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…
This lockdown has meant that Mrs G and I have been watching a lot more TV than usual. I didn’t think I would watch something like The A Word, but I did. More of that later. First, a question for you...
Did you ever watch the original Star Trek on TV back in the 1960s? I watched it when I was a kid; basically because there wasn't much else on. I always found it to be a bit silly. The bleeping noises whenever the captain was sitting in his big chair on the bridge; all the actors throwing themselves left and right when the spaceship was supposed to be being rocked by missiles; the wooden acting. It was meant to be a serious attempt at a sci-fi programme, but I just found the whole thing hilarious. I apologise to all you geeky Star Trek lovers, but I am just too cynical to take such bollocks seriously.
Worst of all was the accent of the character known as Scottie who, as the name suggests, was supposed to be from Scotland. Really? It must go down as the worst attempt at a regional accent since Dick van Dyke ruined the Mary Poppins... Sorry, Murry Pappuns... film with his hilarious cockney accent.
At least old Dick made an attempt. Sean Connery never did. Robin Hood? Scottish. Moroccan Barbary pirate? Scottish. Russian submarine commander? Scottish. Any character he was tasked with playing? Scottish. What a brilliant actor. [I take it you are being sarcastic. - Ed.]
Where is all this heading, I hear you ask. Well, as I said, I have just finished watching that charming little series on the Beeb, The A Word. Earlier series centred around a little boy, Joe, who has autism and the stories dealt with his family's attempts to have his problems addressed by the education authorities. It was lauded for its delicate treatment of what, to many, is an awkward situation... hence the title.
This most recent series still centres on Joe but also deals with his extended family, all of whom seem to sit somewhere on the autism spectrum. Simple everyday things are the staple of the storylines... Joe's problems on relating to moving to a new home or the marriage of two characters who have Down’s syndrome. It's all done in a pleasantly humorous way and features a lot of running around by Joe's grandfather who races through life at a hundred miles an hour.
The programme is set in the English Lake District and makes much of the stunning scenery around Keswick.
All very nice. All very twee. But I have a problem with it. Accents.
The programme is set in Cumbria. So why is there not one Cumbrian accent in evidence?
The programme is set in Cumbria. So why is there not one Cumbrian accent in evidence?
It is typical of so many television dramas that, often, no attempt is made to use an authentic local accent. North of England? A Yorkshire accent will do. Or Lancashire. Anything further south? A Somerset yokel type accent will do. Or Cockney... as long as it's not old Dick van Dyke's version.
Liverpool and Tyneside are quite individual in that their accents are so different to those of anywhere else on the Yuk; most productions will give them a go.
I say that Tyneside is individual but, in some respects, it isn't so different to the Cumbrian accent. Take the word computer. Tynesiders would probably miss out the t so that it becomes compu'er. Now if you take that pronunciation, but emphasise the t, you would be doing a fair take on a Cumbrian accent. Obviously, there are other differences... or deeferences as a Cumbrian might pronounce eet.
A Mancunian accent weeth more emphasees on the t might also feet the beell. While eet wouldn't be quite perfect Cumbrian, eet would be better than not even trying. Or would eet?
Living in Scotland as I do, one accent that grates with me is any non-Scot's attempt at a Scottish accent. It rarely works. See above. Or think groundsman Willie in The Simpsons and you'll understand. How anyone can believe it to be acceptable, beats me.
I’m sure other regions feel a similar way when their accent is similarly mangled.
One thing a person with a Scottish accent has to put up with, that other accents don’t, is mockery. I've previously mentioned in this august blog about my dislike of TV comedians when they encounter a Scot. They all seem to think it is acceptable to mock the accent. Why? They wouldn’t treat any other accent the same way. And I certainly don't recall any Scottish comedian doing the same when he meets a cockney. I wonder what sort of reaction that would elicit. A smack in the mouth I shouldn’t wonder. Don't get me started.
Can I just end with a little joke which is related to accents? [If you must. - Ed.] It features a Yorkshireman... Don’t worry, it is not accentist (I think I have just added a new word to the English language); it was first told by Yorkshire comic, Duggie Brown. [An old joke, then. - Ed.]
Any road up, a Yorkshireman goes to see the vet about his pet cat.
“Is the cat a tom?” asks the vet and the man replies, “No, I’ve got him here, int basket.”
Boom and I think I can state quite categorically, tish!
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Although, before we do, may I apologise in advance for the size of the typeface being all over the shop? No matter what I try to do to correct it, it stubbornly refuses to change. I do hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment of three weeks' worth of honours.
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 13th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Charles Parsons 1864 (Inventor of the steam turbine.), W.B. Yeats 1865 (Poety bloke.), Basil Rathbone 1892 (Actor. Famous for one role, Sherlock Holmes. He played the character in 14 films plus a radio series.), Dorothy L. Sayers 1893 (Orfer. Lord Peter Wimsey was one of her creations.), Paavo Nurmi 1897 (Urheilija.), Ian Hunter 1900 (Actor. Appeared in more than 80 films. [Ooh, I liked him. Especially when he sang All the Young Dudes. - Ed.]), Mary Whitehouse 1910 (Famous for minding other people’s business.), Mary Wickes 1910 (Jobbing actress. Sister Mary Lazurus in Sister Act. Factoid: She was the live-action reference model for Cruella de Ville in One Hundred and One Dalmations.), Don Budge 1915 (Tennisy bloke.), Teddy Turner 1917 (Actor. Chalky Whiteley in Corrie. Him.), Ben Johnson 1918 (Stuntman turned actor. Won a Noscar as Sam the Lion in The Last Picture Show. [He must have been a really convincing lion, then. Not like that bloke in The Wizard of Oz. - Ed.]), Leslie Duxbury 1926 (Journalist turned scriptwriter for... would you Adam and Eve it... Corrie.), Brian Wilde 1927 (Actor. Mr Barrowclough in Porridge. [Sounds a bit messy. - Ed.] Ahem... Him.), Gary Watson 1930 (Actor. Aremis in BBC’s 1966 production The Three Musketeers. Him.), Tom King aka Baron King of Bridgwater 1933 (Politician.), Uriel Jones 1934 (Drummer with the Funk Brothers, the Motown house band. Here’s You Keep Me Hanging On.), Malcolm McDowell 1943 (Actor. Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Him.), Ban Ki-moon 1944 (8th Secretary-General of the UN.), Dennis Locorriere 1949 (A bit of Dr Hook. Have you met Sylvia's mother?), Richard Thomas 1951 (Actor. John-Boy in The Waltons. Him.), Peter Brackley 1951 (Footy commentator.), Tim Allen 1953 (Actor. Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. Him... well, he does the voice.), Tony Knowles 1955 (Snookery bloke.), Alan Hansen 1955 (Fitba guy.), Anders Järryd 1961 (Tennisspelare.), Bob Crow 1961 (Trade unionist. Not a real crow.), Ally Sheedy 1962 (Actress.), Mark Frankel 1962 (Actor. Leon Geller in Leon the Pig Farmer. Him.), Angie Brown 1963 (Singer. Here she is on Bizarre Inc’s hit I'm Gonna Get You.), Kathy Burke 1964 (Actress. Waynetta Slob in Harry Enfield and Friends. Her.), David Gray 1968 (Musician. Here he is with The One I Love.), Ben Lurie 1968 (Geetarist. A bit of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Here’s a nice toon, Sometimes Always [That can't be right. - Ed.]), Marcel Theroux 1968 (Orfer and broadcaster. Paul’s lad and Louis’ bro.), Denise Pearson 1968 (A bit of Five Star. A toon? Why not. Here is the Pearson family’s first single which proved problematic in that it didn’t trouble the chart compilers.), Stephen Glover aka Steve O 1974 (Nutcase.), Lisa Riley 1976 (Actress. Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale. Her.), Kym Marsh 1976 (Singer and actress. A bit of Hear’Say. Here’s a solo effort. Hopefully, it won’t make you cry.), Darius Vassell 1980 (Footy bloke.), Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen 1986 (Former child actors.) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson 1990 (Actor. David "Dave" Lizewski / Kick-Ass in the Kick-Ass films. Him.).
And now the 20th of June.
Jacques Offenbach 1819 (Composer. Let’s have a bit of cult’yer. Here’s his most famous work. [Hardly very cultural. - Ed.]), Eddie Laughton 1903 (Who? He was an actor who appeared in many of the films of The Three Stooges. In all, he made over 200 films.), Errol Flynn 1909 (Actor.), Terence Young 1915 (Film director. He was in charge of the Bond films, Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Thunderball.), Tommy Godfrey 1916 (Jobbing actor. One of those faces that seemed to be everywhere in the 60s and 70s.), Johnny Morris 1916 (TV presenter. Used to dress up as a zoo keeper and talk to the animals.), Margaret Belsky 1919 (Political cartoonist for The Herald newspaper which later became The Sun. When a certain Australian gentleman purchased the paper in 1969, she refused to work for him. Yay!), Chet Atkins 1924 (Musician. Y’al wanna cliyup? Here’s Mr. Sandman. Incidentally, Steve Howe, the guitar guru from Yes was asked which other guitarist he might like to have been and his choice was Chet. High praise.), Audie Murphy 1925 (Actor. Won the war, he did... Him and John Wayne. [Audrey? Funny name for a bloke. - Ed.]), Martin Landau 1928 (Actor.), Ken Parry 1930 (Jobbing actor. Another one who seemed to be on everything in the 60s and 70s.), Olympia Dukakis 1931 (Actress.), Wendy Craig 1934 (Actress.), Billy Guy 1936 (A Coaster. Here is a lesser-known solo song... with a decidedly dodgy title.), Philip Lowrie 1936 (Actor. Denis Tanner in Corrie. Him.), Jerry Keller 1937 (Singer. Here’s his big hit, Here Comes Summer.), Keith Clifford 1938 (Actor. Billy Hardcastle in Last of the Summer Wine. Him.), Michael Hayes 1938 (Better known as record producer Mickie Most. Behind many acts signed to RAK Records, owned by... Mickie Most. The Simon Bowel of his day.), Penelope Horner 1939 (Jobbing actress. Her face was everywhere in the 60s.), John Mahoney 1940 (Actor. Martin Crane in Frasier. Him.), Stephen Frears 1941 (Film and television director.), Brian Wilson 1942 (The brains behind The Beach Boys. A toon? Definitely. Here is a track from Pet Sounds, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times.), David Roper 1944 (Actor. Chris Hawthorne in The Cuckoo Waltz. Him.), Oliver Cotton 1944 (Actor. Cesare Borgia in The Borgias. Him.), Anne Murray 1945 (Singer. Have a clip... Here’s Snowbird.), Tony Aitken 1946 (Jobbing actor.), Ray East 1947 (Crickety bloke.), Alan Longmuir 1948 (A Bay City Roller. Manager, Tam Paton fired him aged 27 for being too old. B*st*rd! Anyway, here’s Keep on Dancing.), Lionel Richie 1949 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s an upbeat toon, All Night Long.), Gillian Gilks 1950 (Badders bloke.), John Goodman 1952 (Actor. He actually does resemble Fred Flintstone.), Raúl Ramírez 1953 (Jugador de tenis.), Allan Lamb 1954 (Crickety bloke.), Colin Lamont aka Scottie McClue 1956 (Radio presenter.), Peter Reid 1956 (Footy bloke.), John Taylor 1960 (Duran Duran bassist. Time for a clip? This is Planet Earth.), Suzanne Packer 1962 (Actress. Tess Bateman in Casualty. Her. Factoid: She is Colin Jackson’s big sis.), Paul Kane 1965 (Fitba guy.), R. J. Ellory 1965 (Orfer.), Nicole Kidman 1967 (Ictress.), Ian Matthews 1971 (Drummy bloke with Kasabian. A clip? Why not. What is it they shout at football matches? Eez-eh.), Craig Thomson 1972 (Footy referee.), Kerrie Taylor 1973 (Actress. Lucy Benson in Hollyoaks. Her. What do mean, you can’t remember that far back?), Frank Lampard 1978 (Footy bloke.), Julie Fowlis 1979 (Musician/singer. Here’s a lovely rendition of a lovely song that you might recognise, Blackbird.), Charlotte Hatherley 1979 (Musician/singer. Once a bit of Ash. A clip? Why not. As someone has already told us, Summer is coming.), Julian Corrie 1985 (Who? Oh, Miaoux Miaoux. Who? Musician. Now with Franz Ferdinand. Here he has Star Sickness.), Shefali Chowdhury 1988 (Actress. Parvati Patil in the Harry Potter films... Well, three of them, anyway. Her.), Tom Grabham 1991 (I have no idea who he is, but he is a rugby player with a perfect name.), Curtis Main 1992 (Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell, you know.) and Luke Watt 1997 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, as well.).
[You did that gag five years ago. - Ed.]
Not forgetting, June 27th
Ettie Grenfell 1867 (Never heard of her? Neither have I. I just liked her job description... Lady of the bedchamber. Best not to ask.), Helen Keller 1880 (Orfer and political activist.), Catherine Cookson 1906 (Orfer.), John McIntire 1907 (Jobbing actor. Mainly cowboy roles.), Skelton Knaggs 1911 (Jobbing actor with a brill name. [Sounds more like somewhere in Yorkshire... I’m off up to Skelton Knaggs. - Ed.] One of those faces that you see once and never forget. Appeared in a lot of horror films.), Muriel Pavlow 1921 (Ectress. Appeared in many films, often playing the wife or girlfriend of the main character.), Peter Bayliss 1922 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in hunners of things on telly.), David Mercer 1928 (Playwright. Morgan, A Suitable Case for Treatment. One of his.), Ross Perot 1930 (Privateer, would-be president... a bit like Donald Trump. On second thoughts, nothing like Donald Trump.), Harvey Hall 1931 (Another jobbing actor. Appeared in many TV dramas in the 60s and 70s, but gave up acting to become an English Teacher. [How very rock and roll. - Ed.]), Robin Hall 1936 (Singer. With Jimmie MacGregor was one of Scotland’s most recognisable showbiz faces. Here’s a short tribute to him.), Shirley Anne Field 1936 (Actress who supports Liverpool. Geddit? Anne Field... Anfield. Oh, please yourselves.), Thomas Derbyshire 1938 (Who? Better known as Tommy Cannon, half of comedy duo Cannon and Ball.), Alan Coren 1938 (Humourist/satirist/writer. Vicky and Giles’ dad.), Kathryn Beaumont 1938 (Actress/singer. Most famous as a Disney voiceover artist. She was Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan.), Andy Cameron 1940 (Comedian who once had a hit record and here it is. All together now... We're on the march wi Ally's army...), Eric Richard 1940 (Actor. Desk Sergeant Bob Cryer in The Bill. Him.), Margaret Lake 1942 (Who? Better known as Mystic Meg. She owns racehorses nowadays. That’s good, she’ll be able to predict if they are going to win and bet accordingly. Aye. Right.), Bruce Johnston 1942 (A Beach Boy. Here is a solo instrumental from him called Pipeline. Check that shirt collar.), Joanna McCallum 1950 (Actress. Daughter of actors John McCallum and Googie Withers. [That reminds me of an old joke. - Ed.] Well, please don’t tell it.), Charles Shaar Murray 1951 (Journalist and broadcaster. Music-related stuff.), Gilson Lavis 1951 (Drummy bloke with Squeeze. A clip? And why not. A bit of Slap and Tickle, vicar?), David Shilling 1956 (Dressmaker.), Jeremy Swift 1960 (Actor. Played butler, Septimus Spratt in Downton Abbey.), Meera Syal 1961 (Actress, comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer... in fact, a right old smarty boots.), Tim Whitnall 1961 (Actor? You might not have heard of him but, if you have young kids, you might have heard him; he provides voices for many kids’ TV programmes such as Underground Ernie, Roary the Racing Car and Tree Fu Tom.), Michael Ball 1962 (Singer/actor. A clip? Why not. Here is his lockdown number one with Captain Tom Moore.), Wendy Alexander 1963 (Former politician.), Ravi Kapoor 1969 (Actor. In Crossing Jordan, he played Dr. Mahesh 'Bug' Vijayaraghavensatanaryanamurthy. [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.]), Anthony Howell 1971 (Actor. Paul Milner in Foyle’s War. Him.), Lee Warburton 1971 (Actor. Tony Vincent in Casualty and Holby City. Him.), Jo Frost 1971 (Supernanny. Wonder what her special super-power is.), Anna Kumble aka Lolly 1973 (Singer. Had one or two big hits back in the day. Here’s Viva la Radio. Who on earth was that introducing it?), Tobey Maguire 1975 (Actor. Spider-man. Him.), Leigh Nash 1976 (Singer with Sixpence None the Richer. Here’s their Biggie Kiss Me. [We hardly know each other. - Ed.]), Kevin Pietersen 1980 (Sarth Ifrikin creeckutty blike.), John Rankin 1983 (Fitba guy.), Nico Rosberg 1985 (Renfahrer.), Jack Gordon 1985 (Actor. Ronnie Biggs in The Great Train Robbery (2015). Him.), Sam Claflin 1986 (Actor. Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games. Him.), Matthew Lewis 1989 (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. Him.) and Oliver Stark 1991 (Actor. Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley in 9-1-1. Him.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Grambleweed,
We were so pleased that you included a Beach Boys track in this week’s birthday honours, but can’t understand why you didn’t give us one of their many hit singles. There was God Only Knows, followed by Good Vibrations, followed by... Actually, neither of us can remember what came next. Can you help?
This week we could have had a gramble. Yay! But the matches seem to be all over the place... and we are too late, anyway. Boo! Let’s just move straight on to....
Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I began my playing career at Högaborgs BK before transferring to Helsingborg in 1992. After moving to Feyenoord I was signed by Celtic for a fee of £650,000. I spent seven years there and scored over 242 goals in 315 games.
Henrik Larsen (Who else?)
2. Who is the only Israeli player to have won a UEFA Champions League medal?
3.Which player has scored the most Premier League goals for Chartlon... or even Charlton... Athletic?
4. How many UEFA European Cup and Champions League finals have been held at Glasgow’s Hampden Park?
Three: 1960 Real Madrid 7-3 Eintract Frankfurt, 1976 Bayern Munich 1-0 Saint Etienne and 2002 Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen.
5. What is the link between football clubs Aston Villa, Millwall and Livingston?
They all have the nickname ‘The Lions’.
Five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I hailed from Belshill. In my playing career I was at Manchester City for eight years before spending nine years at Liverpool. When I moved into management I coached the same club for 24 years, during which time I led them to European Cup victory.
2. Which Norwegian was in Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League winning team?
3. Who made the most Premier League appearances for Derby County?
4. Which company sponsored both Rangers and Celtic in 1984?
5. What first was seen at the 1933 FA Cup Final between Everton and Manchester City?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie? Must... re...sist.
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).
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr A. Aitken who provides us with our finishing clip this week. A. Aitken? Yes, birthday boy Tony Aitken who, though uncredited, was the ‘Merrie Balladeer’ seen at the end of each Blackadder II episode. So, let’s close with... a close . But not too close; remember social distancing.
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.