Saturday 7 March 2020

Week 31/32 - Fifty shades of Grambler

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


Those of you who are of a certain age will probably remember the days when, if you bought a second hand car, you were just asking for trouble. How so, I hear you ask. Quality of cars back in the seventies (yes I am that old) was iffy to say the least. Cars such as Skoda and Lada were constantly the butt of jokes... What do you call a Skoda without a roof? A skip... That sort of thing.

My first car was seven years old when I bought it and, though I liked it (it was my first car, after all) I had to concede that it was a heap of junk. Luckily, my dad was a keen mechanic who, though he was never a driver, loved working on cars. So that car had its engine stripped down and rebuilt, had the brake system and suspension virtually renewed and was completely repainted so that it looked like new. When the time came to sell it, I got a much higher price than I had paid for it and the buyer got a much better car than I had bought.

That first car was a Ford Corsair; it was replaced by a Morris 1100 which I kept for only two weeks because, during that fortnight, it let me down every day... at least once. Luckily I got my money back from the dodgy dealer I had bought it from... He had come to my house ready for a fight, but when said immobile vehicle refused to start, he didn't have any other option than to return my dosh... all 220 quids of it.

The Vauxhall Viva that became my next car was similarly useless, though dad worked his magic and the repainted version looked a lot better than the original rust bucket. Sadly dad's skills couldn't do anything about its fuel consumption. Twelve miles per gallon isn't very much is it?

The Mini Countryman which followed it was a brilliant car to drive... when it went that is. It too went through the same transformation process as the others and though it leaked everywhere, including oil from the engine and petrol from the fuel tank, it was a car that I was sorry to get rid of. It got replaced by a Ford Cortina (the one likened to a coke bottle). I say replaced; for a while I ran both cars and, after the sure footedness of the Mini, the Ford was a bit of a letdown. In the end, it was the Cortina which got the heave ho and I ran the Mini a bit longer.

The car that replaced it was... Can you guess? Yep. Another Mini. It was a smashing wee thing and I would have kept it but, when family came along, a bigger car was needed. A usable but tatty Renault 12 was purchased and once again dad got the paint tin out and, as it had been a silver car, I chose the nearest equivalent solid paint colour... battleship grey.

Why am I telling you all this? [Yes. Why? Yawn. - Ed.] Well, over the years there always seems to have been favourite colours for cars. When I first started driving, a popular car colour was mustard or orange [Bleuchh! - Ed.]. Then all sorts of brown shades took over as the most popular. Later on, there weren't many manufacturers not offering a lilac/purple option which seemed to get the nod from a lot of owners. Since then, we have gone through various 'favourite' colours. Red, black, silver, British racing green and white have all been the most common hue at some time or another. [And? - Ed.] And... The current favourite seems to be grey. Dull, boring, battleship grey.

Who would have thunk it... I started a fashion with my old grey Renault... Just a pity I was 30-odd years too early.
The one third from the right


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 29th of February? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Gioachino Rossini 1792 (Composer. Here’s a famous piece. You will no doubt recognise it at about the eight minute mark.  Hi ho Silver!), Jimmy Dorsey 1904 (Musician. Here’s his signature toon, Contrasts.), Dinah Shore 1916 (Singer. Here’s a toon you might know, Buttons and Bows. Early use of a cordless microphone, there. [You are being sarcastic, of course. - Ed.] Of course.), Joss Ackland 1928 (Actor. Still with us.), Jean Adamson 1928 (Writer and illustrator. Famous for her Topsy and Tim stories. Also still with us.), Polly Elwes (Ectress. Sedly, no longer with us.), Peter Wheeler 1944 (One time owner of car company TVR.), Clive Ricks 1956 (Crickety bloke.), Wendi Peters 1968 (Actress. Cilla in Corrie.) and Steven Cree 1980 (Actor.).

Now, onto the 7th of March. Rob Roy McGregor 1671 (Outlaw.), Nicéphore Niépce 1765 (Inventor. Photography pioneer.), Piet Mondrian 1872 (Penter.), Maurice Ravel 1875 (Composer who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a ball of wool. Famous for his  Bolero First time I’ve seen a conductor using a matchstick as a baton.), Edgar Evans 1876 (Explorer. Reached South Pole with Scott’s ill-fated expedition.), Reginald Maudling 1917 (Politician.), Eleanor Summerfield 1921 (Ectress. Merried to Leonard Sechs, him from orf of The Good Old Days.), Willie Waddell 1921 (Fitballer and source of a popular schoolboy joke.), George A. Cooper 1925 (Actor.), Richard Vernon 1925 (Ectaw. Slartibartfast, that was him.), Antony Armstrong-Jones aka Lord Snowdrop (Blibbing spellchecker!) 1930 (Married a princess; took pictures... erm... That’s it.), Zena Walker 1934 (Ectress.), Michael Eisner 1942 (Businessman. Used to be in charge of The House of Mouse.), Chris White 1943 (One time Zombie. He provides lead vocals on this, Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914).), Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet 1944 (Explorer, it says here.), Arthur Lee 1945 (A bit of Love. Here is song from 1966, 7 and 7 is, ten years before punk.), John Heard 1946 (Actor. Macaulay Culkin’s dad. [Really? - Ed.] No.), Walter Röhrl 1947 (Rallyefahrer. Sein name klingt sogar wie ein auto.), Ernie Isley 1952 (A brother. Have a clip. Who's she?), Viv Richards 1952 (Crickety bloke.), Bryan Cranston 1956 (Actor. Walter White, that’s him.), Robert Harris 1957 (Journo cum orfer.), Rick Mayall 1958 (Comedian.), Tom Lehman 1959 (Golfy bloke.), Ivan Lendl 1960 (Tenista.), Jim Spivey 1960 (Runny bloke.), Taylor Dayne 1962 (Singer cum actress. A song? Here’s Tell It To My Heart.  Odd place to have ears.), Erika Leonard aka E.L. James 1963 (Orfer. I say author; she wrote Fifty Shades of Grey.  Sounds like the Dulux colour chart. No doubt, battleship grey was in there.), Tommy Sheridan 1964 (Firebrand politician.), Jesper Parnevik 1965 (Golfspelare.), Rachel Weisz 1970 (Actress.), Ray Parlour 1973 (Footy bloke.), Paul Cattermole 1977 (A bit of S Club 7. This will bring it all back... up.), Colin Nish 1981 (Fitballer.), Mathieu Flamini 1984 (Footballeur et entrepreneur.), Murray Davidson 1988 (Fitballer.), Bel Powley 1992 (Actress. Little My, that’s her.), Jordan Pickford 1994 (Footy bloke.) and Liam Donnelly 1996 (Footy bloke. Plays for Motherwell. Yay!).





I’ve received a letter...


Dear Mr Crumble,

Thank you for giving a link to a song by the wonderful Taylor Dayne. The one you played was her first, and biggest, hit. I think the only other song of hers which made the British top ten was the immediate follow up to that one, but I can’t for the life of me remember the title of it. Can you help?

Yours with felicitations,






Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? We got some money back. Yay! Indeed yay. We got £4.52 back from our £2.20 outlay. An actual profit. What happened? Read on.



Crystal Palace vs Newcastle - Prediction Home win

Result - Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0


The Magpies' regular saviour Martin Dubravka had made two superb stops from Gary Cahill and Scott Dann before Patrick Van Aanholt found a way past him just before half-time with a glorious 20-yard strike.

Jordan Ayew went close on a couple of occasions, one of which came off the foot of the post, while Belgian Christian Benteke really should have done better with a header from six yards out.

Newcastle managed only two shots on target. Vicente Guaita was at full stretch to keep out a long-range effort from Joelinton and tipped over a fierce effort from Fabian Schar.

And to round off a thoroughly disappointing day for the visitors, Valentino Lazaro was shown a straight red in stoppage time for hauling down Wilfried Zaha, who was through on goal.


Sheffield Utd. vs Brighton - Prediction Home win

Result - Sheffield Utd. 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Enda [Edna? What kind of name is that for a footballer? - Ed.] Stevens' rasping finish put the Blades in control against Brighton but the lead was short-lived as Neal Maupay marked his return to the starting line-up with a headed equaliser.

Lewis Dunk missed a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead after the Blades lost Stevens to injury.

John Fleck went close from distance but Brighton worked hard to secure the draw.


Bristol C vs West Brom - Prediction Away win

Result - Bristol City 0 West Bromwich Albion 3


Callum Robinson gave the Baggies the lead in fortunate circumstances, the ball rebounding in off his head after Robins’ keeper Dan Bentley had saved the forward's initial shot.

Bentley was then at fault for Albion's second before the break when he failed to hold Jake Livermore's shot, presenting Hal Robson-Kanu with a simple tap-in.

Albion had to play the final 13 minutes with 10 men after Romaine Sawyers was shown a straight red card after grabbing Jamie Paterson by the throat, pushing a steward as he made his way off.

But Robson-Kanu sealed the win, intercepting Ashley Williams' back header and beating Bentley with a left-foot volley.


Stoke vs Cardiff - Prediction Home win

Result - Stoke City 2 Cardiff City 0


The Bluebirds gifted Stoke the lead when Callum Paterson headed into his own net from a corner.

Joe Allen scrambled the ball home from close range (after Tyrese Campbell's effort was blocked) to secure victory.


Swansea vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Swansea City 3 Huddersfield Town 1


Andre Ayew, Jay Fulton and Jordon Garrick were on target as Swansea won for the first time in six league games.

The Swans led after top scorer Ayew pounced on a rebound to claim his 13th goal of the season.

Steve Mounie's close-range strike 12 minutes from time levelled, but Fulton quickly restored Swansea's lead before Garrick sealed victory late on.


So, a good week for The Grambler. Can he/she/it keep it up this week? [In a word... no. - Ed.] Here are this week’s predictions.

Game - Result - Odds

Sheffield Utd. vs Norwich - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Accrington vs Tranmere - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Sunderland vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Cheltenham vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Northampton vs Mansfield - Prediction Home win - 19/20

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, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...



Not particularly whopping, it has to be said. [Why? - Ed.]  Why what? [Why does it have to said? - Ed.] Groan.




Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you what the original name of Burnley F.C. was.  A fairly easy one: they were known as Burnley Rovers and, if you want to be really pedantic, you could add the words Rugby Club, as the members of that club decided (in 1882) to switch from playing rugby union to association football.

One for this week? Which club (managed by Glenn Hoddle) was promoted to the Premier League and spent just one season there before dropping down the leagues? One to ask down the pub, I think.





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, we have a little treat [Uh oh. - Ed.] for the readers of this august blog. Rick Mayall, had he lived, would have been 62 this week. Anyone who read Week 41 - Grambling in a caramel shop  knows that I was a huge fan of Rick Mayall and his work. So this week, I thought you might like to see Rick from his early days on TV when he assumed the character of Kevin Turvey.  Here are his ‘Kevin Turvey Investigates’ features from the Beeb Beeb Ceeb Scotland show A Kick Up The Eighties. I do hope you enjoy them as much as I still do.




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


Happy grambling.


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