Saturday 2 May 2020

Week 39/40 - The Grambler cleans up

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.

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

Who remembers when you were a kid and you splooshed a bit of Fairy liquid (or, indeed, any other brand of washing up liquid; this blog is certainly not about product placement.) in the bath to make bubbles? [Uh oh. Hovis time. Cue New World Symphony - Ed.] Just me, then. We didn't have special bubble bath. None of your Matey, matey. It was washing up liquid or nothing. Well, not quite nothing... I recall my mother putting soap powder in on occasion... It was blibbing dangerous stuff, that. You couldn't stand up to get out, it was so slippery. Not recommended. Anyway, back to the plot [There's a plot? - Ed.] having had a splash about, it would be time to actually wash yourself... You had to make a good job of this as it would be your only bath for a week. So you take a bar of soap and a flannel and... What's happening? Where have all the bubbles gone? What sorcery is this?

Of course, once I went to secondary school [Bath? School? You're havering. - Ed.]... Bear with me... I studied chemistry and understood that soap neutralises detergent (the washing up liquid) and that was why the bubbles disappeared... Something like that.

So what has that got to do with this week's gramble? Not a lot other than I am going to give some very useful advice to you. Yes. Again. Two weeks running. Seriously. Real, actual, sage advice. Possibly.

It is with regard to the directive that we have been given to wash our hands regularly. Excellent advice especially at this time of an escalating pandemic. The trouble is, I have found that I am washing my hands at least a dozen times each day. Thus, the skin on my hands, what was left of it, was becoming dry and covered in hacks. My hands were also bloody sore, I can tell you.

Where is this leading, I hear you ask. [Yes. Where? - Ed.] Well, a few years back I stayed in a small b and b [Oh for goodness' sake! Now, where are we going? - Ed.] and there was no shower gel. [What! Nurse, I think it's time for his medication. - Ed.] Any road up, there was a bottle of hand wash, so I decided to use it when I was taking a shower. Oh dear. Bad move. You see, the detergent that is used in hand wash is a lot more concentrated than shower gel and has all sorts of additives to make it more abrasive. My entire body was stinging as if I had run naked through nettles. [Is that something you do, then? - Ed.]

I now come to the point of this week's gramble. [About time. - Ed.] For the past few days, I have been avoiding hand wash detergent and, instead, have resorted to using a bar of soap. Wright’s Coal Tar, actually. [No product placement? - Ed.] Guess what. The hacks have disappeared. My hands are no longer sore. So, my advice to you good folk out there in gramblerland is this. Avoid using hand wash to... erm... wash your hands. Use a bar of soap. Real soap; none of this ‘beauty bar’ nonsense. If it doesn’t say soap on the label, then it probably isn’t. Instead it is just detergent in a solid form. Basically, soap is far gentler on the skin than detergent. That’s the stuff to use.

I should point out that I am not being paid by the makers of Wright’s Coal Tar Soap to write this glowing testimony. Absolutely not. There will be no product placement in this blog... but if they want to bung a few bars my way, I wouldn’t say no. No, perish the thought, I would never promote a product in the hope of receiving the odd wee freebie. No. Never. Mind you...

Anyway, gramblerinis, remember this... detergent is great for cleaning... as long as it isn't used on the skin. Simple as that.



Have you all been keeping up to date with the government advice regarding the things you can and can’t do at this time of lockdown? Good, I’m glad to hear it.

One of the things that we were told at the start some five weeks ago was that anyone in lockdown could only leave the house for one hour’s exercise per day and should only go to shop once per week. Once per week. Got that? Why do I emphasise this point?

Yesterday there was a news item that a high-heid-yin of a well known supermarket was reporting that shopping habits had changed during the lockdown. Chiefs were surprised that people were resorting to a style of shopping that was popular many years ago and that they now did a single ‘big’ shop each week.

Now, I may not be the brightest button in the box but even I can spot the reason for that... or have I missed something?


Remember this in your weekly shop



Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 25th of April? Of course there were and here are some I have actually heard of. Edward II (The well-known king. The one that lost the Battle of Bannockburn. Him.), Oliver Cromwell 1599 (The well-known Lord Protector.), C. B. (Charles Burgess) Fry 1872 (Sportsman, politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher... In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Guglielmo Marconi 1874 (The well-known inventor of the wireless.), Stanley Rous 1895 (The well-known president of FIFA.), Ella Fitzgerald 1917 (‘The First Lady of Song’. Have a clip. This was her highest placed hit in the Yuk, The Swinging Shepherd Blues.), Brian Fahey 1919 (Composer. A few of you of a certain age might recognise this. I feel a top ten coming on...
Greetings pop pickers!
At number ten in this week’s most-overused-words-or-phrases-associated-with-coronavirus chart, it’s FURLOUGH.
At number nine, it’s SELF-ISOLATION.
Up to number eight and it’s LOCKDOWN. Not arf.
Dropping down two places to number seven, that’s UNPRECEDENTED. Certainly is.
Staying at number errr six, it’s time for a bit of SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Up to number five, don’t forget PPE.
Straight in at number four, it’s POSSIBLE VACCINE.
Dropping one place to number three, yes it’s that NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL.
And last week’s number one drops down to number two, it’s those good old ESSENTIAL WORKERS.
And straight into this week’s chart at number one, it’s the one and only DISINFECTANT. Orl right? Right.
Stay bright.),
On with the birthday honours... Dick Sharples [Sounds painful. - Ed.] 1921 (Screenwriter.), Albert King 1923 (Influential geetarist. Here he wants a job in the car industry), Paul Whitsun-Jones 1923 (Actor isn’t it. One of those faces that seemed to be in every British TV production in the 1960s.), Sam Alper 1924 (Caravan builder. Sprite caravans. Them.), Dickie Dale 1927 (Motorcycle racey bloke.), Albert Uderzo 1927 (Cartoonist famous for co-creating Asterix the Gaul.), James MacTaggart 1928 (TV producer, director and writer.), Paddy Feeny 1931 (Broadcaster.), David Shepherd 1931 (Artist.), Meadowlark Lemon 1932 (Baskety bally bloke.), William Roache 1932 (Actor. Has played Ken Barlow in Corrie since 1960.), Jerry Leiber 1933 (Songwriter who, working in the Brill Building, with co-writer Mike Stoller wrote many popular songs. Here’s an early one, Searchin.), Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield 1939 (Posh snapper.), Al Pacino 1940 (Actor.), Tony Christie 1943 (Chanter. A clip? Okay. All together now... When the day is dawning... Nice moves there, Tone.), John Ogwen 1944 (Actor isn’t it.), Len Goodman 1944 (Ballroom dancer.), Stu Cook 1945 (A bit of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Have a clip. If you can’t see them it’s because they’re up around the bend.), Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus 1945 (Musician. A B in ABBA. [I'm sure he wasn't that bad. - Ed.] Here’s a clip from his solo days.), Dave Lawson 1945 (Musician. Once a part of Greenslade. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Temple Song.), Digby Fairweather 1946 (Musician. Here he seems to be having fun.), Johan Cruyff 1947 (Voetbal man.), Howard Williams 1947 (Conductor.), Jonathan Powell 1947 (TV producer.), Steve Ferrone 1950 (Jobbing drummer. He has featured in Oblivion Express, Average White Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and has worked with George Harrison, Chaka Khan, Duran Duran, Peter Frampton, Bee Gees, Cydi Lauper, The Power Station, Scritti Politti, Brian May, Anita Baker, George Benson, Jonathan Butler Brian Ferry, Clymie Fisher, Eric Clapton, Rick James, Whitney Houston, Freddie King, Tracy Chapman, Pat Metheny, Steve Winwood, Jeffrey Osborne, Paul Simon to name but some. Quite a CV there, Steve. Here’s a funky little toon featuring the man himself, Gimme some. Not unless you ask nicely.), David Spinx 1951 (Actor. Used to play Keith Miller in Eastenders.), Buster Mottram 1955 (Tennisy bloke.), Eric Bristow 1957 (Darts bloke known as the Crafty Cockney.), Fish 1958 (Singer. Let’s have an early toon from his time with Marillion.  Incidentally, he isn't a real fish.  Just thought I would clarify that for you.), Billy Rankin 1959 (Geetarist. Here’s Baby Come Back... No, not that one.), Robert Peston 1960 (TV journalist who talks REALLY LOUD one minute, then really quietly then LOUD again. Then quiet again. Arrgh!!!), David Moyes 1963 (Footy bloke.), Hank Azaria 1964 (Actor famous for his voice as Moe, Apu and Chief Wiggum in The Simpsons.), Andy Bell 1964 (Singer. Half of Erasure. Let’s have a clip.  Have a little respect.), Fiona Bruce 1964 (Newsreader.), Shivani Ghai 1975 (Actress. She was Ayesha Rana in Eastenders.), Ben Johnston 1980 (Musician. A bit of Biffy Clyro. Here he is drumming like Animal from the Muppets on That Golden Rule. Twin brother of...), James Johnston 1980 (Musician. A bit of Biffy Clyro... blah blah blah.) and Monty Panesar 1982 (Crickety bloke.).
Now then, what about the 2nd of May? Jerome K. Jerome 1859 (Orfer.), Norma Talmadge 1894 (Actress in films of the silent era.), Lorenz Hart 1895 (Lyricist. They can’t touch you for it.), Henry Hall 1898 (Bandleader. This was his signature toon.), Brian Aherne 1902 (Actor.), Benjamin Spock 1903 (First officer on the Enterprise.), Bill Brandt 1904 (Snapper.), Nigel Patrick 1912 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Peggy Mount 1915 (Actress.), Joe ‘Mr Piano’ Henderson 1920 (Pianist. [Get away! - Ed.] Here he is... erm... playing the old joanna. Well, that was... erm... yes, definitely.), Satyajit Ray 1921 (Bollywood film maker.), John Neville 1925 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Clive Jenkins 1926 (Trade unionist isn’t it.), Ray Barrett 1927 (Strine ector.), Fred ‘Link’ Wray 1929 (Musician. A clip? Have a quick rumble. First released in 1958, that was.), Lynda Lee-Potter 1935 (Journo.), Engelbert Humperdinck 1936 (Rerr chanter. Howzabout a clip. Here’s Ten Guitars. [Here are ten guitars, surely. - Ed.] Don’t call me Shirley.), Lorenzo Music 1937 (Actor. The original voice of Garfield.), Mairi Hedderwick 1939 (Orfer. You know the Katie Morag stories? No? Oh. Well, she writes them.), Peter Dean 1939 (Ector, inny. Pete Beale in Eastenders. Him.), Paul Darrow 1941 (Actor. Kerr Avon in Blake’s 7. Him.), Bianca Jagger 1945 (Once married to Mick. Erm... That’s it.), Alexander Hughes 1945 (Who? Oh, Judge Dread. Who? Musician. Has the distinction of having more singles banned by the Beeb Beeb Ceeb than any other artist. Do you want to hear one of those singles? Okay. If you must. You have been warned. Subtle it is not. Actually, I'd have banned it too... but only because it is crap.), David Suchet 1946 (Ectaw, dear leddie. Poirot. Him.), Bruce Robinson 1946 (Screenwriter and director. Withnail and I, that was one of his.), Lesley Gore 1946 (Singer. Here’s her big hit.), James Dyson (Jems Vecuum-Cleaner to readers of this blog) 1947 (Inventor, it says here.), Alan Titchmarsh 1949 (Gardener.), John Glascock aka Brittle Dick 1951 (Bassist. He was with Jethro Tull, you know. No, no. I couldn’t possibly give you a clip... Oh, go on, then... Here’s Hunting Girl.), Jo Callis 1951 (Who? Luke Warm. Oh yeah... Who? Guitarist with the Rezillos. He was on Top of the Pops. Anyone else reminded of Here we go Looby Loo?), Phil Rose 1952 (Actor. Friar Tuck in Robin of Sherwood. Him.), Isla St Clair 1952 (Singer and game show hostess... I mean she was a hostess on a game show... not that she was ga... Erm... Have a clip. Here’s Flowers of the Forest.), Willie Miller 1955 (Fitba guy.), Donatella Versace 1955 (Don’t tell Versace what?), David Rhodes 1956 (Geetarist. Has worked with many acts including Talk Talk, Joan Armatrading, Toni Childs, Paul McCartney, Tim Finn, Roy Orbison and Julia Fordham. He has worked with Peter Gabriel on several albums, so here is one you might recognise. All together now... You could have a steam train... ), David O’Leary 1958 (Footy bloke.), Gary Megson 1959 (Footy bloke.), Stephen Daldry 1960 (Producer and director. That Billy Elliot film. Him.), Jimmy White 1962 (Snookery bloke.), Andre Vincent 1964 (Comedian.), David McAlmont 1967 (Singer. Here he is with... is that Bernard Butler? Yes.), Brian Lara 1969 (Crickety bloke.), Ben Leach 1969 (A bit of the Farm. Have a clip. Here with special guest Ian McCaskill is Groovy Train.), Dwayne Johnson 1972 (Actor, it says here.), Matt Berry 1974 (Actor and comedian. Laszlo Cravensworth in What We Do in the Shadows. Him.), Andy Johnson 1974 (Footy bloke isn’t it.), Joe Wilkinson 1975 (Comedian.), David Beckham 1975 (Footy bloke inc.), Dave Mackay 1981 (Fitba guy.), Chris Kirkland 1981 (Footy bloke.), Amanda Barr 1982 (Footy bloke.), Lily Allen 1985 (Singer, songwriter and orfer. Have a clip. Go on, smile. She released a song called F*** You which, not surprisingly, only got to number 104 in the Yuk charts. It was, however, a top ten hit in Holland and Switzerland and in Belgium it reached number one. Perhaps it translates as something different over there.), Laurie Duncan 1991 (Actor. Callum Kane in Hollyoaks. Him.), Josh Bolt 1994 (Actor. Raff Greenwood in Last Tango in Halifax. Him.) and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge 2015 (The well-known fourth-in-line to the throne person.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Bungle,
I am a great fan of ABBA and wondered if you could help me. I have all the singles and albums produced by them. I know most of their singles went to number one in the UK charts, but what was their first album to achieve top of the chart status?
Yours gratefully,
R. Ival.



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 11th January 1987 in Sheffield and began my playing career at Sheffield Wednesday. I have been with my current club for eight years. Before turning professional I was a technician making medical splints. It has been reported that I do not use the gym and that I drink Red Bull energy drink. In 2015, it was possible to buy crisps with a flavour named in my honour.
Answer: It is obvious really. Jamie Vardy
2. Which Scottish club was formed in 2002 and entered the Second Division that year when its owners bought the assets of Clydebank F.C.
Answer: Airdrie United, later to regain use of the Airdrionians name.
3. Old Trafford has the highest capacity of any club’s stadium in Britain; which club stadium has the second-highest capacity?
Answer: Celtic Park
4. Who is this famous footballer?


Answer: Ronaldo.  Better hairstyle now.
5. Sergio Aguero has scored more Premier League goals than any other player from the Americas; who is the next highest scorer?
Answer: Dwight Yorke (Trinidad & Tobago)
Five more? Here goes...
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.
2. What do the following clubs have in common?
Bristol City, Charlton Athletic, Cheltenham Town and Swindon Town.
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?
4. Who was the first to receive the FIFA World Player of the Year award (1991)?
5. Which US player has scored the most Premier League goals?
There you go; five teasers to consider... 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, I am indebted to... well, it was going to be a parody of Donald Trump, but then he came away with all that sh... rubbish about drinking Domestos and I realised that he is funnier than the mickey takers. He can’t be for real. Inject disinfectant? He can’t possibly be that stupid... can he?
Any road up, here, instead, is a selection of sketches from Matt Berry. Why not. They do feature some naughty words, so if that offends you, then fu... [Stop right there. - Ed.] Ladeez and genullum, Matt Berry.


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 have missed.
Happy grambling.

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