allingham 1896 (Another supercentenarian. He lived til he was 113 years and 42 days old. Take that, Annie Knight!), Edris Stannus 1898 (Who? Better known to her ballet dancing chums as Ninette de Valois.), Walter Abel 1898 (Actor. Appeared in over 60 films. Danny Reed in Holiday Inn, that was him.), Arthur Askey 1900 (Comedian, it says here.), Lester Matthews 1900 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in hunners of films; mainly B movies.), Isaiah Berlin 1909 (Social and political theorist.), Guy ‘Griff’ Griffiths 1915 (Royal marines pilot. Spent some time as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III, the basis of The Great Escape, where he forged documents. The Donald Pleasance character, perhaps? Except he didn’t go blind. Hope not, as, after the war, he became a test pilot and was the first royal marines officer to fly a helicopter.), Kenneth Connor 1918 (Actor. Mainly comedy roles. Appeared in 17 Carry On films.), Peter Alexander Rupert Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington, Baron Carrington of Upton, KG, GCMG, CH, MC, PC, DL (Phew!) 1919 (Politician.), Aubrey Richards 1920 (Jobbing actor.), Michael Ffolkes 1925 (Cartoonist.), R. D. Wingfield 1928 (Orfer. Created the character of Inspector Frost.), Chris Canavan 1928 (Actor. You don’t know him? Actually, neither do I; I just liked his ‘career’ which was,basically, as a background extra on Coronation Street. He played various, non-speaking, roles from 1962 to 2013.), Jeremy Wilkin 1930 (Another jobbing actor. He provided the voice of Virgil Tracy in Thunderbirds and Captain Ochre in Captain Scarlet.), Sally Mugabe 1931 (Wife of Bob.), Billie Whitelaw 1932 (Ectress. Appeared in more than 60 films.), Levi Stubbs 1936 (A Top. Have a clip. All together now... Sugar pie, Honey bunch...), Bill Anderson 1937 (Highland games sportsman.), Chris Sandford 1938 (Actor turned orfer. For viewers of Corrie in the early years, he played Walter Potts.), Gary U.S. Bonds 1939 (Singer. Howzabout a clip? What time is It?  That looks like a lockdown haircut.), Willie John McBride 1940 (Rugby bloke.), Asif Iqbal 1943 ( کرکٹ کھلاڑی), Douglas Fielding 1946 (Actor. Sgt. Quilley in Z-Cars. Him.), Tony Levin 1947 (Jobbing bassist. He has worked with... once again, deep breath... Cher, Asia, John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Joan Armatrading, Tom Waits, Buddy Rich, Todd Rungren, Seal, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Laurie Anderson, Yes, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Peter Gabriel, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, Peter Frampton, Richie Sambora, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. Here he is with Mr Gabriel. All together now... Hans plays with Lotte... Tony’s the baldy guy in the long coat.), David Blunkett 1947 (Politician.), Robert Englund 1947 (Actor. Freddie Kruger in Nightmare on Elm Street. Him.), Richard Sinclair 1948 (Bassist/singer. Here he is providing vocals on the Camel song Metrognome.), Ian Bowyer 1951 (Footy bloke.), Sandra Berhard 1955 (Comedienne, actress, singer... You name it.), Björn Borg 1956 (Tennisspelare.), Mike Gatting 1957 (Crickety bloke.), Danny Webb 1958 (Jobbing actor.), Alex Giannini 1958 (Another jobbing actor.), Paul Burrell 1958 (Butler. Not quite sure what butling entails, whatever it is, he did it.), Josie Lawrence 1959 (Comedienne/actress.), Amanda Pays 1959 (Actress. Tina McGee in The Flash. Her.), James Harris III aka Jimmy Jam (I wonder if he realises that is a daft name for pyjamas in the Yuk.) 1959 (Songwriter and producer.  Wrote this with partner, Terry Lewis.), Steve Vai 1960 (Musician. Here’s a rather nice little toon, Tender Surrender. You’d think he would be able to afford a shirt.), Dee C. Lee 1961 (Singer. Here’s her ’it See the Day.), Jason Isaacs 1963 (Actor. Marshall Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin. Him.), Paul Welden aka Guru Josh 1964 (Musician. Here’s his biggest ’it Infinity.), Paul Giamatti 1967 (Actor), Tristan Gemmill 1967 (Actor. Robert Preston in Corrie. Him.), Carl Barât 1978 (Musician. One time Libertine co-frontman. Here is their biggest ’it Can't Stand Me Now), Philip McGinley 1981 (Actor. Tom Kerrigan in Corrie. Him.), Ayden Callaghan 1981 (Actor. Joe Roscoe in Hollyoaks. Him.), Ella Smith 1983 (Actress. Harriet Fitzgerald in Hoff the Record. Her.), Gemma Bissix 1983 (Actress. Claire Devine in Hollyoaks. Her.), Christian Brassington 1983 (Actor. Rev. Osborne Whitworth in Poldark. Him.) and Kyle Falconer 1987 (Singer with The View. Here is their biggie, Same Jeans.).
 
 
 
 
I’ve received a letter...
 
Dear Mr Ambergrambler,
We are great fans of the Four Tops. Levi Stubbs was a terrific lead vocalist. The track you gave a link to only got to number 23 in the British charts, but we are both convinced that they had a number 1, but we can’t remember which one. Can you help?
Yours hopefully,
 
.....oooOooo.....
 
Once again, there is nothing for The Grambler to predict this week, so let’s move straight on to....
 
Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers. Hang on, that’s a shopping list. Bear with me. I wrote them down on a bit of paper. It must be here somewhere. Ah... got it.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Gosforth on the 13th of August 1970. I joined my first club, Premier League side Southampton, in 1986. I spent my entire professional playing career in the English Premier League. I played over 300 games for my last club, Newcastle, and my statue now stands outside St. James’ Park.
Easy peasy... Alan Shearer
2. Since 1967 there have been six London derby finals. Can you name the three teams that have each won twice?
West Ham, Totenham Hotspur and Arsenal
3. Bayern Munich is by far the most successful German side in domestic competitions having won the German Football League Championship 29 times, but can you name the second most successful club which has lifted the league trophy nine times?
FC Nürnberg
4. Everton have worn blue shirts since 1892, but what colour of shirt were they wearing prior to that?
Pink [No wonder they changed it. - Ed.]
5. Who was the last Irish player to receive Manchester City’s player of the year award?
Stephen Ireland
 
Righty ho, let’s have a few for this week.
1. Who am I?
I began my playing career at Högaborgs BK before transferring to Helsingborg in 1992. After moving to Feyenoord I was signed by Celtic for a fee of £650,000. I spent seven years there and scored over 242 goals in 315 games.
2. Who is the only Israeli player to have won a UEFA Champions League medal?
3.Which player has scored the most Premier League goals for Chartlon Athletic?
4. How many UEFA European Cup and Champions League finals have been held at Glasgow’s Hampden Park?
5. What is the link between football clubs Aston Villa, Millwall and Livingston?
 
There you go; five teasers to consider... hopefully, without resorting to Googly.
 
.....oooOooo.....
 
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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
 
.....oooOooo.....
 
Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
 
…..oooOooo…..
 
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr H. Enfield and a Miss J. Lawrence, both of whom feature in this week’s birthday honours, who provide us with this week’s finishing clip. I have referred to Norbert Smith: A Life before in an edition of this blog. I still believe it to be Harry Enfield’s best piece of work, even though it is now over 30 years old. My reason for revisiting it is that the clip which I have found for your amusement this week contains a spoof American take on London in a song and dance ‘spectacular’ featuring Harry and Josie. It is probably the first time Harry ‘sang’ on television. When you watch it, you’ll understand why it was also probably the last time he sang on television.
 
 
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.
 
Happy grambling.
 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Week 41/42 - Grambling on orthinology


[Orthinology?  Don't you mean word botching? - Ed.]

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.


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

Apologies to all you regular readers out there that your favourite ill-informed blog hasn’t been around for a couple of weeks. I shall explain why next week. [Ooh. A mystery. I love a mystery. - Ed.] In the meantime, on with this week’s edition.

Does anyone out there in Gramblerland remember a situation comedy from over 40 years ago called The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin? It was about a middle class, middle-aged man in a middle-management job who was, basically, in the middle of a nervous breakdown. In order to escape the rat race, he decides to fake his own suicide and then live his life as somebody else entirely. It doesn’t seem like a source for any kind of comedy, but this well-written and equally well-performed look at one man’s way of dealing with a mid-life crisis was comedy gold and ran to four series. The last of these looked at how the show’s other characters dealt with Reginald Perrin’s death following the actual death of Leonard Rossiter who played Reggie.

33 years after the original series aired, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb remade it as Reggie Perrin which starred Martin Clunes as the title character.

Why am I telling you all of this? [Yes. Why? Yawn. - Ed.] Well, a running gag through the show was that someone would be speaking only to be totally drowned out by aircraft noise. After the noise had died away, another character would ask what he/she had just said and the answer was, ‘I see we’re on the flight path again.’ Okay, it doesn’t look particularly amusing when it is written down, but it was funny, honest... Perhaps you had to be there to appreciate the gag.

Any road up, this lockdown caper that we are all being advised to follow, must seem very strange to anyone who genuinely lives near an airport. No planes... other than crowded ones heading to Ireland. The last time anything like this occurred was back in 2010 when all planes were grounded thanks to the eruption of the Iceland volcano which went by the catchy name of Eyjafjallajökull.

Even better for everyone is the proliferation (That’s a good word. Must look it up.) of wildlife in places where it hasn’t been seen for years. Birds are returning to towns and cities up and down the country. It’s wonderful to see and hear them as they twitter merrily [I didn’t know birds had accounts. - Ed.]... ahem... away.

No it blibbing isn’t! We always have a problem at this time of year as birds fly over our garden with grub for their nippers. We have always been on the flight path. And what do birds do when they are in flight? They drop sh*t from a great height. Where does it land? On our washing that is hanging out to dry, that’s where. This year, because these feathered bombing machines have returned to the town in vast numbers, the problem is multiplied tenfold, at least. In other years there would have been the occasional direct hit but, this year, we can expect a couple or three for each line of washing. Either there are many more birds using our garden as part of the flightpath, or their aim is getting better. I don’t my telling you, I am getting a bit cheesed off with having to rewash all the clothing which has been pooed on.

For once, I won’t pretend that I have an answer. Well I do, but I’m not sure you can get a shotgun from Amozan?

 

 .....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 9th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Adam Opel 1837 (Engineer. Founded the company that bears his name. [Not since they changed the name to Starburst. - Ed.]), J.M. Barrie 1860 (Orfer who popularised the name Wendy.), Howard Carter 1874 (Grave robber.), Henry J. Kaiser 1882 (Shipbuilder.), May Warden 1891 (Ectress. Miss Sophie in Dinner for One. Her.), Barbara Woodhouse 1910 (Dog whisperer.), Scott Symon 1911 (Fitba guy.), Frank Chacksfield 1914 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s Little Red Monkey from 1953.  Factoid - That was the first time a tune featuring an electronic instrument entered the charts. Educational, this is.), Arthur English 1919 (Actor/comedian.), Richard Adams 1920 (Orfer. Wrote that one about rabbits.), Sheila Burrell 1922 (Ectress, luvvie.), Barbara New 1923 (Jobbing actress in many Beeb Beeb Ceeb comedy productions.), Pancho Gonzales 1928 (Tennisy bloke.), Joan Sims 1930 (Actress, most famously in the Carry On series of films; she appeared in 24.), Jan Holden 1931 (Another jobbing actress who appeared in many British shows from the fifties through to the seventies. Factoid - She is Amanda Holden’s great aunt.), David Plastow 1932 (Businessman. Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motors from 1972-1980. [Trust you to know that. Anorak! - Ed.]), Geraldine McEwan 1932 (Ectress, luvvie. One of many to have played Miss Marple.), Alan Bennett 1934 (Actor and orfer.), Roger Hargreaves 1935 (Originator of the Mister Men series of children’s books.), Albert Finney 1936 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Glenda Jackson 1936 (Actress. Then politician. Then actress again.), Terry Downes 1936 (Boxy bloke.), Ion Țiriac 1939 (Jucator de tenis.), James L. Brooks 1940 (Director, Producer and screenwriter. He has been executive producer of The Simpsons since it started in 1989.), Dorothy Hyman 1941 (Runny bloke.), Tommy Roe 1942 (Singer. Have a clip... I’m feeling a bit wobbly...giddy even... or perhaps dizzy), Rita May 1942 (Actress. Margaret in Trollied. Her.), Vince Cable 1943 (Politician. Ex leader of the Liberal Democrats. [He held them together. Geddit? Cable? Held togeth... I’ll get me coat. - Ed.]), Tony Prince 1944 (Radio DJ. Used to be on Radio Luxembourg when I were a nipper.), Steve Katz 1945 (Member of Messrs Blood, Sweat and Tears... not sure which one he was. They seem happy, anyway.), Candice Bergen 1946 (Actress.), Malcolm Nash 1946 (Crickety bloke.), Anthony Higgins 1947 (Jobbing actor seen in many British film and TV productions.), Billy Joel 1949 (Musician. Have a clip. This reached number 136 in the Yuk top 40... Hang on, that can’t be right. Here’s Piano Man.), Tom Petersson 1950 (A bit of Cheap Trick. Here, live is Eight Miles Low.), Matthew Kelly 1950 (Actor. Cyril Babcock in Benidorm. Him.), Juliet Cadzow 1951 (Actress. Edie McCredie in Balamory. Her.), Patrick Ryecart 1952 (Ectaw. The Duke of Norfolk in The Crown. Him.), Jane Booker 1956 (Another jobbing actress who crops up in loads of British films and telly and stuff.), Tessa Peake-Jones 1957 (Actress. Raquel in Only Fools and Horses. Her.), Tracey Brabin 1961 (Actress turned politician. Tricia Armstrong in Corrie. Her.), Sal Solo 1961 (His birth name was either Charles Smith or Chris Stevens; Wikipedia can’t decide which. Anyway, he is a singer. Here’s San Damiano.), Paul Heaton 1962 (Singer/songwriter. The Grauniad likes him... ‘one of our finest songwriters: his music reveals an exuberant ear for melody, his lyrics a keen eye and a brilliant wit’ Have a clip. This is The Ladder's Bottom Rung. Great title.), Dave Gahan 1962 (Depeche Mode frontman for 40 years. Here’s a solo hit with another great title, Dirty Sticky Floors.), Simon Evans 1965 (Comedian.), Don Goodman 1966 (Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell player. Yay! Known as The Don... at least at Fir Park he was.), Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock 1968 (Footy bloke. Now appearing on any celebrity show near you.), Peter Wilkinson 1968 (Jobbing bassist. Here he is with Echo, not forgetting those Bunnymen, playing Stormy Weather. Actually, you don’t see him, but he is in there strumming away.), Joy Brook 1969 (Actress. WPC Kerry Holmes in The Bill. Her.), Jason Lee 1971 (Footy bloke.), Don Hutchison 1971 (Foo’y blurk.), Paul McGuigan 1971 (One time bassist with Oasis. Have a clip. Here’s Phil Tufnell introducing them playing Raul wiv it.  They are mad for it, apparently.  You can't argue with facts like that.), Martin Lewis 1972 (Financial guru.), Gillian Kearney 1972 (Actress. Emma Barton in Emmerdale. Her.), Sally Carman 1981 (Actress. Abi Franklin in Corrie. Her.), Laura Muir 1993 (Runny bloke.) and Beth Mead 1995 (Footy bloke.).

What about May the 16th? Let’s see now...

Mary Gordon 1882 (Actress. What do you mean you’ve never heard of her? She was in over 300 films, for goodness’ sake.), Richard Tauber 1891 (Chanter. Here’s You Are My Heart's Desire.), Henry Fonda 1905 (Actor.), H. E. Bates 1905 (Orfer. Darling Buds of May, that was one of his.), Studs Terkel 1912 (Orfer.), Woody Herman 1913 (Musician. Have a clip. You might recognise this.), Wilf Mannion 1918 (Footy bloke.), Liberace 1919 (Wig-wearing player of the joanna. Have a clip. This is the Bumble Boogie.), Glen Michael 1926 (Wig-wearing actor and children’s entertainer.), Brian Trueman 1932 (TV presenter. Don’t think he wore a wig.), Roy Hudd 1936 (Comedian.), Billy Cobham 1944 (Drummer. How about some jehhhzzz... Here's Stratus.), Nicky Chinn 1945 (Songwriter. With Mike Chapman he composed many a 70s hit. Here’s one they wrote for Mud, Dynamite.), Bob Young 1945 (Musician. He wrote a few ‘its for Status Quo... but here is a track from the Young & Moody Band called These Eyes), Robert Fripp 1946 (Musician. Fancy a bit of ambient. Here he is with a certain Mr Eno performing The Heavenly Music Corporation), Darrell Sweet 1947 (Drummy bloke with Nazareth. Have a clip. Here is Star.), Jesper Christensen 1948 (Skuespiller. Hr. Hvid. Hej M.), Judy Finnegan 1948 (TV presenter. As in Richard &...), Christian Lacroix 1951 (Posh dress maker.), Pierce Brosnan 1953 (Actor. James number five... or is it six?), Hazel O’Connor 1955 (Actress/singer. Here’s Will You. [Will I what? - Ed.] Groan...), Glenn Gregory 1958 (Frontman of Heaven 17. Have a clip. Here he is being crushed by the wheels of industry), Andrew Innes 1962 (Musician. Rhythm guitarist in Primal Scream and also went on to form Revolving Paint Dream and recorded this rather upbeat song, Flowers in the Sky.), Rebecca Front 1964 (Actress/comedian.), Milton Jones 1964 (Comedian.), Mary Anne Hobbs 1964 (DJ.), Vincent Regan 1965 (Jobbing actor that seems to be involved in most UK dramas at some point.), Janet Jackson 1966 (Singer. A clip? What have you done for her lately?), Gabriela Sabatini 1970 (Jugadora de tenis.), Simon Katz 1971 (Part of Jamiroquai... though not the cat in the hat... and Gorillaz. Let’s have some high times with Jamiroquai.), Karen Ramirez 1971 (Singer. Here’s her biggest ‘it, Looking for Love. [Where do you think you left it?  Have you tried down the sofa? - Ed.]), Richard Blackwood 1972 (Actor/presenter.), Rupert Young 1978 (Actor. Sir Leon in Merlin. Him.), Jim Sturgess 1978 (Actor/singer/songwriter. First starring role was in Across the Universe. And? And he sang a few songs, so let’s have a clip. All My Loving with Spanish subtitles. Yay!), Joseph Morgan 1981 (Actor. Klaus in The Vampire Diaries. Him.) and Tom Stourton 1987 (Actor. Horrible Histories. He’s in that.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Gramblerambler,

We are great fans of Jamiamiraquai. Indeed, we have both loved Jammiammiraquoi since their very first record, When You Gonna Learn. Jammyammyquire aren’t so popular these days, but I recall they actually once had a number one record. Can you remember what it was called?

Yours sincerileerily,


"Nice hat."
"I'm not wearing a hat."

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Once again, there is nothing for The Grambler to predict this week, so let’s move straight on to....

 

Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions?

1. Who am I?

I was born on the 15th of June 1992. I started my senior career at Al Mokawloon. In the 2012 Olympics I was named CAF Most Promising African Talent of the year. My current club paid a then-club record of £36.9 million for me. The fans’ nickname for me is the Pharaoh.

Answer : Mohamed Salah

2. What do the following clubs have in common?

Bristol City, Charlton Athletic, Cheltenham Town and Swindon Town.

Answer: Their nicknames all feature robins - sh*tt*ng little b*st*rds! [Calm down. - Ed.]

3. France won the 1998 World Cup Final against Brazil 3 nil. France played the last 22 minutes with ten men; which player was red-carded?

Answer: Marcel Desailly

4. Who was the first to receive the FIFA World Player of the Year award (1991)?

Answer: Lothar Matthäus

5. Which US player has scored the most Premier League goals?

Answer: Clint Dempsey

 

Five for this week? Here goes...

1. Who am I?

I was born in Gosforth on the 13th of August 1970. I joined my first club, Premier League side Southampton, in 1986. I spent my entire professional playing career in the English Premier League. I played over 300 games for my last club, Newcastle, and my statue now stands outside St. James’ Park.

2. Since 1967 there have been six London derby finals. Can you name the three teams that have each won twice?

3. Bayern Munich is by far the most successful German side in domestic competitions having won the German Football League Championship 29 times, but can you name the second most successful club which has lifted the league trophy nine times?

4. Everton have worn blue shirts since 1892, but what colour of shirt were they wearing prior to that?

5. Who was the last Irish player to receive Manchester City’s player of the year award?

 

There you go; five teasers to consider... without resorting to Googly.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).  That figure is now a little out of date as the total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund is currently £54,302.

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Ms J. Jackson who provides us with this week’s closing clip. How about a factoid first? The story behind YouTube’s beginnings. [Sorry pardon excuse me? Is this relevant? - Ed.] Indeed it is. The company was started in 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. Karim says that his reason for starting the business was because of his inability to find a particular clip online. You know how whenever there is a hint of scandal these days, somebody invariably sticks gate onto the end of a suitable word? Well, here is the clip that Karim was desperate to see; an incident that became known as Nipplegate. Seriously. Nipplegate. I ask you. Who would have thought that a business as huge as YouTube grew from such pervy beginnings. Huge? Definitely. It was sold to Google a year and a half after its formation for $1.65 billion. Not a bad little earner.

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

 

Happy grambling.