Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Weeks 2 to 4 - The Grambler zooms in


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

I love a good factoid, me. And here is one that is related to the Covid-19 lockdown.

During the worldwide restrictions, the video conferencing software company, Zoom, has seen its share price rise from 76 dollars in January to 257 dollars in June. So the virus has been good to its shareholders. Yes, the world has been going Zoom-meeting-bonkers. Of course, we all knew it wouldn’t be long until the imitators started up, hoping to emulate that success...

Another business that has done very well out of the virus has been... and I don’t mean any disrespect... funeral care. It is a fact that more people are dying, therefore funeral directors have had a lot of extra work to cope with. The problem is that one area’s funeral businesses might be swamped with work [Dead busy, eh? - Ed.] while another area has a fairly quiet time of it. Thank goodness, there is video conferencing software just for undertakers who can get in touch with others in the same profession in an on-line Tomb meeting. [I am not liking the sound of this. - Ed.]

Swimmers have obviously been missing their visits to the local swimming-baths and not just for the exercise; many enjoy the chance to meet with like-minded people who enjoy nothing more than a good old natter while being up to their necks in tepid water. Lucky for them, they have their own video conference setup which allows them to do just that... well, without the water, tepid or otherwise. It’s called a Flume meeting. [I thought as much; you’ve done this before. - Ed.]

No I haven’t (he lied)... Of course, this whole pandemic business has depressed a lot of people. [Please don’t do it. - Ed.] How nice, then, that they can all get together in a Gloom meeting. [You did it. - Ed.]

There are those out there who see this virus as a precursor to the end of civilisation, itself. They obviously would want to spend time discussing the matter with others in a Doom meeting. [How many more have you got? - Ed.]

Not many... Pregnant ladies [Oh dear, I think I know what’s coming. - Ed.] must be missing those pre-natal classes where they can discuss all manner of aspects to do with bearing a child. Lucky for them that they can all chat on a Womb meeting. [Yep, worked that one out. - Ed.]

Weavers haven’t been forgotten about. Yes, they now have their own on-line platform to discuss all the intricacies associated with their trade. It’s called a Loom meeting [Groan... Thought it might be. - Ed.]

This has been a difficult year for gardeners with all the flower shows and festivals being cancelled. How fortuitous then that someone has had the foresight to come up with their own video conferencing tool. Where would all our horticulturalists be without the chance to talk on a Bloom meeting? [They are just getting silly now. - Ed.]

What about a Groom meeting? [Uh oh, don’t like sound of this. - Ed.] A place where like-minded people could go to discuss [I’m getting worried about this. - Ed.] the fact that there was nowhere to get their hair cut. [Phew. - Ed.] How wonderful that someone came to their rescue and gave them an on-line forum where they could all get together and discuss their bushy appearance.

And finally, [Oh good. - Ed.] remember how, on a Thursday evening, we all used to get out of that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans in a show of appreciation for the frontline workers of the NHS? Well, obviously, a lot of people miss those times and now go on-line for a weekly bash with other like-minded souls by joining in a Boom meeting.

[Have you finished? - Ed.]

Yes.

[Thank goodness you’ve got that out of your system. - Ed.]

There was something else... Totally unrelated, you’ll be pleased to know.

I have just spent two hours trying to place an order with that well-known online shopping emporium, Amozan (Is that far enough removed to fend off any snarling lawyers?).

Any road up, I had chosen the items I wished to purchase and was ready to pay. I selected ‘My Basket’ just to check I had purchased exactly what I wanted. Having removed an order for a pair of hiking boots (??), I continued to the check-out to pay. Here, I was asked me to select delivery options. Up came a banner advertising that I could have free one-day delivery. Well, who wouldn’t be tempted by a free service like that, so I selected it and was immediately directed to a page which stated ‘Welcome to Amozan Primo’ (Do you see what I did there?)... It’s not really called Primo, you see; It’s all to do with warding off those slavering lawyers.

Oh dear, thinks I. I appear to have signed up for an unwanted product that will cost me eight quids a month from now until eternity.

I knew that I had a 14 day cooling off period so immediately set about cancelling this Amozan Primo thing.

The first problem is trying to find out how to go about it. Nowhere on Amozan’s home page is there any mention of cancelling anything.

I had to go on line and ask Bingo or Googly for the answer. Go to ‘My Account’ they advised. This I did. Then what, I wondered. Bingo and Googly to the rescue. I had to go to a page which was supposed to let me manage my account. Oh, aye, sure. After selecting various options which led me round in circles and up various cul-de-sacs, I found a page that allowed me to select ‘Cancel’. At last, thought I. I selected the option. This immediately threw information at me about the advantages of Amozan Primo.
I could continue to get the benefits of this marvellous product which I didn’t ask for nor wanted or I could cancel. I selected cancel, not spotting that it also added ‘after this order’. Up came another message ‘Thank you for not cancelling Amozan Primo’ Aargh!

I then had to go back to the start page to allow me to get to the cancellation page and it was there that I spotted a less prominent option ‘Cancel anyway’ That’s better, I thought and selected this option. Sorted.

No, not sorted. Again I was bombarded by statements extolling the virtues of this wonderous product. Are you sure you want to cancel this product, it asked. Yes, I bl**dy well am, I screamed at the screen in front of me. I found the correct option to cancel. Was that it done, I hear you ask. Was it fu... No, it wasn’t. Up pops more information warning me of all the terrific services I would be throwing away if I were to opt out... Yes, like having eight quids extracted from my bank account each month.

Eventually, I managed to find my way through the labyrinth of options telling me to reconsider. By the end I felt that I was being treated like a bit of a cretin... Are you really so thick-headed that you want to give up this marvellous opportunity, well you must be even stupider than you look you knuckle-dragging moron... it might as well have said to me. Despite the advice, I selected ‘Cancel’ and that was it... other than being reminded that I could come back to use all the wonderful benefits of Amozan Primo any time I wanted.

Don’t think so, Amozan.

Anyway, I carried on with my order for the items I wanted to buy (Remember them?). Free next day delivery? Nope. I’ll just opt for normal delivery, thank you. That’ll be the one that says Free delivery within 3-5 working days. I pressed the button to select...
‘Welcome to Amozan Primo.’

I’m sure the neighbours must have heard me sobbing.


.....oooOooo.....


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 8th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know...

Emiliano Zapata 1879 (Revolutionary. Looked nothing like Marlon Brando.), Jerold Wells 1908 (Jobbing actor.), Unity Mitford 1914 (‘Socialite’. Pal of a certain Mr. A. Hitler.), Earl Cameron 1917 (Jobbing actor. Died just a month ago.), Willie Woodburn 1919 (Fitba guy.), Agostino ‘Dino’ De Laurentiis 1919 (Film producer.), Frank Chapple 1921 (Trade unionist.), Esther Williams 1921 (Swimmer who ‘acted’ in films where she got the chance to swim.), Rory Calhoun 1922 (Jobbing actor.), Willie Redpath 1922 (Fitba guy. Played for Motherwell, you know.), Richard Anderson 1926 (Actor. Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.), Derek Batey 1928 (TV presenter.), Ronnie Biggs 1929 (Celebrity crook.), Terry Nation 1930 (TV writer. Invented the Daleks.), Joe Tex 1933 (Singer/songwriter. Have a clip. He doesn't want to bump any more.), Keith Barron 1934 (Actor. David Pearce in Duty Free. Him.), Jan PieĊ„kowski 1936 (Author and illustrator. Meg and Mog; he draws them.), Dustin Hoffman 1937 (Actor. ‘Mrs Rabbinson, are you trying to sedooce me?’), Tom Georgeson 1937 (Jobbing actor.), Connie Stevens 1938 (Actress.), Johnny Gustafson 1942 (Musician. Here’s Watch Out For The Bat.), Denis Canavan 1942 (Politician.), John Renbourn 1944 (Musician. Here’s Little Niles.), John C. Holmes 1944 (Actor in some dodgy films. Know what I mean? Nudge nudge, wink wink. He made 573 in all. [He must have been knackered! - Ed.]), Keith Carradine 1949 (Actor.), Louis van Gaal 1951 (Voetbal kerel.), Fidelis Morgan 1952 (Orfer.), Nigel Mansell 1953 (Racey car bloke.), Jim Sweeney 1956 (Jobbing actor. Played a polis in The Angels’ Share.), David Grant 1956 (Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Watching You Watching Me. That vest is only fit for the bin.), Chris ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman 1956 (Geetarist with Madness and Crunch. Who? Have a clip. Here’s Magic Carpet.), Daniel Abineri 1958 (Actor. Fr Neil Boyd in Bless Me, Father. Him.), Nigel Spink 1958 (Footy bloke.), Simon Weston 1961 (Falklands War veteran.), Chris Eubank 1966 (Boxy bloke.), Delroy ‘Bitty’ McLean 1972 (Singer. Here’s his biggest ’it, It Keeps Raining (Tears From My Eyes).), Brian Harvey 1974 (Singer with East (later E) 17. Here’s their first ’it, House of Love.), Enzo Cilenti 1974 (Actor. Yezzan zo Qaggaz in Game of Thrones. Him.), Pooja Shah 1979 (Actress. Meena in Bend It Like Beckham. Her.), Bradley McIntosh 1981 (Singer. Was 14.28571428571429 per cent of S Club 7. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Have You Ever. Brad’s in there somewhere.), Kirk Broadfoot 1984 (Fitba Guy.), Katie Leung 1987 (Actress. Lau Chen in Strangers. Her.), Princess Beatrice of York 1988 (Like royal, yah?), Hannah Miley 1989 (Swimmy bloke.) and Aiysha Hart 1990 (Actress. Sam Railston in Line of Duty. Her.).

Let’s have some of the same for August the 15th, shall we...

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769 (Emperor of the French... in case you didn’t know.), Walter Scott 1771 (Orfer. Waverley, that was one of his.), Thomas de Quincey 1785 (Orfer. Confessions of an English Opium Eater, that was one of his.), Keir Hardie 1856 (Trade unionist and politician. ‘Labour’s greatest pioneer and its greatest hero.’), Edith Nesbit 1858 (Orfer, mainly for children. Five Children and It was one of hers.), Ethel Barrymore 1879 (Actress.), Jacques Ibert 1890 ([Is that her that used to present Reporting Scotland? - Ed.] That’s Jackie Bird! Ibert was a composer. Here’s Serenade sur l'eau.), Major-General Douglas Wimberley 1896 (Officer in the British Army. Known as ‘Tartan Tam’.), Wynford Vaughan-Thomas 1908 (Journalist and broadcaster.), Wendy Hiller 1912 (Ectress don’tcha know.), Robert Bolt 1924 (Screenwriter. A Man for All Seasons... One of his.), Oscar Peterson 1925 (Tickler of the ivories. A clip? Here’s Hymn to Freedom.), Bill Pinkney 1925 (A Drifter. Have a clip. Here’s an oldie... Money Honey), Nicholas Roeg 1928 (Film maker. The Man Who Fell to Earth, that was one of his.), Frederick ‘Nosher’ Powell 1928 (Boxer, stuntman and actor.), Paul McDowell 1931 (Jobbing actor and in a former life... a vocalist with this mob.), Bill Podmore 1931 (Television director. Worked on Corrie. The cast referred to him as ‘The Godfather’.), Bobby Helms 1933 (Singer. Here’s Jacqueline... pronounced Jakwoolin. Don’t ask me why.), Stanley Milgram 1933 (Social psychologist. Inspiration for this.), Jim Dale 1935 (Actor.), Geoff Hamilton 1936 (TV gardener.), Pete York 1942 (Drummer. He began ‘Superdrumming’ with other top drummers in 1987.  Here's a short clip. Sheer class!), Simon May 1944 (Composer of mainly TV themes. Here, he explains a bit about his most famous toon. Shame about the camerawork.), Eddie Phillips 1945 (Musician. Here he is with his band, Creation with Making Time Did you spot his means of playing guitar which was later made famous by Jimmy Page?), Nigel Terry 1945 (Ectaw, dear leddie. King Arthur in Excalibur. Him.), William Waldegrave 1945 (Politician. Served on John Major’s cabinet. Now known as Baron Waldegrave of North Hill... Could be a character from Lord of the Rings with a name like that.), Tony Robinson 1946 (Actor, broadcaster and political activist, but you know him better as this poetic chap.), Jenny Hanley 1946 (Actress who presented Magpie... erm, that’s it.), Jimmy Webb 1946 (Musician. Better known for songs recorded by others such as Richard Harris.), Tom Johnston 1948 (A Doobie brother. Enjoy this lockdown classic.), Anne, Princess Royal 1950 (Team captain on It’s a Royal Knockout. I’ll bet she was proud of that one.), Carol and Mark Thatcher 1953 (Famous because of their parents, Mags and Den.), Steig Larsson 1954 (Orfer.), Judy Holt 1956 (Jobbing actress.), Matt Johnson 1961 (The The The main man. Have a clip. Here’s Uncertain Smile.), Jack Russell 1963 (Crickety wickety keepery bloke.), Con O’Neill 1966 (Jobbing actor. Davy Throb in Norbert Smith, a Life. Him.), Debra Messing 1968 (Actress. Grace in Will & Grace. Her. She makes cupcakes. Don’t buy them for your maiden aunt. Just... don’t.), Ben Affleck 1972 (Actor. Batman in Justice League. That was him underneath all that rubbery stuff.), Jonathan Slinger 1972 (Jobbing actor. Remember Paradox? No? Well, he was in that.), Natalie Press 1980 (Actress. She played Emily Davison in Suffragette. She was the one who famously threw herself under the king’s horse, although there has always been speculation about her planning such a dramatic course of action.), Samuel Roukin 1980 (Actor. The Sentinel in Salem. Sounds creepy.), Ted Dwane 1984 (A bit of Mumford & Sons. Have a clip. Here’s I Will Wait Popular in the good ol U S of A. Wonder why.), Sean Rigby 1989 (Actor. DS Jim Strange in Endeavour. Him.), Joe Jonas 1989 (A brother. Have a clip. Here’s Sauce... I’m sorry, here’s S.O.S.), Josh Magennis 1990 (A footballer, so he is.), Lily Stead 1993 (Kayleigh Gibbs in Emmerdale. Her.) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 1993 (Footy bloke.).

Let’s not forget August the 22nd.

Henry Maudslay 1771 (Engineer. He could be called the father of mass-production as it was he who invented a metal-cutting lathe that allowed the standardisation of screw threads. Educational, this is.), Claude Debussy 1862 (Composer. Have a clip. Here is the beautiful Arabesque No. 1.), Cecil Kellaway 1890 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in more than a hundred films.), Dorothy Parker 1893 (Poet, writer, satirist and critic.), Jack Payne 1899 (Bandleader. Here’s signature tune Say It With Music), Leni Riefenstahl 1902 (Film maker.), Deng Xiaoping 1904 (Politician.), Henri Cartier-Bresson 1908 (Snapper.), Hugh Paddick 1915 (Comedy actor.), John Slater 1916 (Actor. Worked with Pinky and Perky, you know.), John Lee Hooker 1917 (Musician. A clip? Indeed. Here’s his first hit (1948), Boogie Chillen with a little help from some jobbing musicians.), Kent Walton 1917 (Sports commentator. The voice of wrestling.), Ray Bradbury 1920 (Orfer.), Ernest Maxin 1923 (TV producer, director, dancer and choreographer. Worked with Morecambe and Wise, you know.), Honor Blackman 1925 (Actress. Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Her. Had a hit record, too. This. Ye gods and little fishes!), Ivor Salter 1925 (Jobbing actor. Seemed to play police constables a lot, I remember.), Bob Flanigan 1926 (A Freshman. A clip? Here’s Poinciana.), David de Keyser 1927 (Another jobbing actor.), Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928 (Composer. Let’s have a toon. Here’s a fragment of Inori. [Or pretentious bollocks as I prefer to call it. - Ed.]), Norman Schwartzkopf 1934 (The well-known general and hair product maker.), Valerie Harper 1939 (Actress. Rhoda Morgenstern in Rhoda. Her.), Fred Milano 1939 (A Belmont. Time for another clip. Here are the Belmonts without Dion with We Belong Together.), Pete Atkin 1945 (Musician and radio producer.), Alan Birchenall 1945 (Footy bloke.), Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis 1957 (Snookery bloke.), Mark Williams 1959 (Actor. Father Brown. Him.), Roland Orzabal 1961 (A Tear for Fear. A clip? Why, certainly, Stanley. Here’s Sowing the Seeds of Love.  A bit of a Beatles tribute going on there.), Tori Amos 1963 (Musician. Here’s her biggest hit, Professional Widow.  A bit of a Kate Bush tribute going on there.), Mats Wilander 1964 (Tennisspelare.), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje 1967 (Actor. Mr Eko in Lost. Him. Makes you long for the days when would-be stars with unusual names changed them to something simpler like Danny Kaye or Kirk Douglas.), Steve ‘Fanny’ Cradock 1969 (A bit of Ocean Colour Scene and the re-formed Specials. A clip? Yes indeedy. Here’s Hundred Mile High City  Nice car.), Richard Armitage 1971 (Actor. Lee Preston in Cold Feet. Him.), Dan Antopolski 1972 (Comedian. Won the top joke award at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe with ‘Hedgehogs - why can’t they just share the hedge?’ Perhaps you had to be there.), Sheree Murphy 1975 (Actress. Tricia Dingle in Emmerdale. Her. Married to Harry Kewell, you know.), Ed Petrie 1978 (Kids’ TV presenter.), James Corden 1978 (Comedian, it says here.) and Adam Thirlwell 1978 (Orfer.).




I’ve received a letter...

Dear Ed Gramble,
I was surprised that you played a track from Chris Foreman’s later band, Crunch, rather than something from the more famous of his bands, Madness. Of course, they had so many hits, it would have been a hard task to actually choose one. I would probably have opted for their most successful offering. I believe they had a number one, but I can’t remember with what song. Can you help?
Yours in anticipation,


.....oooOooo.....


Time to gramble... or perhaps not.  We haven’t done too well with the predictions from The Grambler of late. I blame it on the faltering start to this season’s games. The Scottish Premiership has notched up four matches for most teams while none of the other leagues have even started the 2020-21 season. Is it any wonder that our bets have been all over the place? Can we manage a gramble this week? (They can’t touch you for it.) Erm... in a word, no. Once again, there are too few matches to place a gramble-type bet on. And after last week’s showing on the gee gees... I reckon a few shady burgers will be on sale very soon.
Next week? Aye, mibbee.

.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1977 in Les Ulis, France. My first club at senior level was Monaco where I spent five years. I then went for a brief period to Juventus, before an eight year spell at Arsenal. During my time there, I scored 228 goals; a club record. I won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times. I won the UEFA Champions League with my next club, Barcelona. Oh, and I played 123 times for France and won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Answer: Thierry Henry

2. One for facup day. What was the last club from outside the top division to win the FA Cup?

Answer: West Ham United in 1980

3. Who was the top-scoring Brazilian in the 2019-20 Premier League?

Answer: Roberto Firmino (56)

4. Which England manager won the most caps as an England player?

Answer: Stuart Pearce (78)

5. Which is the odd one out and why?
Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal

Answer: Arsenal. The others still have their original names whereas Arsenal changed from Dial Square.

Another five for this week? Aye, go on, then.

1. Who am I?
I was born in Belfast in 1946. I began my senior career at Manchester United and scored 137 goals in 361 appearances. The Portuguese press nicknamed me ‘The fifth Beatle’.

2. Since it is Champions League Final weekend, what is the highest goal tally in a European Cup/Champions League final?

3. Which Englishman has won the most European Cup/Champions League winners medals?

4. Which Premier League club has a stork on its badge?

5. Harrogate Town has joined the English League for the first time in its 106 year history. Prior to them, which was the last club to join the league for the first time? Hope that makes sense.

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?


.....oooOooo.....


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


.....oooOooo.....


Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).


…..oooOooo…..


And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Ms. D. Parker who features in this week’s birthday honours. She was a poet, writer, satirist and critic, but was perhaps best known for her witticisms, often barbed but always memorable. Let’s have a few to finish off this week’s edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog. As you read them, please remember they were written almost a hundred years ago. Ahead of her time, old Dorothy.

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.

Don't look at me in that tone of voice.

I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it.

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.


Tell him I was too f*ck*ng busy-- or vice versa

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' in any of them.

I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.

She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go.

Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.

Now I know the things I know, 
and I do the things I do; 
and if you do not like me so, 
to hell, my love, with you!

If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.

Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life.

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded
wheelchair.


Q: What's the difference between an enzyme and a hormone?
A: You can't hear an enzyme


Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.


I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.

If all the girls attending [the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

I'm not a writer with a drinking problem, I'm a drinker with a writing problem.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'cheque enclosed'.

Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.

If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.


Authors and actors and artists and such - 
Never know nothing, and never know much.

The only “ism” Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.

Now, look, baby, 'Union' is spelled with 5 letters. It is not a four-letter word.

Their pooled emotions wouldn’t fill a teaspoon.

By the time you swear you're his, 
shivering and sighing, 
And he vows his passion is 
infinite,undying-Lady,make a note of this: 
One of you is lying

The lads I've met in cupid's deadlock
Were - shall we say? - born out of wedlock


Dorothy Parker... The Joan Rivers of her day




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.


Saturday, 1 August 2020

Week 1 - Let the grambling commence

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

As I write this, Mrs G is watching a new Sunday-night drama called A Suitable Boy. It didn't appeal to me, so I am sitting in another room merrily typing the kind of incisive and insightful drivel you, both of my loyal readers, have come to expect. Unfortunately, I can still hear the programme from where I am sitting [Well, move then. - Ed.]. It doesn't bother me unduly, so why, you must be wondering, do I mention the fact?
The sound is low enough that I can't make out what is being said; it is just a murmur. What I can hear is music. Throughout the programme there is music being played. It is the music that bothers me. I am not concerned about it being there, but I am annoyed at the type of music being played. It is the sort of sitar and drum music that makes you immediately know that what you are watching concerns India or any of its sub-continental neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Why do I have a problem with it? I find it rather patronising to us, the viewers, but also, to the country concerned.
It is as if the producer of this drama thinks we might forget that this programme deals with India if this style of music stops... 'Why has the music stopped? Are we not in India any more?'
And I am convinced that there are many Asian people who watch such programmes who, like me, dislike the music chosen.
It has always been the case. Any documentary that was ever made about India, or China, say, is punctuated with what we in the West perceive to be authentic Indian/Chinese music. Do programme makers think the audience is too stupid to work out that it concerns these far eastern countries without such music... even though the title of the programme has already explained the fact and the narrator/presenter constantly reminds us throughout the programme?
I think the whole practice should cease. I know that music can play an important part in a programme, especially a travelogue type of thing where there might be scenes which show the grandeur of a particular place and long sweeping aerial views seem to work better without commentary; a bit of music fills the aural void. However, any type of music would suffice at such moments, it doesn't have to be ethnically authentic... Or does it?
Another Sunday night programme that Mrs G and I both enjoy is called Countryfile. Quite often, it features moments where an area's best features are shown from the air in the style I have already alluded to. At such moments, music is played while the piece of drone footage is shown. Usually, it is a piece of contemporary, instrumental music, which might suit the scenery, that is played. Surely, (Don't call me Shirley.) if the programme's producer is doing his/her job properly, they should be applying the same guidelines as used for those far-eastern documentaries. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes, when sweeping views of the Yorkshire Dales are shown, we should be hearing some brass band music or Ilkley Moor Bar T'at. Or if they head up north of the border, we should be listening to Donald Where's Yer Troosers. Wales? We'll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside sung by a male voice choir? What about London, guv? Any Old Iron? My Old Man's a Dustman? Silly? Is it any sillier than the Indian/Chinese music? It's all about authenticity.
You may be thinking that such suggestions are just daft. Are you sure about that? We assume that the music being played over these eastern documentaries and dramas is suited to the programme in question. Is it, though? Maybe, whoever selects the music has a wicked sense of humour and what we are listening to is the Indian equivalent of The Birdie Song or Yackety Sax.
Yes... not so certain now, are you?


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Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 1st of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Claudius 10 BC (The well-known Roman emperor. Looked nothing like Derek Jacobi.), Herman Melville 1819 (Orfer. Wrote that one about whales. [I’ve been there. Llanelli, it was... Everywhere you went, they were singing We’ll Keep a Welcome in The Hillside. - Ed.]), Charlotte Hughes 1877 (Supercentenarian. She died in 1993.), Raymond Mays 1899 (Racey car bloke. Helped develop the ERA and BRM racing cars.), Daphne Heard 1904 (Actress. Popular in her later years, often playing old crones. She played Mrs Polouvicka in To The Manor Born.), Richard Pearson 1918 (Jobbing actor. He usually played jovial or absent-minded types. Voiced Mole in the animated film of The Wind in the Willows. [Ooh, you don’t want wind in the willows; very embarassing, that is. - Ed.]), Jeffrey Segal 1918 (Another jobbing actor. Arthur Perkins in Rentaghost. Him.), Jack Kramer 1921 (Tennisy bloke.), Frank Worrell 1924 (Crickety mon.), Hannah Hauxwell 1926 (Farmer who became a celebrity after her bleak life was featured in the documentary Too Long a Winter.), Lionel Bart 1930 (Composer. Oliver was his biggie, but he had a few stinkers including Twang, a musical based on the legend of Robin Hood. Here’s a track from a more successful effort, Blitz.), Norman Bowler 1932 (Actor. Frank Tate in Emmerdale. Him.), Dom DeLuise (Actor. Dom Bell... oh, how we laughed... in Silent Movie. Him.), Yves Saint Laurent 1936 (Dressmaker.), Laurie Taylor 1936 (Sociologist and radio presenter.), Donald Neilson 1936 (Psycho.), Ian Hogg 1937 (Jobbing actor. Alan Rockliffe in Rockliffe’s Babies and Rockliffe’s Follies. Him.), Mervin Kitchen 1940 (Crickety bloke.), Jerry Garcia 1942 (A bit of Grateful Dead. A clip? Why not. Here’s Touch of Grey), Geoff Britton 1943 (Drummer. Worked with Paul McCartney during his Wings period. Have a clip. Here’s Listen to What the Man Said), Laila Morse 1945 (Actress. Mo Harris in Eastenders. Her.), David Calder 1946 (Jobbing actor.), Raymond ‘Boz’ Burrell 1946 (Singer and bassist. Formed Bad Company with Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirk and Mick Ralphs. Here they are with Bad Company), Tim Bachman 1951 (Musician. Part of Messrs. Bachman, Turner and Overdrive. One for Harry Enfield fans there. Another clip, vicar? Here’s Roll on Down the Highway.  Anyone else spot Sugar Sugar by The Archies in there? Just me, then.), Tommy Bolin 1951 (Musician. Here’s the title track from the album Teaser.), Mick Ford 1952 (Actor and writer. Starred as Archer in Scum.), Robert Cray 1953 (Musician. Here’s a nice toon, Right Next Door.), Trevor Berbick 1954 (Boxy bloke.), Michael Audreson 1956 (Actor. Brains in The Double Deckers. Him.), Adrian Dunbar 1958 (Actor. Ted Hastings in Line of Duty. Him.), Joe Elliott 1959 (Def Leppard singer. Here’s When Love and Hate Collide, their ‘crossover’ song.), Carlton Ridenhour aka Chuck D. 1960 (Rapper. Part of Public Enemy. I was searching for a clip... It's harder than you think), Artis Ivey Jr. aka Coolio 1963 (Another rapper. Another track? Ooh la la!), Amber Rudd 1963 (Politician.), Mark Wright 1963 (Footy bloke.), John Carroll Lynch 1963 (Jobbing actor.), Adam Duritz 1964 (Counting Crows frontman. Who’s this Mr. Jones?), Sam Mendes 1965 (Stage and film director.), Robert Beck 1968 (Jobbing actor. Jimmy Dockerson in Corrie. Him.), Martin Phipps 1968 (Composer. You might recognise this composition.), Stuart Wade 1969 (Actor. Biff Fowler in Emmerdale. Him.), Paul Tonkinson 1969 (Comedian and radio presenter.), Graham Thorpe 1969 (Crickety bloke.), David James 1970 (Footy bloke of no fixed hairstyle.), Mark Petchy 1970 (Tennisy bloke.), Elizabeth Bower 1976 (Actress. Aunt Corey in The Secret Life of Boys. Her.), Chris Iwelumo 1978 (Fitba guy.), Dhani Harrison aka Ayrton Wilbury 1978 (Musician. Son of George. A clip? I should say. Here’s Motorways (Erase it).), Honeysuckle Weeks 1979 (Actress. Sam Wainwright in Foyle’s War. Her.), Julia Mallam 1982 (Actress. Dawn Woods in Emmerdale. Her.), Monserrat Lombard 1982 (Actress. Shaz Granger in Ashes to Ashes. Her.), Kenny Wright 1985 (Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell.), Henry Lloyd-Hughes 1985 (Jobbing actor. Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners.), Lee Wallace 1987 (Fitba Guy.), Jack O’Connell 1990 (Actor. James Cook in Skins. Him.) and Jason Cummings 1995 (Fitba guy.).




I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Grambledore,
I was so pleased that you played a song by Paul McCartney and Wings. I was a big fan of theirs. I would be interested to know if they ever had a number one. Can you help?
Yours hopefully,

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Time to gramble. Hey, guess what! It’s a new footy season! Yay! Definitely time to get The Grambler out and give him/her/it a rub down with an oily cloth til he/she/it gleams, in readiness for Week 1 of the new season.
What has the wise and wonderful Grambler randomly selected for our first bet of the season? First of all, there is a slight problem. You see, it is only the Scottish Premiership which begins the new season this week, so there are only four matches taking place on the Saturday. There is, however, a certain cup game being played in England. It might even be the final. I believe the competition is called the fa cup, which I thought described the way the end of the 2019-20 season was organised. Any road up, shall we break all the (unwritten) Grambler rules and include a cup match? Aye, go on, then.

Game - Result - Odds
Arsenal vs Chelsea - Chelsea to lift trophy - 8/13
Aberdeen vs Rangers - Prediction Away win - 2/5
Dundee U vs St Johnstone - Prediction Home win - 17/10
Hibs vs Kilmarnock - Prediction Home win - 21/20
St Mirren vs Livingston - Prediction Home win - 9/5

Oh dear. I have a bad feeling about this.
The bets have been placed: a 20 pee accumulator plus ten 20 pee doubles which, if they all came up, [Some hope! - Ed.] would mean that the amount winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund would be a whopping...

£15.68

Sometimes, that total is a bit too whopping.

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Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1940 in Aberdeen. I began my senior career at Huddersfield. Four years later I signed for Manchester City who paid £55,000 for me, a British record at the time. After a year, I signed for Torino for another record fee, before moving to Manchester United for yet another record fee. I hold the club record for most goals scored in a single season (46). I am the only Scot to have won the Balon d’Or award.
Answer: Denis Law
2. Who was the last English-born manager to win the FA Cup?
Answer: (Flash) Harry Rednapp
3. Which Premier League team’s original name was St. Lukes
Answer: Wolverhampton Wanderers
4. Which country has hosted the most UEFA European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals?
Answer: Italy (9 times)
5. Which nation became a full UEFA member in 2016 and played England for the first time in 2019?
Answer: Kosovo

Five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1977 in Les Ulis, France. My first club at senior level was Monaco where I spent five years. I then went for a brief period to Juventus, before an eight year spell at Arsenal. During my time there, I scored 228 goals; a club record. I won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times. I won the UEFA Champions League with my next club, Barcelona. Oh, and I played 123 times for France and won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
2. One for facup day. What was the last club from outside the top division to win the FA Cup?
3. Who was the top-scoring Brazilian in the 2019-20 Premier League?
4. Which England manager won the most caps as an England player?
5. Which is the odd one out and why?
Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?

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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

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Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

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And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. P. Green who has recently passed away. So, it’s a bit of a sad one this week. Any Fleetwood Mac fans ought to be aware that Peter Green was Fleetwood Mac in its first incarnation. He was the front man, singer and writer of the band’s earliest material. I have a confession to make; when I was a nipper Mac was my favourite band. I saved my pocket money and bought the singles Albatross, Man of the Word, Oh Well, etc. I don’t, generally, do hero worship, but Greeny was up there.
Sadly, at the height of the band’s fame, he left and disappeared (almost) without trace. He had taken LSD and it affected his, already fragile, mental health.
Having left Fleetwood Mac in 1970, the next decade saw his health decline and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. During those years, he became something of a recluse and rarely emerged from his modest terraced house. He would refuse money that he was due in royalties and even threatened his accountant with a shotgun when he had come to pass on money to him.
During the 1980s, he was helped by many musician friends, who would get him to guest on albums.
In the late 1990s, after several idle years, he was tempted back into performing by guitarist Nigel Green and they formed Peter Green’s Splinter Group with drummer Cozy Powell.
After quitting that band in 2004, Green moved to Sweden. He began playing and touring again with Peter Green and Friends.
I only saw my ‘hero’ playing live once; in the late 90s with his Splinter Group. It was a sad occasion for me. The bulk of the guitar work was handled by Nigel Watson, rather than Green who often stared vacantly into space as if he didn’t know where he was. Although he was only about 50 years old at the time, he shambled around like someone 20 years older.
Rather than dwell on that poor performance, let’s finish with a clip of Green when he was at his peak. Here’s Oh Well (Part 1) and the haunting B-side Oh Well (Part 2).

Peter Green - Axe-wielding god 


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.