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…
'Hello George. Not seen you in a while. Are you going to tell us a joke?'
'Yes and it's a good un... What do you get if you cross a horse with a skunk?'
'Haha. Yes, that is good... I don't get it.'
‘That's not the joke. You've got to respond and I'll give the punchline?'
'Oh right, I've got to correspond. Yes, of course.
My response to that is that it is a complete impossibility. You can cross a horse with a donkey and get a mule. That's possible... Why is it called a mule? I've never understood that bit. If you cross a lion with a tiger, it's called a liger, or a tigon which makes some sense. But mule? Or hinny. I forgot about that. Something to do with whether the horse or the donkey is the mother... or indeed the father. You would reckon that a cross between a horse and a donkey would be a dorse, or a honkey... Maybe not. I wonder if you can cross horses with zebras. A zorse? Hebra? And would it still be stripy? That's one to ponder.
Any road up, getting back to your question, I think any combination of horse and skunk would need some scientific interinvention. A bit of genital engineering. That's a step too far. It'd be like that book by Bombadier Billy Wells, The Island of Doctor Poirot, I think it was called. Ooh, that was scary... he'd got all these animals to evolve into humans, well sort of. He'd got them all talking and walking on their hind legs... a bit like George Oh well did in that book where the animals chase the owner from the farm. Then the animals on this farm take over. The animals actually run the farm. Then the animals on the farm start squabbling. Can't remember what it was called.
You couldn't really call that genital engineering though... there was no cross fertiliser going on.
Hmm... a horse with a skunk... No, I don't know. What's the answer? Oh. He's gone.
How very rude.'
Story time proper...
I've had an idea. [Uh oh. Dangerous. - Ed.] It's a sure fire way to make money. I'm going to start producing lecterns. [Not dangerous. Just daft. What is a lectern, anyway?- Ed. ]
A lectern is that thing a speaker places his book on when he is standing to give his speech. They are used in churches a lot.
So why do I think producing lecterns would be a good business plan? [Exactly what I was thinking. - Ed.] Because sitting down is dangerous. And I'm not just talking about spilling hot dinner over yourself (I'm always doing that) dangerous; I'm talking about bad for your health dangerous.
There has been a health study which concludes that sitting down too much is worse for you than being old, being a smoker or being fat. Hard to believe but, apparently, the figures do stack up.
The main perpetrator of the study is so confident of the findings that she does not have chairs in her home. Not for her to sit on, at least... maybe some for visitors. The nearest thing to a chair that she uses is a high stool-like contraption that she can lean against. She calls it perching. Whenever she uses her computer she lies on a chaise longue... one of those couch things that can’t quite seem to make its mind up. Am I a sofa with arms or without? Tell you what, I’ll have an arm at one end and nothing at the other.
I am not making this up... well, the talking sofa bit, yes, but not the having no chairs bit. And she isn't just some wild eccentric. She is a professor, so she must be clever. Right?
Unfortunately her findings do not bode well for me. I sit a lot, especially when I am writing such interesting articles as these. [You're confusing 'interesting article' with 'complete drivel'. - Ed.] No I'm not. This is all absolutely true. So, I plan to construct a lectern for myself, or a perching stool.
In future, when Mrs G berates me for sitting around, too much, I can counter that I am not sitting around, I am standing around... or perching. [Who's a pretty boy? - Ed.]
So there you are. My business plan is to make lots of lecterns so that you can place a book or tablet on it and work away as if you were sitting at a desk... only you wouldn't be sitting, you'd be standing. [Or perching? - Ed.]
Think of it, though. Businesses wouldn't have to purchase lots of big bulky desks and chairs taking up acres of space. A person standing at a lectern wouldn't take up much room at all. You could get twice as many in the same building site. [Do you think that's all right? - Ed.] It's a terrific plan. Everybody wins. The health of the workers improves and companies could save a fortune by not having to rent huge office buildings. Brilliant or what? [What, definitely. - Ed.]
Righty ho, no time like the present. Let's get started.
Dear Mr/Mrs Dragon's Den...
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 20th of November? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Charles Lamb 1900 - Actor. One of those faces you saw on all the UK TV dramas of the 60s and 70s. Who can forget The Porter in Department S or Old Man and Elderly Victim in The Bill and Orderly in Quatermass? Probably everyone. Guess how many credits on IMDb... 184. Wow.
Geoffrey Sumner 1908 - Actor. Seemed to have cornered the market in playing high-ranking military types. Major Upshot-Bagley in The Army Game.
Alistair Cooke 1908 - Journalist and broadcaster.
Dulcie Gray 1915 - Ectress. Kate Harvey in Howard’s Way.
Harry Worth 1917 - Comedian.
Kathie Kay 1918 - Singer. Appeared on The Billy Cotton Band Show a lot. This is her most famous toon, We Will Make Love. [I'm shocked. That ought to have been banned by the Beeb Beeb Ceeb. - Ed.]
Timothy Evans 1924 - Man wrongly accused of murder.
Terry Hall 1926 - Ventriloquist.
Bernard Horsfall 1930 - Actor. Dr Philip Martell in Enemy at the Door. Him.
Bill Wallis 1936 - Actor. Gaoler Ploppy in Blackadder II. Him.
Brian Hall 1937 - Actor. Terry the cook in Fawlty Towers. Him.
Vivien Neves 1947 - Page 3 model. Ask your dad.
Gary Green 1950 - Musician. Multi-instrumentalist with Gentle Giant. Time for a clip. Here’s Proclamation.
Kenneth McDonald 1950 - Actor. Gunner ‘Nobby’ Clark in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. Him.
Kit Watkins 1953 - Musician. One-time keyboard maestro with one of my favourite prog bands, Camel. Fancy a clip? Here’s a track he wrote, Eye of the Storm
Mary Sandeman 1954 - Singer. Perhaps better known as Aneka, singing this (not very woke) song, Japanese Boy.
Paul King 1960 - Musician and TV presenter. Had a hit, you know. He did and all. Here it is, Love and Pride.
Jamie Smith 1980 - Fitba guy.
Kimberley Walsh 1981 - A Girl Aloud. Have a clip. Here’s The Promise.
Scott Hutchison 1981 - Musician. Founding member of Mastersystem, a band which ended with his suicide in 2018. Here he is with his last release from the band’s only album, Old Team. A warning: the language is a bit ripe.
Andrea Riseborough 1981 - Actress. Svetlana in The Death of Stalin. Her.
Ryan O’Donnell 1982 - Actor and singer. Works a lot with Ian Anderson. Who? You know, him from off of Jethro Tull... The one that plays the flute standing on one leg [Don’t be daft, flutes don’t have legs. - Ed.] Here he is on a clip from Thick as a Brick 2 or TAAB 2, Swing It Far.
Justin Hoyte 1984 - Footy bloke.
Grant Hanley 1991 - Fitba guy.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Grambly Green,
Wonderful to hear a track from that wonderful, but sadly underrated, band Gentle Giant of which you were a part. We were wondering, from which album did the track ‘Proclamation’ come?
Dee Power, Andy Glory.
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we won. Yay! Sort of. Not Yay! We got £2.04 back from our £2.20 bet. Oh dear. What happened? Read on...
Exeter vs Oldham - Home win
Result - Exeter 2 Oldham 1
Oldham started well, with Jamie Bowden and Benny Couto both missing good chances to break the deadlock.
After overcoming a slow start, Exeter went in front on 17 minutes when Josh Key's cross picked out Jay and he swivelled and fired a shot into the far corner from six yards.
The Grecians started the second half well, with Brown capitalising on a defensive mistake to score in the 50th minute.
Brown had a glorious chance to make it 3-0 when he latched on to a poor back-pass, but he rolled his shot wide of the near post with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Oldham pulled a goal back when Bowden let fly from distance to score a screamer six minutes from time but, despite late pressure, they could not find an equaliser.
Arbroath vs Queen of the South - Home win
Result - Arbroath 1 Queen of the South 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
The clearest first-half chance fell to Queens' Innes Cameron, who screwed wide when it looked easier to score, having earlier had a goal ruled offside.
He made amends shortly after the break, netting a diving header from Max Johnston's cross.
Hoever, Arbroath's pressure paid off when Michael McKenna smashed home.
Queens should have regained the lead in the final 10 minutes when Ally Roy played in Cameron, but he drilled a shot past the post.
Inverness CT vs Dunfermline - Home win
Result - Inverness CT 1 Dunfermline 2
The visitors fell behind to a close-range Billy Mckay strike after Michael Gardyne's shot hit the post.
Dunfermline overturned Inverness CT's dominance after the break and Lewis McCann slid in Aaron Comrie's cross before Dom Thomas found the top corner with an 18-yard strike.
Home substitute Anthony MacDonald and Scott Allardice both sent efforts wide and Lewis Jamieson had a shot effort cleared off the line.
Morton vs Kilmarnock - Away win
Result - Morton 0 Kilmarnock 2
The hosts were the better side for the opening half hour but Blair Alston's strike from a Chris Burke pass turned the tide.
Burke then provided the assist for Oli Shaw to quickly double the lead.
East Fife vs Airdrieonians - Away win
Result - East Fife 0 Airdrieonians 1
Where’s the match report? Sorry, this is a game from Scottish League division doesn’t matter, so the Beeb where I
nick source my reports don’t cover it.
Oh well, let’s see if The Grambler can give us a wee profit this week...
Game - Result - Odds
Sheffield Utd vs Coventry - Home win - 10/11
Middlesbrough vs Millwall - Home win - 19/20
Swansea vs Blackpool - Home win - 5/6
MK Dons vs Burton - Home win - 3/4
Portsmouth vs Wimbledon - Home win - 3/4
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
Ten pees less whopping than last week. [That’s ten pee less that you won’t win. - Ed.]
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born near Paris in 1993. I began my senior career at Manchester United before moving to Juventus. I returned to Man U after four years at Juventus for a transfer fee of £89 million. I have been capped for France 89 times.
Answer - Paul Pogba
2. Which club plays at The New Den?
Answer - Millwall
3. Which famous first will always be held by Keith Peacock?
Answer - He was the first player as a sub in the Football League
4. What country do Brondby come from?
Answer - Denmark
5. Name all the teams with ‘Athletic’ in their name that have played in the Football League (from 1888 to date).
Answer - Six: Oldham Athletic, Millwall Athletic, Aberdare Athletic, Charlton Athletic, Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic and Wigan Athletic
Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Would you like another five for this week? Of course you would.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1961 in Erlangen, Germany. My senior career began at Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1979. I then moved to Bayern Munich, then Inter Milan and then back to Bayern Munich. I was capped 150 times for West Germany/Germany, making me the most capped German player ever. I played in five World Cup campaigns and hold the record for the most World Cup matches played (25). In 1991 I was named as FIFA’s first World Player of the Year.
2. What country did Mike England play for?
3. Tom Finney made 433 appearances for which team?
4. Who has managed Coventry City, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough?
5. Name all the teams with ‘City’ in their name that have played in the Football League (from 1888 to date)... there are 18 in all.
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. The amount raised is a little out of date, though. Check the Justgiving page link given at the beginning of this blog to see the current figure.
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. H. Illingsworth who provides us with this week’s finishing item. Who the f... Who is H. Illingsworth, I hear you ask. Well, Mr Harry Illingsworth was a famous comedian from some time back in the last century. Okay, that name wasn’t quite how he was known; he dropped the first part of his surname to become Harry Worth. He was one of television’s biggest comedy stars throughout the 1960s. He was the star of many ‘sitcoms’ from that era. He made over 100 programmes for the Beeb. All were based on his ‘character’ of someone who is totally bemused by everything around him and just bumbles his way through life creating havoc wherever he went... a gentler, more subtle version of Michael Crawford’s Frank Spencer character in Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, with a bit of Harry Hill thrown in, if you like. Strangely though, Harry Worth is best remembered not for the content of any given show, but for the opening credits. Those of us of a certain age still remember trying to emulate his levitation trick whenever we passed a shop with a plate glass window. Admit it all you oldies that read this blog, you did. Of course, it was just an optical illusion, but it was known to everyone as doing a Harry Worth.
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.