Thursday 23 January 2020

Week 25/26 - The Grambler on the roof

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


I've just seen that some new houses are being built near where I live. Good news for anyone who needs a house. Good news for those businesses involved in house construction. And good news for another type of business... I foresee a lot of work a few years down the line for anyone involved in the repair of roof leaks. You see, these new houses are being constructed with flat roofs. Why? Why do architects and builders persist in putting level roofs on buildings in a country where the climate is wet? Apart from the fact that it is a cheap option, that is. Fair enough in hot countries where any rain water quickly evaporates as soon as the rain stops, but here in Britain we get a lot of wet. Unfortunately, Britain isn’t a particularly warm place so rain water doesn’t evaporate; it hangs around and can permeate through any imperfections in a flat roof.

Just take a look at many of the tower blocks built in the past (see picture). There is a very good reason why the flat roofs have been replaced with pitched roofs. Okay, they look a bit odd, but at least they let rain water run off the building properly.

It seems that knowledge learned over hundreds of years its just cast aside by people who 'know better'.

Except they don't. I recall a story about a building designed as an exhibition centre being hailed as a work of genius because it had a vast covered space without the need for any pillars getting in the way thanks to a clever roof design based on hexagons, or was it pentagons. Any road up, it was dashed clever and was designed to be able to withstand all weather conditions. Except one. Apparently nobody had considered snow... heavy snow. Sure, it could cope with most snowfalls, but when a particularly heavy fall came, it most certainly couldn't cope; especially when more snow came on top of the first. The architect had worked on the principle that when snow came down it settled for a short while then melted. Did I tell you this building was in Canada? Hmm... They do a lot of snow in Canada. I don't need to tell you what happened, but I think a rebuild took place with some pillars added for good measure.

Think also of the footage you see of suspension bridges swinging about like skipping-ropes when they are hit by hurricanes. Architects and engineers seem to forget the most basic of facts at times. Things used to be over-engineered so that they could withstand the known weather conditions as well as being able to remain standing in ‘unprecedented’ weather. I put unprecedented in inverted commas because it is a word you hear a lot whenever a bridge/building collapses. ‘This severe weather is unprecedented’, so-called experts (usually wearing a hard hat and a high vis vest) announce while standing in front of some collapsed structure. Basically, it is the go-to excuse for someone has ballsed this up. No, it isn't unprecedented... you just forgot that weather is unpredictable.
Some giant shampoo bottles




Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 18th of January? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. John Nash 1752 (Architect, not the singer. Brighton Pavilion, Marble Arch and Buck House were some of his better known efforts.), Peter Roget 1779 (Lexicographer - They can’t touch you for it - who came up with a thesaurus.), A.A. Milne 1882 (Orfer. Winnie the Pooh’s creator. Can be heard spinning in his grave every time Disney comes up with a new story.), Thomas Sopwith 1888 (Aviation pioneer.), Oliver Hardy 1892 (Half of a particularly famous comedy duo. [Really? Which one? - Ed.]), Archibald Leach 1904 (Better known as debonair actor Cary Grant.), Jacob Bronowski 1908 (Scientist and tv presenter.), David Kaminsky 1911 (Better known as comedy star Danny Kaye. Have a clip. You’ll know this.), David Bellamy 1933 (Botanist who called the notion of global warming ‘poppycock’. Don't let the sainted Greta hear you say such a thing.), John Boorman 1933 (Film maker.), Raymond Briggs 1934 (Author and illustrator. Creator of Fungus the Bogeyman.), David Howell 1936 (Politician.), Pedro Rodriguez 1940 (Conductor de carreras.), Bobby Goldsboro 1941 (Musician. Now, what clip shall we have? The mawkish Honey? What about his ‘coming of age’ song Summer (The First Time)? No let’s have this sell-out toon. I suddenly have a hankering for a well-known carbonated soft drink.), David Ruffin 1941 (A Temptation. Have a toon. All together now... I got sunshine on a cloudy day...), Paul Freeman 1943 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Dave Greenslade 1943 (Musician who, as well as being in various bands, composed the occasional tv theme tune. Here is one such.), Paul Keating 1944 (Strine prahm meeneester.), Gilles Villeneuve 1950 (Pilote de course.), Bob Latchford 1951 (Footy bloke.), Kevin Costner 1955 (Actor.), Paul Deighton 1956 (Politician.), Mark Rylance 1960 (Ectaw dear leddie. Have you seen his Flop in Bing Bunny? Ebsolutely marvellous; a man who really suffers for his art.), Peter Beardsley 1961 (Footy bloke and star of Athletico Mince.), Richard Dunwoody 1964 (Horse ridey bloke.), Jane Horrocks 1964 (Actress.), Jonathan Davis aka JDevil 1971 (A bit of Korn. Have some nu metal.), Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola 1971 (Entrenador de fútbol.), Crispian Mills aka Krishna Kanta Das 1973 (Musician. Here he is when he fronted Kula Shaker. ), Richard Archer 1977 (Hard-Fi main man. Let's have a song. Here’s an early one.), Estelle (Swaray) 1980 (Rappy type singer. Here’s a jolly toon.), Robert Green 1980 (Footy bloke.), Samantha Mumba 1983 (Singer. A clip? She’s got to tell you.) and José Ignacio Fernández Iglesias 1990 (Who? Oh Nacho. Footy... sorry, meant jugador de fútbol.).

What about the 25th of January? Anyone of import born on this day? Robert Boyle 1627 (Large spot called Bob.), Robert Burns 1759 (po-yit.), William Colgate 1783 (Soap and toothpaste manufacturer [Really? Which brand? - Ed.]), W. Somerset Maugham 1874 (Playwright.), Virginia Woolf 1882 (orfer.), Margery Sharp 1905 (Orfer. Wrote The Rescuers.), James Miller aka Ewan MacColl 1915 (Folk singer, songwriter, actor, poet, playwright and record producer... In fact, a right old smartyboots. Wrote Dirty old town and this rather nice toon.), Raymond Baxter 1922 (Television presenter.), Dean Jones 1931 (Actor.), Etta James 1938 (Singer. Here’s a tune you might know. She'd rather have blinds or something.), Eusébio (da Silva Ferreira) 1942 (Jogador de futebol.), Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade known as Tostão 1947 (Outro jogador de futebol.), John Cooper Clarke 1949 (Poet.), Steve Prefontaine 1951 (Runny bloke.), Peter Tatchell 1952 (Activist.), Andy Cox 1956 (Geetarist. A bit of The Beat and a Fine Young Cannibal. Here he is in yet another group, Two Men, A Drum Machine and A Trumpet and they’re tired of getting pushed around.), David Ginola 1967 (Footballeur aux cheveux longs.), Francis Jeffers 1981 (Footy bloke.), Alicia Keys 1981 (Musician. Have a clip. I think she might be falling.) and Robson de Souza aka Robinho 1984 (Mais um jogador de futebol.).




I’ve received a letter...


Dear Mr Blundell,

Thank you for the link to a Kula Shaker song. I believe they had four other top ten hits. I remember Hush, Tatva and Sound of Drums, but I cannot remember the other one. Can you help?

Yours curiously,





Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? It won. Yay? Definitely not yay. 72 pees back from our £2.20 stake. Not much is it? What happened? Read on.



Everton vs Brighton - Prediction Home win

Result - Everton 1 Brighton 0


The Toffees deservedly took the lead after 38 minutes thanks to the superb skill of Brazilian forward Richarlison, who controlled Lucas Digne's pass, swivelled and curled an effort low into the far corner past Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Everton thought they had doubled their lead in the second half when Dominic Calvert-Lewin bundled the ball over the line but a video assistant referee (VAR) check disallowed the goal for handball.

VAR had earlier been called into action when Theo Walcott broke through on goal four minutes in, before appearing to be pulled back by Seagulls captain Lewis Dunk inside the box.

But the penalty appeal was waved away, much to the dismay of a packed Goodison Park.


Leicester vs Southampton - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Southampton 2


The Foxes took an early lead when Dennis Praet tapped in his first goal for the club.

But any thoughts of another easy victory for Brendan Rodgers' side were quickly dispelled when Stuart Armstrong equalised with a deflected shot.

Danny Ings was a thorn in Leicester's side all afternoon and having already struck the crossbar twice, he slotted through Kasper Schmeichel's legs late on.

Leicester thought they had salvaged a draw with a 90th-minute equaliser from Jonny Evans but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled it out for offside.


Charlton vs West Brom - Prediction Away win

Result - Charlton 2 West Brom 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Kenneth Zohore put the Baggies ahead with a fine individual effort but the Addicks levelled with Josh Davison's first professional strike.

Albion led again through Hal Robson-Kanu's deflected shot but were denied victory as Tom Lockyer's header hit the post and went in off Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Coventry vs MK Dons - Prediction Home win

Result - Coventry 1 MK Dons 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Coventry had to settle for a draw against MK Dons despite the Sky Blues flying out of the traps with Sam McCallum's long-range effort in the first minute.

The early goal saw Coventry take control when McCallum's left-footed half-volley rifled past Lee Nicholls in the Dons goal.

Coventry had two chances in quick succession to double their lead after 68 minutes.

However, Nicholls was alert to deny both Matty Godden and Maxime Biamou.

The away side punished Coventry's wastefulness when they eventually equalised via Carlton Morris on 75 minutes.

Sam Nombe's cross from the right was not cleared properly by the Coventry defence and substitute Morris latched onto a loose ball to slam home a debut goal past Marko Marosi.


Sunderland vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 4 Wycombe 0


Most of the action came in the first half, with Sunderland racing into a 3-0 lead inside the first 21 minutes.

Lynden Gooch slid the ball across the six-yard box for Charlie Wyke to tap in and open the scoring.

Denver Hume added a second when Jordan Willis played a low ball into the penalty area and the youngster steadied himself before rifling home his first senior goal.

The Black Cats were rampant, and a third goal came after Gooch was felled inside the box by Anthony Stewart. Maguire smashed home the penalty.

The rout was completed in the 78th minute when Chris Maguire grabbed his second goal - a stunning free-kick which hit the underside of the woodwork before crossing the line.


Oh dear. Not The Grambler’s finest hour. Can he/she/it improve things this week? [Not on your Nelly. - Ed.]

Game - Result - Odds

Blackpool vs Tranmere - Result Home win - 8/11

Stevenage vs Plymouth - Result Away win - 19/20

Swindon vs Port Vale - Result Home win - 10/11

Queen of the South vs Alloa - Result Home win - 8/11

Raith vs Montrose - Result Home 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 Predictions (Ha ha ha, hee hee hee!), the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...



When it comes whoppingness, that isn’t even close.




Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you how many London derbies will take (including those that have aleady taken) place in the Premier League this season. The answer is 20. There are five London-based teams in the Premier League: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and West Ham and they play each other twice in the season. The simple equation is...

4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10 x 2 (home and away) = 20

How about one for this week? An easy one for you. What do Jairzinho, Chris Kamara, Gary McAllister and Robbie Elliot have in common. Unbelievable, Jeff!





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).  Incidentally, the Kick Cancer's Backside Fund's total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund currently sits at £53,717.




And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. O. Hardy who with a Mr S. Laurel provides this week’s finishing clip. Laurel and Hardy are probably the world’s most recognised comedy double act and they have a huge worldwide following thanks largely to an appreciation society named in honour of the lodge in the Laurel and Hardy film Sons of the Desert. The group has been in existence for nearly 55 years and aims to keep the memory of Laurel and Hardy films alive... as well as having a right old laugh at the many films the duo made. So, whether you are a member of the Sons or not, I hope you enjoy our finisher this week: The Music Box.



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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