Sunday 23 May 2021

Post 411 - A mobile gramble


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 omplgood. 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


Story time...

I've started getting annoying phone calls again. I know I've commented on such a thing before, but this time is a bit different as it is now my mobile phone which is receiving the calls. This is a recent phenomenon and I can only assume that some company which has asked for my mobile number in the past has now sold it on.

Sadly, some companies insist on a mobile number when you buy something from them so that they can contact you by text... aye, sure. Get more money by selling it to any old hobbledehoy that wants it, more like. It was bad enough getting calls from double glazing companies and the like on my landline. I avoided answering them if I could, now I've got twice as many to avoid answering.

Ah, I hear you say, numbers show up on a mobile phone when you receive a call. True, but it is still annoying.

I tend not to answer them but sometimes curiosity gets the better of me... What if it is an important call from the NHS? I get them a lot at my age. They always have unrecognisable numbers, so I sometimes do answer the call only to be informed that I have been selected to take part in a survey regarding the double glazing in my house. Doh! Caught out again.

I have the answer. [You bloody would have. - Ed.] Well, I have an answer. Change your phone number. Yep. Get a new phone number from your provider. How? Actually, I don't know. Tell them that you are getting nuisance calls or something. Anyway, before cancelling your old number, inform all the important numbers in your phone book of your new number. Clever, huh? A bit time consuming, though. You'd have to select and write down all those numbers you wish to keep. Hang on, I hear you say, you can transfer numbers from one phone to another with a simple touch of the right button. Hmm... I've made a simple touch of the wrong button too often to trust that one. Write them down somewhere safe. At least the nuisance calls should end.*

What has prompted this sudden interest in cold calling avoidance, you may be asking. Well, the other day there was a call from a number I did not recognise. As is my wont, I did not answer it. Unusually, this caller left a message. I listened to it and discovered it was from a delivery company who wanted instructions of where to deliver my new furniture. As I hadn't actually ordered any new furniture, I thought it only right that I phoned them back to put them straight.

Any road up, to cut a long story short, I now have a lovely new three-piece suite.

Sometimes it pays to answer these calls.

Of course I didn't take delivery of someone else's furniture. What do you take me for? Mind you...

*[What a palaver!  You could just block the number. - Ed.]





Birthday honours...

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

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 22nd of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Arthur Conan Doyle 1859 - Writer and physician. His most famous character was undoubtedly Sherlock Holmes; he appeared in over 60 stories.

Baden Baden-Powell 1860 - Robert’s little bro. Military aviation pioneer.

Percy Sillitoe 1888 - Director general of MI5 from 1946 to 1953.

Jeanne de Casalis 1897 - Actress. Created a popular radio comic character called Mrs Feather. She even published a book called ‘Mrs Feather’s Diary’. There you go, even 80 odd years ago stars were cashing in on their fame.

Binnie Hale 1899 - Ectress, singer end dahncer. Hyah she sings Spread a Little Heppiness.

Tom Driberg 1905 - Journalist, politician, churchman and possible Soviet spy.

Laurence Olivier 1907 - Ectaw dear leddie. Won the best actor Oscar for Hamlet. [With the emphasis on ‘ham’. - Ed.] Won twice as many Razzies as worst actor in Inchon and The Jazz Singer.

Cecil McGovern 1907 - Controller of the Beeb Beeb Ceeb telly service from 1950 to 1957.

Rupert Davies 1916 - Actor. Played Maigret in... Maigret. He was also the voice of Joe 90’s dad.

Yvette Rees 1924 - Jobbing actress. Alexa Kovics in 199 Park Lane.

Eric Delaney 1924 - Drummer and bandleader. Here he is Rockin' the Tymps.  Yeah, dig that crazy beat, daddio.

Kenny Ball 1930 - Trumpeter and bandleader. Here is a moderately successful toon from 1961, Midnight in Moscow. My dad had that record, I'm sure.

Don Estelle 1933 - Actor and singer. Best known as ‘Lofty’ in It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum. The name came from his less than lofty stature - 4 feet 9 inches. He had a hit, you know. Here’s Whispering Grass.

John Nolan 1938 - Jobbing actor. Fredericks in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises.

Bruce Rowland 1941 - Drummer with The Grease Band and Fairport Convention. Here’s an instrumental piece called Cropredy Capers.

Menzies Campbell 1941 - Politician.

Cavan Kendall 1942 - Actor. Started out as a child actor and played Peter in a 1957 series of The Railway Children.

George Best 1946 - The greeardest foody bluck the wurlled has eyerver knooen.

G. F. Newman 1946 - orfer and television producer. Judge John Deed, he wrote that.

Howard Kendall 1946 - Footy bloke.

Cheryl Campbell 1949 - Actress. Eileen in Pennies from Heaven. Her.

Bernie Taupin 1950 - Lyricist for Elton John. Time for a clip. Guess who is singing. Yes, it’s Bernie with Monkey On My Back (The Last Run).

Paul Mariner 1953 - Footy bloke.

Peter Bazalgette 1953 - TV executive.

Jerry Dammers 1955 - A Special. Here’s an early outing on The Old Grey Whistle Test with A Message To You Rudy.

Dale Winton 1955 - Orange television presenter.

Denise Welch 1958 - Actress. Now a loose woman.

Morrisey 1959 - Singer, songwriter and author. A clip? Why not. Here’s You Have Killed Me.

Graham Fellows aka John Shuttleworth aka Jilted John 1959 - Comedy actor and musician. You would like another clip? Of course you would. Here’s I can't go back to savoury now.

Jon Sopel 1959 - TV correspondent. Currently, Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s North America Editor.

Mark Farmer 1962 - Actor and musician. Gary Hargreaves in Grange Hill. Him.

David Schneider 1963 - Actor, comedian, writer and director. He wrote The Death of Stalin.

Naomi Campbell 1970 - Clothes horse.

Stephen Walters 1975 - Actor. Angus Mhor in Outlander. Him.

Tom Chambers 1977 - Actor. Inspector (now chief inspector) Sullivan in Father Brown. Him.

Katie Price 1978 - Media personality (it says here).

Sara Pascoe 1981 - Comedian, actor and writer.

Edward Bluemel 1993 - Actor. Hugo in Killing Eve. Him.




I’ve received a letter...

Dear Menzies and Naomi Grampbell,

How nice that you as father and daughter have the same birthday.

I have followed your career as a model for many years now. It must have been really embarrassing for you when you tripped on the catwalk that time.

Naomi, you might be best advised to not follow your dad into a career in modelling. I believe you used to be a pop singer. Didn’t you do a version of a T. Rex song?

Yours with oodles of love,

Ryder Whyte-Swann.





Gramble time...

How did The Grambler’s predictions go last week? Even worse than the previous week. Two out of five correct predictions. How much did we win? 78 pees. Rubbish, or what? You should never back your own team to win, that’s all I’m saying. What happened? Read on...



Southampton vs Fulham - Home win

Result - Southampton 3 Fulham 1


Che ‘Grizzly’ Adams had punished poor set-piece defending to sweep Saints ahead with an instinctive half-volley when the Cottagers allowed James ‘Darth Vader’ Ward-Prowse's free-kick to bounce in the six-yard box.

Nathan ‘Fortune’ Tella's strike to make it 2-0 was not the only milestone for a young player on show as Fulham teenager Fabio ‘Fly’ Carvalho drilled in off the crossbar to score on his first Premier League start.

But the 18-year-old's effort could not prevent another loss for Fulham.

Southampton sealed victory in the closing stages as Adams and Tella combined to set up Theo ‘Brick’ Walcott, whose shot looped home via a slight deflection.


Hibs vs Celtic - Away win

Result - Hibs 0 Celtic 0

Ooh! 'It the bar!

Hibs defender Darren ‘Mister’ McGregor headed over from a corner kick, but it was a rare chance amidst one-way traffic from the visitors.

Callum ‘Missus’ McGregor and ex-Motherwell striker David Turnbull peppered the goal from distance, and Mohamed ‘Jay Kay’ Elyounoussi had an early chance cleared off the line, as well as another tipped away after rounding the goalkeeper.

And Elyounoussi again went close when he spun away from David ‘Babylon’ Gray but goalkeeper Ofir ‘Rocky’ Marciano tipped his low shot past a post.

Further efforts from Ryan ‘Agatha’ Christie and Odsonne ‘Percy’ Edouard kept Marciano busy, but still they could not find the breakthrough.

Elyounoussi was lively for the visitors and hammered a shot on target which the goalkeeper got behind, but the second 45 was a quieter affair in both boxes.

James ‘Epping’ Forrest had the best of the late chances for Celtic when he stole into the box, but Marciano was quick to save at his feet.

And Jackson ‘River’ Irvine could have snatched the three points for Hibs, but shot over inside the box in the final minutes. [Sounds rather messy. - Ed.]


St. Johnstone vs Livingstone - Home win

Result - St. Johnstone 0 Livingstone 0

Ooh!  'It the bar again!

Stevie ‘Cumquat’ May had the hosts’ only shot on target, connecting relatively well with a volley, but Max ‘Red’ Stryjek dealt with it comfortably.

Jay ‘Black’ Emmanuel-Thomas tried his luck at the other end shortly after, with Zdenek Zlamal (Winner of this week’s Cracking Name of the Week award.) at full stretch to tip his effort around a post. That was Livingston's only touch inside the St Johnstone area in the first 70 minutes.

The only clear chance of the match fell to Jaze ‘Hackney’ Kabia, who robbed Shaun ‘Wean’ Rooney in his own box and fired an effort at Zlamal, who parried back towards the Livingston winger.

But, just as it looked as though Kabia would get a second bite at it, in came a clattering challenge from Jason ‘Deborah’ Kerr. Kabia beat the turf in pain, but referee Craig Napier saw nothing wrong with the tackle.

Livingston were in the ascendancy in the closing stages, but they failed to really trouble the St Johnstone back line.


Hamilton vs Kilmarnock - Away win

Result - Hamilton 0 Kilmarnock 2


The Ayrshire side held up their end of things by coasting into a comfortable lead, with Mitch ‘Doug’ Pinnock evading his marker to tap home on nine minutes after a superb delivery by Ross ‘Karen’ Millen.

The Englishman then showed good composure to roll in his second and finish off a rapid counter attack, after a clever pass from Alan ‘Turbo’ Power.

His afternoon was blemished by a missed penalty, though, as Hamilton's 19-year-old goalkeeper Jamie ‘Gun’ Smith made a fine save on his debut after Kyle ‘Zabute’ Lafferty was brought down midway through the second period.


Motherwell vs Ross County - Home win

Result - Motherwell 1 Ross County 2


Early on, the home side got their noses in front when a cross deflected on to the thigh of the on-rushing Sam ‘Care’ Foley, who did not know much about it, but claimed the opening goal.

Moments later the ball fell kindly in the box for County’s Jordan ‘Lily’ White, but he volleyed his shot off the top of the bar.

It was looking like a frustrating afternoon for Ross County, but they took control of the contest in the second half.

It began with (ex-Motherwell man) Ian ‘Tiger’ Vigurs conjuring up a special strike to level.  After an exchange of passes, the County captain curled a delightful left-foot shot around the goalkeeper.  Boo!

Stephen ‘Ma’ Kelly could have made it 2-1 but swiped fresh air when a low cross was played into his path.  But County kept pressing and Michael ‘Come-into-the’ Gardyne latched on to a through ball and made no mistake, finishing inside the near post to give County their lead. Double boo!


Well, that will teach The Grambler to pick on my team to win.  Kiss of death, that is.  So, onto this weekend and we have only the Premier League and some playoffs to pick from.  Let’s concentrate on the Premier League games, shall we?  All games take place on Sunday at 4pm.  What has The Grambler randomly selected?

Game - Result - Odds

Arsenal vs Brighton - Home win - 4/7

Aston Villa vs Chelsea - Away win - 9/20

Fulham vs Newcastle - Home win - 21/20

Leicester vs Tottenham - Home win - Evens

West Ham vs Southampton - Home win - 13/20

Oh dear. Don’t like the look of some of those.

Any road up, the bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if The Grambler’s predictions are spot on, the Bobby Moore Fund stands (or sits) to win a whopping...



Decidedly unwhopping, I reckon.




Teaser time...

Yay!  How did you get on with last week’s five questions?  Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?


This one was chosen by Mrs G...

I was born in 1951 in Cleland, Lanarkshire.  My senior career began at Morton in 1968, but was signed by Leeds in 1970 where I earned a reputation as a ‘hard man’.  In 170 appearances, I scored 35 goals. In 1978 I moved to Manchester United and played 109 games and scored 37 goals.  In 1981 I was signed to Milan.  In 1983 I was briefly at Hellas Verona before moving back to Britain to play for Southampton before finishing my playing career at Bristol City.  I was capped 52 times for Scotland and have the distinction of being the only Scot to have scored in three World Cups.

Answer - Joe Jordan

Incidentally, I gleaned the information above from Wikipedia (The go-to library of choice, these days).  When I typed his name into the search bar, this is what came up...


And it’s absolutely true... unless you treat the second word as its older ‘questionable parentage’ meaning, that is.  The point is made quite succinctly... You wouldn't want to mess with Joe.

2. By what name were Manchester United known until 1902?

Answer - Newton Heath LYR

3. Which player from Netherlands has scored the most Premier League goals?

Answer - Robin van Persie (144 goals)

4. This year’s Champions League final is between Manchester City and Chelsea; which player has scored the most goals (6) in the competition so far?

Answer - Olivier Geroud

5. Another silly question to finish. How many teams in the current English and Scottish senior leagues have the letters ‘ing’ (in that order) in their name?

Answer - 7 (Reading, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City, Gillingham, Accrington Stanley, Livingston and Stirling Albion)

Some for this week? Yes, indeedy...

1. Who am I?

I was born in Milan in 1968. I joined Milan aged 10 and spent seven years in the youth squad before progressing to the senior squad where I remained for 25 seasons making 902 appearances in all competitions.  I was also capped 126 times for Italy.   I now work as technical director for guess which club... Milan, of course.

2. St. Johnstone today won the Scottish Cup making them only the second Scottish club to win two trophies in a season (other than Rangers and Celtic, of course).  Which is that other club?

3. Sergio Ag├╝ero has been with Manchester City for 10 years; which club is he moving to?

4. What was the name of the club which won the first F.A. Cup?

5. A silly one to finish.  How many teams in the English and Scottish senior leagues have pairs of letters in their names?  Whatever do you mean, I hear you ask.  Well, take the word English; it has none.  However, the word Scottish has one.  Do you see?  Have fun.


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




Remember the serious message...

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, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

Click on this link:




And finally, Cyril...

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Miss S. Pascoe, one of our birthday celebrants.   Sara Pascoe is a very talented comedian and a very intelligent person, so I thought we should end this week with a few quotes from her.   Hopefully, they will make you think.

The definition of comedy is 'unsafe space' - you can't control what people laugh at.

You can’t lose a homing pigeon.  If your homing pigeon doesn’t come back, then you’ve lost a pigeon.

I bought some glasses.  My observational comedy improved.

Belief is invisible, so there is enough space for everyone's.  Except in the shops at Christmas.

Even quicker than the development of super-technology is the human adaptation to taking it for granted.  We live in a world where regular people converse publicly with an inanimate object and escape Bedlam or a dunking.

After an afternoon of interviewing Siri it turns out there are millions of questions that it can't or won't answer: How did you get my phone number?  How many Siris are there?  Did you have a Christmas party?  Who is playing the tiny xylophone before and after each interaction?  Are you spying on us, plotting the downfall of our species?

So why don't all religions get together and go to war with atheists?  Because we all want the same thing: respect and tolerance and not to be forced to do anything we don't want to.

As an adult, my hero is my dog, Mouse.  He is so friendly to everyone he meets.  He wags his tail and loves everyone, like Jesus!

I went to Paris. Nothing funny happened there.  ‘But Sara, why are you telling us this?’  Because otherwise that trip is not tax deductable.

Uber is pitched to you to make you feel safer, they put a little picture of the Uber driver on there so you know who’s coming to pick you up.  But the Uber drivers, as a funny prank, have taken the scariest photographs that they can. That must’ve been a competition.

You should only have sex with a famous person if you really, really genuinely want to tell people about it afterwards.

I don’t like art. I think art is rubbish.  I think a lot of people think art is rubbish, but we’re worried about looking stupid so we go along with it.

I’ve never enjoyed going to the hairdresser’s.  It’s all, ‘oh yeah, those ends are dry, very dry’, and my personal favourite: ‘this really needs a cut.’  Oh, well I don’t suppose you could recommend a hairdresser?  You’re one?!  What a coincidence!  I just came in to look in the mirror backwards.

And finally...

If Adam and Eve can’t make it work in paradise, how am I going to make it work in Lewisham?


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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