Saturday 21 March 2020

Week 33/34 - The Grambler goes boing

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


As every letter to Points of View [Blimey! That's going back a bit. - Ed.] began... Why oh why oh why [Spells yoyoy. - Ed.] Ahem... are things made in such a way that repairing them is an absolute nightmare.  However do you mean, I hear you ask. Let me explain.

Many years ago, Mrs G and I had the kitchen replaced... All the units, I mean, not the actual kitchen. That would be silly.  It looked lovely when it was finished. All the units were integrated... but wouldn't answer any questions. Boom and as twere tish. Anyway, everything was hidden behind cupboard doors.  Fine and dandy... until there is a problem with any of the electrical white goods or, indeed, the water supply.

Our first realisation that something wasn't quite as sensibly put together as we would have appreciated was when we had occasion to shut off that very water supply. The stop cock was no longer easily accessible, as it had previously been.  Instead, it was hidden by a cupboard which had to be completely emptied so that a shelf could be removed; this then made it possible to reach in to shut off the water... if you were a contortionist.  Whoever put the units in had made no allowance for the fact that the stop cock occasionally had to have its cock stopped... if you get my drift.

That wasn't the only annoying installation problem. Oh no...

Mrs G uses the washing machine.  A lot.  Two or three washes a day are the norm; sometimes more... No, I don't know where it all comes from.  That is by the by. It all means that the washer is worked hard and, not surprisingly, it eventually cries ‘enough’ and refuses to function.

A quick phone call later, Mr washing machine repair man is at our door.
‘Thank goodness you've come,’ cries Mrs G, ‘it just packed in and I'd only completed the fourth wash of the day.’

The repair man, having calmed this hysterical lady down, set to work.  First task, obviously, after isolating the machine electrically, is to pull the integrated machine out of its hole.  It turned out that this action was impossible. Why? The kitchen fitter who had put the washing machine into position had cut the electric cable so short that it reached the electrical socket but there was none spare for, say, manoeuvring the machine out of its wee hidey hole because the cable was stuck behind all the other inte-f******-grated units.

Mr washing machine repair man remained remarkably calm in the circumstances. Mind you, asking to borrow my garden shears to chop the plug off might have been a bit of an overreaction.

Luckily, he managed to fix the machine and he also put a longer cable onto it to make his job a bit easier next time he was called out.

We had another occasion where we had to turn the water off at the main stop cock.  We noticed that above the kitchen sink, the ceiling was no longer flat. Indeed, there was water dripping from the ceiling where it was no longer flat. Uh oh, a leak. The source of the leak was the toilet cistern which was directly above the part of the ceiling that was no longer flat.  Having secured the services of a contortionist to shut off the water supply, we decided to check the cistern.

Did I tell you we had a bathroom which had the same sleek design as the kitchen? You know, everything hidden in cupboards or behind panels. No? Well we have. Now then, how do I get into the cistern?  Hmm, let’s see now... Wait a minute.  I don't believe it! (in my Victor Meldrew voice)

Who in their right mind fits a bathroom where there’s no f****** access to the f****** cistern!!!

Forget closed in and integrated, give me open and accessible any day of the week.



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

Actually, I have hit a bit of a snag; I snag I didn’t spot until this week (although, I should have noticed it in the last edition of this esteemed blog. [Esteemed? Who would esteem this load of twaddle? - Ed.]) Because 2016 and 2020 are both leap years, I am now repeating the birthday people from 2015. Oh dear. However, I didn’t give you all the links that I do now. I have found a site which lists a few more famous British folk; my previous source information was a bit Murcan-heavy. So without any further ado, [I quite like a ‘do’. - Ed.] here is a somewhat extended birthday honours list.

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 14th of March? Of course there were and here are some I have actually heard of. Georg Philipp Telemann 1681 ([TV repair man? - Ed.] No. Composer. Have a clip.  Here's Fantasie No 2 in A Minor. [I remember them. Morris Minor. Great little car. - Ed.] Jeezo!), Johann Strauss 1804 (Composer. The Waltz king’s dad. Here’s a piece you may not know. He only ever wrote two marches; one was the Radetzky March, this was the other... Jelačić Marsch.), Isabella Beeton 1836 (Author of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management which is recognised to be the first cook-book. Had it not been for this book we might never have had all the celebrity chefs that have graced our TV screens over the years... Hmm... Damn you, Mrs Beeton!), Casey Jones 1863 (Yes, him. The one that was always steaming and rolling. Hic!), Anton Philips 1874 (Founder of the electronics company of the same name. [Anton Electronics? Never heard of them. - Ed.]), Albert Einstein 1879 (One of the greatest minds of the last century and he’s famous for sticking his tongue out.), Lee Hays 1914 (A Weaver. Have a clip. Here’s Tzena, Tzena, Tzena. Lee’s the fellow who claps.), Bill Owen 1914 (Actor famous for playing the role of Compo.), Diane Arbus 1923 (Snapper.), Bonar Colleano 1924 (Actor.), Frank Borman 1928 (Spaceman.), Michael Caine 1933 (Ectah from saaahfeast Laaahndon. Not a lot of people know that.), Quincy Jones 1933 (Musician and producer. Here’s his big band with Killer Joe. Now that’s jehhhhz.), Eugene Cernan 1934 (Another spaceman.), Bob Charles 1936 (Sarth Ifrican golfy blike.), Eleanor Bron 1938 (Actress and writer.), Rita Tushingham 1942 (Actress. Starred in the 1961 film A Taste of Honey.), Robert Davis 1945 (Who? Oh, Jasper Carrott.), Pam Ayres 1947 (Poet.), Peter Skellern 1947 (Musician. Here is his hit, Hold On To Love.), Roy Budd 1947 (Pianist and composer. He wrote the theme for Get Carter. Not a lot of people know that.), Jona Lewie 1947 (Musician. Here’s his first solo hit. Isn’t that Kirstie MacColl? [Yes. They tell you it is. - Ed.]), Billy Crystal 1948 (Actor.), John ‘Ollie’ Halsall 1949 (Musician. Have a clip. Here he is stepping out. ), Rick Dees 1950 (Comedian. Had a hit with this. Ye gods!), Nick Webb 1954 (Musician. Here’s a jolly toon called Mr Chow. Trivia: Nick acted alongside Tony Hancock in the 1963 film The Punch and Judy Man.), David Taylor 1954 (Footy administrator.), Helen Atkinson-Wood 1955 (Actress. Mrs Miggins in Blackadder III, that was her.), Tessa Sanderson 1956 (Stick thrower.), Albert II of Monaco 1958 (The well-known prince.), Francine Stock 1958 (TV and radio presenter.), John Philliben 1964 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell player.), Sheila Chandra 1965 (Singer and writer. Here’s a toon you might know. She's ever so lonely.), James Grady 1971 (Fitba guy.), Ben Trott 1975 (Crickety bloke.), Phil Vickery 1976 (Rugby unionist.), Faye Barker 1977 (Newsreader.), Nicolas Anelka 1979 (Homme de Football.), Anas Sarwar 1983 (Politician.), Johnny Flynn 1983 (Musician and actor.), Ian Black 1985 (Fitba guy.), Jamie Bell 1986 (Actor.) and Ellie Bamber 1997 (Actress. Played Mandy Rice-Davies in The Trial of Christine Keeler.).

And now... the 21st of March. Johann Sebastian Bach 1685 (Composer. Have a clip. Here’s Air on the G-String.  [Ooer, missus. - Ed.]), Modest Mussorgsky 1839 (Composer. Here he takes us to some pictures at an exhibition.), Florenz Zeigfeld 1839 (Theatre director and producer. Famous for his theatrical revues the Zeigfeld Follies which ran from 1907 to 1931.), Herbert Ponting 1870 (Photographer on Scott’s Antarctic expeditions.), John D. Rockefeller III 1906 (Rich bloke.), Peter Bull 1912 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Paul Tortellier 1914 (Cellist. Here is another bit of Bach.), Peter Brook 1925 (Theatre and film director.), James Coco 1929 (Actor.), Michael Heseltine 1933 (Politician. Don’t mention a certain helicopter company.), Christopher Trace 1933 (The first disgraced Blue Peter presenter, but not the last.), Brian Clough 1935 (Mouthy footy bloke.), Michael Foreman 1938 (Author and illustrator.), Solomon Burke 1940 (Singer. Here’s his hit.), Vivian Stanshall 1943 (Eccentric singer with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Here they are on Jollity Farm.), Ray Dorset 1946 (Mungo Jerry’s frontman. Here’s the band’s biggest hit. All together now... ch ch ch oh. They have got to be the best ever sideburns.), Timothy Dalton 1946 (Actor. The Welsh James Bond.), Roger Hodgson 1950 (A bit of Supertramp. Have a clip.  Sweet dreams.), Andy Parker 1952 (UFO [I beg your pardon? - Ed.] drummer. [Oh, I see. - Ed.] Here’s a clip from 41 years ago... Doctor Doctor.), Nigel Dick 1953 (Musician turned video director. Here’s one he made. All together now... Shout. Shout. Let it all out. ), Steve Halliwell 1954 (Actor. Zak Dingle, that’s him.), Richard H. Kirk 1956 (Musician. Another clip? Here is Freezone.), Guy Chadwick 1956 (Musician. Here’s another clip... Shine on.), Gary Oldman 1958 (Actor.), Sarah Jane Morris 1959 (Singer. Here she is with the Communards... Don't Leave Me This Way.), Lothar Matthaus 1961 (Fußballmann.), Matthew Broderick 1962 (Actor.), Ronald Koeman 1963 (Voetbal man.), Richard Cadette 1965 (Footy bloke.), Adrian Chiles 1967 (Presenter. Still looks like a talking toby jug.), Greg Ellis 1968 (Actor. Lieutenant Theodore Groves, that’s him.), Derek Townsley 1973 (Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell.), Mark Williams 1975 (Snookery bloke), Thomas Gandey 1976 (Musician. Here he is... Hello there.), Sam Troughton 1977 (Actor. Much, the Miller’s son.), Jamie Delgado 1977 (Tennisy bloke.), Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines 1978 (A Kaiser Chief. A clip? Why, soitenly. This only reached number 179 in the UK charts which was a bit of a shock to them, which is apt given the title.), Ronaldhino Gaucho 1980 (Jogador de futebol sorridente.), Bruno Langley 1983 (Not the first disgraced Coronation Street actor and, probably, not the last.), Lee Cattermole 1988 (Another footy bloke), Mark Garside 1989 (Ice hockey bloke from Polomint City.) and Matty Longstaff 2000 (Footy bloke.).



I’ve received a letter...


Dear Mr Humbler,

Thanks for giving a link to that fantastic band, Supertramp. Dreamer was their first hit, but it wasn’t their biggest. Neither of us can remember what that tune was. Can you help?

Yours with knobs on,





Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? Don’t ask. What happened? Read on.


Sheffield Utd. vs Norwich - Prediction Home win

Result - Sheffield United 1 Norwich City 0


The hosts looked in control when Billy Sharp headed in.

But with 13 minutes left United’s goalkeeper Dean Henderson had to dive bravely at the feet of Mario Vrancic to keep out a Ben Godfrey header and then blocked the rebound.


Accrington vs Tranmere - Prediction Home win

Result - Accrington Stanley 1 Tranmere Rovers 2


Goals from James Vaughan and Mark Ellis gave Tranmere a win over Accrington, who finished with 10 men.

Stanley forced all the early pressure, with Dion Charles firing wide and Scott Davies denying Callum Johnson, but it was Tranmere who opened the scoring with their first attack on eight minutes.

A Kieron Morris free-kick found the head of Vaughan eight yards out who guided the ball past Joe Bursik.

Stanley continued to create chances, with Joe Pritchard's effort not far off the top corner, but did not really test the Tranmere keeper Scott Davies and the visitors struck again on 77 minutes.

Peter Clarke fed the ball across the face of goal after Stanley failed to clear a corner and Ellis had the easy task of tapping into an empty net at the far post.

Stanley set up a grandstand finish when Alex Woodyard headed Bobby Grant's free-kick into his own net on 82 minutes but, in added time, Stanley defender Harvey Rodgers saw red for a second bookable offence.


Sunderland vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 2 Gillingham 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Mikael Mandron grabbed both goals to level things up and earn Gillingham a draw against the Black Cats.

Kyle Lafferty had twice put Sunderland ahead in the 64th and 83rd minutes. His first was a header from Denver Hume's left-wing cross, and his second a low finish after being put through by midfielder George Dobson.

But Gillingham, who were out to frustrate the hosts all afternoon, got their reward by fighting back twice to claim that point courtesy of Mandron's double.

His first was in the 74th minute when he poked a finish inside the far corner after Jordan Willis had struggled to deal with a corner properly.

And when Olly Lee laid the ball off for Mandron deep into six minutes of stoppage-time the striker did the rest with a brilliant low finish inside goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin's bottom right corner.


Cheltenham vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win

Result - Cheltenham Town 0 Port Vale 0

Again I say Boo! ’It the bar again!

Vale were closest to breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute when Mark Cullen's header from David Worrall's cross rebounded off the bar with goalkeeper Owen Evans beaten.

Referee Scott Duncan pointed to the penalty spot in the 42nd minute after a challenge from defender Charlie Raglan on Mitch Clark.

But after consulting with his assistant, he overturned the decision and the away side had to settle for a corner.

Cheltenham had threatened in the 11th minute when Alfie May lifted the ball over Scott Brown, but Leon Legge cleared off the line with Reuben Reid waiting to pounce.

Vale looked the more likely winners in the second half with Evans saving low to his left from Cullen after David Amoo's centre and Amoo went close himself in the 64th minute, firing just wide after Tom Conlon's pass.

Vale had another penalty appeal turned down after an hour when Conlon was challenged in the box.


Northampton vs Mansfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Northampton Town 1 Mansfield Town 2


Forward Sam Hoskins was sent off for the Cobblers after just 11 minutes [Perhaps the Cobbler kicked someone in the cobblers. - Ed.] and ‘Broadway’ Danny Rose scored the subsequent penalty kick before Willem Tomlinson's second-half strike sealed the win for Mansfield.

Northampton made the better start and Nicky Adams went close with a well-struck free-kick, acrobatically tipped over by Stags goalkeeper Aidan Stone.

But it all unravelled for the home side after 11 minutes when Hoskins saw red for pushing Harry Charsley as the last defender and Rose made no mistake from the spot.

Tempers flared on several occasions in a heated first half but Northampton coped well with their numerical disadvantage and Vadaine Oliver came close to levelling with a spectacular overhead-kick.

Steve Arnold produced a fine double save from Rose and Charsley before Tomlinson clipped the crossbar early in the second half.

Northampton were still in the game and Stone pulled off two excellent stops to deny Lloyd Jones and Scott Wharton, but it was game over with 16 minutes to go when Mansfield broke clear and Nicky Maynard slipped in Tomlinson, who calmly beat Arnold.

Northampton did manage a late consolation when Harry Smith headed in Adams' cross in stoppage time.


Unless you have been living in a cave over the past few weeks, you must have heard that a certain virus has caused practically all sporting events to be cancelled. Football throughout Europe has been put on hold until further notice. Not good. Not good at all. It means we have to put our little gramble type bet on the donkeys. Even European donkey racing has been cancelled so we have to bet on races taking place in Africa. So, deep breath, here we go. What has The Grambler predicted for us?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Turffontein - 1.15 - Karino - 11/8
Turffontein - 1.50 - Al Mutawakel - 8/15
Turffontein - 2.25 - Celtic Sea - 1/2
Turffontein - 3.00 - Al Jahbath - 11/8
Durbanville - 1.35 - Heaven's Embrace - 2/1

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator... not forgetting another 20 pees to make that an each way bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Predictions, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...



Now you're having a laugh.  That is just too whopping.  Will it happen?  Will it fu... No, it won't.




Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which club (managed by Glenn Hoddle) was promoted to the Premier League and spent just one season there before dropping down the leagues. The answer was of course Swindon Town. They won the Division One playoff against Leicester City in 1993 to gain a place in the Premier League (No Championship division back then.). They won only five games while in the top flight and shipped over 100 goals in the process.

One for this week? It’s a naming one this week. Which Premier League team was originally called St. Marks? Try that one down the... Oh, you can’t go to the pub now. They’re all shut.  Well, at least try it without resorting to Googly.





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, it was Jasper Carrott’s birthday last week. Would you like to hear his hit record? Probably not. Funky Moped was not a particularly good song... In fact, it was dreadful. Jasper Carrott, himself, never rated it. So why did it ever make the charts? People bought it because of the B-side, this rather rude story called Magic Roundabout. That was considered to be a bit risque back in the seventies. Times have changed.




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 where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may missed.
Happy grambling.

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