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?




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."




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.




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




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.




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.


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