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
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…
It has been decided by the current government that we in the Yuk should all drive electric cars. [Very good. Current government. Electric cars. Geddit? Current. Electric. Oh, please yourselves. - Ed.] Ahem... As always, the government, has got it wrong. As always, they haven't thought it through properly.
Do you recall that about 20 years ago we were all being encouraged to buy diesel-engined cars? No? Well, we were. Ask your dad.
Apparently, diesel-fueled cars were much friendlier to the environment than petrol-fueled ones. And so, the powers that be offered us car buyers all sorts of financial incentives to ditch our poisonous polluting petrol-powered Peugeots for delightful diesel-driven... erm... [What's wrong? - Ed.] I can't think of a car maker beginning with D to keep the alliteration going. [Dacia? - Ed.] Don't be ridiculous.
Any road up, we all bought into the hype that diesel was good, petrol was baaaad and diesel-engined cars were foisted on us. Granted, they were more economical than petrol-driven cars and, when fitted with a turbocharger, they were pretty nippy too. Unfortunately, a company based in Wolfsburg queered the pitch by claiming that their diesel-powered vehicles were ultra clean and released nothing but the sweet smell of lavender. Okay, I made that bit up, but they were very naughty and said that their cars released very little by way of harmful emissions, whereas the truth was that they released up to ten times the claimed figure.
This contributed to the government changing its collective mind regarding diesel engines. Suddenly, diesels were every bit as baaad as petrol.
Hmm... now what could our esteemed politicians force everyone to drive?
Enter Elon Musk and his amazing electric car, the Tesla. Aha, say the politicians, let's make everyone drive electrically powered cars. They're good for the environment because they don't emit any smelly gas. Perfect. Huzzah! (as Bozza might say).
There is a problem. Actually, there are lots of problems. Just the building of the cars uses far more material and energy than that needed to build a petrol-engined car. Battery production alone uses up tremendous amounts of precious elements such as lithium, the mining of which causes permanent damage to natural landscapes.
Then there is the infrastructure required to run electric cars. At the moment, because there aren't many on the road, compared to cars with engines, charging isn't a problem; there are probably more charging points than there are cars to use them. What happens when electric vehicles outnumber those with engines? There are often queues of cars at petrol stations (and that was the norm even before the current situation of people panic buying). Filling a tank with fuel takes all of two minutes. What will the queues be like when charging a vehicle takes about ten times as long?
Ah, you say, you could charge an electric car at home. Not a problem if you live in a house with its own driveway. What if you can only park your car on a public road and then not necessarily near your house? You couldn't have a cable running a hundred yards down the street just because you want to charge your car batteries at home. Can you imagine the tangle of cables if everyone on the street decided to charge their vehicle at the same time? And what if you live in a high rise block of flats?
The great thing about cars, in general, is that they enable people to be mobile. In the early days of motoring, owning a car was the preserve of the rich, but Henry Ford produced the first affordable car in the Model T and that gave everyone the chance to buy a car and travel. I would suggest that electric cars are very much taking us back to those days when only rich people could afford to own a car. Not got your own driveway? Tough... get the bus.
Why the motoring moan? Well, right now, as already mentioned, we are in the middle of a fuel shortage... Actually, there was never a problem with the amount of fuel available, the problem was caused by Joe public panic-buying petrol. Those that might ordinarily buy just a few pounds worth, were now filling the fuel tank to the brim. Unfortunately, a news bulletin happened to mention that there was a shortage of fuel tanker drivers, not, it should be noted, a shortage of fuel. However, the listeners heard the words ‘fuel’ and ‘shortage’ and immediately set about draining the petrol stations of every drop they had.
There was no need to worry and, in a couple of weeks or so, there will no longer be a shortage. How's that, I hear you ask. Well, those that don't normally fill their tanks up will probably still have a full tank of petrol so there will be no need for them to visit a petrol station for weeks, maybe months. You can’t actually use more petrol than you need, so stocks should soon be replenished... Does that make sense? [No. - Ed.]
Those folk that currently drive electric cars are probably gloating right now at these silly folk struggling to find a petrol station that is open and telling anyone who will listen that they never have a problem getting fuel. Oh very funny.
Well, you will have in the future, matey, when the world and his brother want to drive electric cars.
Also in the news this week is a statement from BMW that they will no longer be attempting to give their electric cars greater range. Instead, they will limit all their vehicles to a range of 385 miles. The thinking is that no one would drive that far in a single journey so would be happy to stop at a charging point to top the battery up while taking a comfort break. Aye. Sure.
Think about it Mr BMW; say you are driving on a cold, wet night [You are driving on a cold, wet night. Now what? - Ed.] Ahem... the heating will be on, the lights will be on. Perhaps the infotainment (God, I hate that for a portmanteau word.) will be blasting out 2-4-6-8 Motorway or whatever it is electric-car-driving smuggies listen to. [Tom Robinson? Is that what you think they listen to? - Ed.] How many miles do you think you'll get from that charge now? 385 miles? I should cocoa. More like 200. Less than three hours on the motorway... Well, two hours... this is a BMW driver we're talking about, remember. Every two hours or so you will be panicking about whether you will reach a charging point before your car conks out. Not so smug now, eh?
Until manufacturers can assure me that I could drive from Land's End to John o' Groats on a single charge, you can keep your electric cars.
Following on from that... Well, it still concerns motoring matters; just. I was sitting in my parked car the other day with the window open and I overheard a conversation that I must to share with you. [Must you? - Ed.] Yes, I must...
There was a guy standing outside a nearby building having a fly smoke. An unfortunate looking guy hobbled by. He had a brace around his neck and was walking with the aid of two crutches. Smoking guy addressed him with the time-honoured greeting, 'Awright?'
He may have regretted it and I repeat the response from the unfortunate crutch user word for word (with a few asterisks)...
'Diz it f***ing look as if I'm f***ing aw right?! Naw, I'm no' aw f***ing right! I was f***ing sitting in my f***ing motor when this f***er in a f***ing big f***ing van f***ing f***ed into the f***ing back of me. And do you f***ing know what he f***ing well did? He f***ing f***ed aff. C***!'
It's just a hunch, but I'm guessing he wasn't too happy.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 25th of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Henry Pelham 1694 - The well-known Prime Minister.
Francesco Bartelozzi 1725 - The well-known painty bloke.
Robert Clive aka Clive of India 1725 - One of those credited with laying the foundations of British rule in India. [Credited with? Blamed for, surely. - Ed.]
Fletcher Christian 1764 - Sailor. Looked nothing like Clark Gable, or Marlon Brando, or Mel Gibson.
Raymond Glendenning 1907 - Sports commentator.
Michael Brennan 1912 - Jobbing actor, specialising in tough-guy roles. RSM William Bright in The Regiment. Him. 180 credits on IMDb.
Eric Rogers 1921 - Composer. Have you ever seen a Carry On film? Then, you’ll have heard his music; he composed the music for 22 Carry On films.
Colin Davis 1927 - Conductor.
Ronnie Barker 1929 - Actor and writer.*
Peter Woodthorpe 1931 - Actor. Played Quasimodo in the 1966 TV series The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Apologies to those who worship at the temple of Woke.
Brian Murphy 1932 - Actor. George Roper in Man About the House and George and Mildred.
Ron Hill 1938 - Athleticky bloke.
Leon Brittan 1939 - Politician.
Felicity Kendal 1946 - Actress. Barbara Good in The Good Life. Her.
Steven Severin 1955 - Musician. Co-founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Left in 1996 to go solo. A clip? Here’s Fiona's Shrine.
Ian Reddington 1957 - Actor. Vernon Tomlin in Coronation Street. Him.
Jason Flemyng 1966 - Actor. Sir George Yeardley in Jamestown. Him.
Katherine Zeta-Jones 1969 - Actress. Mariette in The Darling Buds of May. And she was perfick. Sorry, woke folk.
Sasha Behar 1971 - Actress. Maya Sharma in Coronation Street. Her.
Jessie Wallace 1971 - Actress. Kat Slater in Eastenders. Her.
Declan Donnelly 1975 - Not Ant.
Jodie Kidd 1978 - Model/personality.
Jason Koumas 1979 - Pêl-droediwr.
Jim Paterson 1979 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Sarah Jayne Dunn 1981 - Actress. Mandy in Hollyoaks. Her.
John Souttar 1996 - Fitbaa min.
Okay. Now what about those born on the 2nd of October?
Richard III 1452 - The well-known king and rhyming slang.*
Graham Greene 1904 - The well-known orfer.
Gabrielle Daye 1911 - Actress. Beattie Pearson in Coronation Street. Her.
Robert Runcie 1921 - The well-known Archbishop of Canterbury.
Alfie Conn Sr. 1926 - Fitba guy.
Jan Morris 1926 - The well-known historian.
Julia Morley 1939 - The well-known Miss World organiser.
Juliette Kaplan 1939 - Actress. Pearl in Last of the Summer Wine. Her.
Anna Ford 1943 - The well-known newsreader.
Trevor Brooking 1948 - Footy bloke.
Sandy Ratcliff 1948 - Actress. Sue Osman in Eastenders. Her.
Mike Rutherford 1950 - The well-known guitarist with Genesis and also his Mechanics. Here’s a solo toon, Working in Line.
Ian McNiece 1950 - Actor. Bert Large in Doc Martin. Him. 140 credits on IMDb and counting.
Gordon Sumner aka Sting 1951 - Musician. A toon? Why not. Here’s Sting (with a bit of help from Prokofiev) with Russians.
John Otway 1952 - Musician. Here he instructs us to Beware of the Flowers.
Willie Pettigrew 1953 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell player as well.
Philip Oakey 1955 - Singer. A clip? Why not. Here’s Mirror Man.
John Pienaar 1956 - Journalist.
Daniel Peacock 1958 - Actor.
John Robertson 1964 - Fitba guy.
Victoria Derbyshire 1968 - Journalist.
Rod Wallace 1969 - Footy bloke.
Natasha Little 1969 - Actress. Rachel in This Life. Her.
Lucy Cohu 1970 - Actress. Madame Maigret in Maigret. Her.
Scott Wright 1974 - Actor. Sam Kingston in Coronation Street. Him.
Simon Gregson 1974 - Actor. Steve McDonald in Coronation Street. Him.
Matt Hancock 1978 - Politician.
Michael Ball 1979 - Footy bloke.
Will Haining 1982 - Fitba guy.
Amanda Hale 1982 - Actress. Officer Kandia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Her.
Stephen Pearson 1982 - Fitba guy. Another ex-Motherwell player.
George Boyd 1985 - Footy bloke.
Tom Hudson 1986 - Actor. Paul Clayton in Coronation Street. Him.
Helen Monks 1992 - Actress. Susanna in Upstart Crow. Her.
Ashley Fletcher 1995 - Footy bloke.
Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham aka Tammy Abraham 1997 - Footy bloke.
Zack Morris 1998 - Actor. Keegan Butcher-Baker-Candlestick Maker in Eastenders. Him.
* See ‘And Finally’
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mike Grambleford,
It was so nice to hear one of your solo records. We know you had a few hits with your band Mike and the Mechanoids and some with your other band Genitals. Can you tell us please what your last top ten hit was?
Lots of love,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Aye. Well. Let’s just call it a blip. What happened? Read on...
Huddersfield vs Nottingham Forest - Home win
Result - Huddersfield 0 Nottingham Forest 2
Brennan ‘Brojo’ Johnson sprinted away down the wing from his own half before crossing into the goalmouth for Lewis ‘Jack’ Grabban to put the Reds in front with a diving header.
And the visitors doubled the lead after the break when Town goalkeeper Lee ‘Sue’ Nicholls saved smartly from Ryan ‘Reggie’ Yates only to deflect Joe ‘Ice’ Lolley's follow-up into his own net.
Middlesbrough vs Blackpool - Home win
Result - Middlesbrough 1 Blackpool 2
Marcus ‘Antonius’ Tavernier put Boro into the lead early on from close range before he teed up Andraz ‘Seed’ Sporar, who hit the bar.
Blackpool also struck the woodwork after the break through Shayne ‘Ward’ Lavery before Marvin ‘The Martian’ Ekpiteta rifled them level.
Grant ‘Fook’ Hall then turned a corner into his own net with 12 minutes to go and, although Martin ‘Dino’ Payero cracked the underside of the bar for Boro, the Tangerines hung on to take all three points.
Peterborough vs Birmingham - Away win
Result - Peterborough 3 Birmingham 0
Boo, Boo and thrice Boo!
Harlee ‘Pearlan’ Dean's first-minute own-goal gave Posh the perfect start and they never surrendered the momentum.
Jonson ‘Teddy’ Clarke-Harris increased their lead before half-time from the penalty spot after Jorge ‘Cy’ Grant was fouled.
Grant added a third after the break as Posh closed out the win against Blues who had Gary ‘Ava’ Gardner sent off.
Preston vs West Brom - Away win
Result - Preston 1 West Brom 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Preston’s Emil ‘Leighton’ Riis set up midfielder Ben ‘Paul’ Whiteman - and his right-foot shot from outside the box found the bottom right corner.
But Matt ‘Wilson’ Phillips levelled two minutes into first-half injury time with a header into the bottom left corner.
QPR vs Bristol City - Home win
Result - QPR 1 Bristol City 2
Wrong! Five out of five wrong! Utter mince!
Chris ‘Yellow’ Martin's calm finish put the visitors in front just before half-time, before Rangers' Sam ‘The Sham’ McCallum rifled in to level after the restart.
An injury-time Nahki ‘Nicky Noo’ Wells goal gave Bristol City the win.
Dearie dearie me. That was shocking. Come on Grambler, pull your computing equivalent of socks up.
Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly selected for this week.
Game - Result - Odds
Cheltenham vs Rotherham - Away win - 10/11
Doncaster vs MK Dons - Away win - 17/20
Gillingham vs Wigan - Away win - 17/20
Hamilton vs Inverness - Away win - 19/20
Alloa vs Cove Rangers - Away win - 10/11
Well, the bets are placed. Five away wins. Oh dearie, dearie me. Oh well. Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping
Call that whopping! Five away wins. I don’t know.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro. I played as a striker and, in a career of 343 club appearances, I scored 247 goals. I was capped 98 times and scored 62 goals. I was known as ‘O Fenômeno’ which means the phenomenon. In 2020, France Football magazine included me in their ‘greatest all-time XI’.
Answer - Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima aka Ronaldo.
2. Which English club has played the most times in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage?
Answer - Manchester United (25 times)
3. Which South American has scored the most international goals?
Answer - Lionel Messi (79 goals)
4. Who is the only Polish outfield player to have made over 100 Premier League appearances?
Answer - Jan Bednarek
5. What Premier League record is shared by Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, Kevin Campbell and Nicolas Anelka?
Answer - They have all scored hat-tricks for three different Premier League clubs.
What about five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1938 in Glazebury, Lancashire. I joined Liverpool in 1958 and made 404 appearances in the next 11 years, scoring 244 goals. I was capped 34 times for England. I didn’t receive an official knighthood, but Liverpool fans always put ‘Sir’ before my name.
2. Dick Nanninga was the first substitute to score in a World Cup final; for whom?
3. Emlyn Hughes was capped 62 times; for which country?
4. Which 4th division club reached the first League Cup final in 1962?
5. Which German player scored three hat-tricks for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League?
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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. R. Barker who was one the UK’s finest comedy actors of the nineteen sixties and seventies. He could play a cockney such as Fletcher in Porridge one minute and a Yorkshireman the next; Arkwright in Open All Hours. David Jason, himself a pretty good comedy actor, described Barker as The Guv’nor. From the early sixties he worked with Ronnie Corbett in various comedy shows and such was their obvious rapport that they eventually formed the partnership known as The Two Ronnies. It would be wrong to call them a double act as often in their shows, each would perform alone. It is one such item that I have selected as this week’s finishing link. Here is Ronnie Barker as a vicar who presents his sermon in Cockney rhyming slang.
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.
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