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…
'That's 60 litres at £1.70 per litre... that's £102 exactly, sir.'
'60 litres?! That can't be right. My petrol tank only holds 50 litres!'
'Well sir, our litres are a bit on the small side.'
'That's ridiculous! A litre's a litre. You can't have a smaller amount than elsewhere. That just doesn't make sense!'
'I think you'll find that it does make sense...'
Sorry pardon excuse me? How can it make sense?
Let's consider something else...
'Hello, is that Layabout Carpets?'
'It is. How can I help you?'
'I've just had a new carpet from you.'
'Okay. And is there a problem?'
'Yes. You've charged me too much. You've billed me for 24 feet.'
'That's the size we got when we measured it.'
'But the room is only 20 feet long.'
'Well, our feet are a little on the small side.'
'I beg your pardon? That is just nonsense'
Nonsense, you say. Then how do clothes manufacturers get away with it?
Women's clothing seems to come in some arbitrary measurement system based on even numbers. Thus if you go from a size 10 to a size 12, you have gone up one size. Not two. I know. Totally baffling.
How many ladies out there in gramblerland would say they were a size 14? I'll bet there are some other sizes in your wardrobe as well. A few size 12 dresses? Perhaps a few that are size 16? I wouldn't be surprised if there was a size 18 or two. My point is that all of these dresses or blouses are the same size to look at and all fit perfectly, so why is there a discrepancy (That's a good word. Must look it up.) in their size numbers? You tell me. It seems there is no strict rule on what these sizes should be. I used the word arbitrary earlier and I think it sums up the manufacturers' sizing system.
Having said all that, there are a few women out there who insist they are a particular size and stick with that, no matter how ludicrous a size 12 looks on a size 18 figure.
The same can be said of the terms small, medium and large. A large size for a Philippino would not fit a large-sized American. No offence to Americans, but there are some biggies over there.
Back to the plot, I am fairly tall so I tend to buy, say, shirts [Shirts. Now what? - Ed.], ahem, in a 'large' size. However, as with dress sizes, large can mean anything the makers want it to mean. Unlike Mrs G I try to stick with the same nomenclature. So if it says large on the label and it doesn't fit, I simply don't buy it. Like the size 12/18 ladies, I don't want to admit I might be extra large.
Something else I don't buy is trouser measurements. (Do you see what I did there?) Again trouser sizes go up in twos... the waist size is always an even number and the leg length is always an odd number. So, if your waist size is 35 inches... tough. You'll have to put up with a tight 34 or a baggy 36. Or do you? As with the dress and shirt sizes mentioned already, trousers, even though they are supposed to be in a recognised system of measurement, are not always what they are meant to be. You would think that if it says 36 inches waist size on the label, that is what you would get. Don't you believe it. Labelling trouser waist sizes seems to be every bit as random as dress sizes.
This was brought home to me recently when I bought a pair of trousers from a shop with a name like text. Any road up, they were a size 36 with a 31 inch leg length and they fit me perfectly. I was so pleased with my purchase that I decided to get a second pair in a different colour. Sadly, the store had none in stock so would have to order them for me. No problem, said I.
A few days later my parcel arrived... the same trousers in a different colour. Perfect. No not perfect. I'm sure you are well ahead of me here, but they were a totally different size. Too tight in the waist, too short in the leg.
So there you have it; the same product, from the same source, with identical labelling and still there is a discrepancy.
And don't get me started on shoe sizes.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 14th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know... not personally, you understand.
Thomas Gainsborough 1727 - Painter. Very reasonable rates.
Robert Owen 1771 - Social reformer.
Miles Mander 1888 - Actor, director, producer, playwright and novelist. In fact, a right old smarty boots. Wait. There’s more. Before turning to the film industry he was an early aviator, a captain in the Royal Army Service Corps in WWI and a sheep farmer in New Zealand. His first film role was in 1920 and over the next 25 years or so, he featured in 108 films (according to IMDb). Quite a character.
Jackie Rae 1941 - Singer, songwriter and presenter. The first host of The Golden Shot. He wrote a few tunes too. Here’s one you might know, Happy Heart. That was Andy Williams opening a jar of pickles for Petula Clark. No, I don’t get it, either.
Bernie, the bolt.
Terence Longdon 1922 - Actor. Appeared in four of the early Carry On films - Sergeant, Nurse, Constable and Regardless.
Oona O’Neill 1925 - Actress who married Charlie Chaplin one month after her 18th birthday. He was three times her age. Not right. Not then. Not now.
Ninian Sanderson 1925 - Racing drivery bloke.
Eric Morecambe 1925 - Comedian.
Henry McGee 1928 - Comedy actor. Worked with Benny Hill for 20 years, usually as the straight man interviewing the likes of Fred Scuttle or the oriental gentleman.
Sian Philips 1933 - Actress. Livia in I, Clavdivs. 127 credits on IMDb and counting. She is still working.
Eric Caldow 1934 - Fitba guy.
Chay Blyth 1940 - Hello, sailor.
John Forgeham 1941 - Actor. Jim Baines in Crossroads: Kings Oak.
Prentis Hancock 1942 - Actor. Paul Morrow in Space: 1999.
Derek ‘Lek’ Leckenby 1943 - Musician. Lead guitarist in Herman’s Hermits and, after Herman decided to go solo, The Hermits. Here is that later incarnation with Ginny Go Softly. That was Saturday night entertainment in the 1970s? Ye gods and little fishes!
Jack Bruce 1943 - Musician. Best remembered as bassist/vocalist with Cream. Let’s have a clip. Here’s White Room.
Alan Gordon 1944 - Fitba guy.
Francesca Annis 1945 - Actress. Vivien in Flesh and Blood.
Jack Galloway 1947 - Actor. Donald Farfrae in The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Bob Woolmer 1948 - Crickety bloke.
Sammy Johnson 1948 - Actor, like. Archie in Crocodile Shoes.
David Byrne 1952 - Singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, writer, music theorist and filmmaker. Smarty boots par excellence. Talking Heads’ main man. Let’s have a clip. Here he is with, not with Talking Heads (though you might recognise the dance) but, St. Vincent and Who. I've just told you, St. Vincent.
Robin Hill 1953 - Guitarist. Here he is with Peter Wiltschinsky [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.] with one you should recognise, Perfidia.
Joe Craig 1954 - Fitba guy.
Hazel Blears 1956 - Politician.
Steve Hogarth 1956 - Musician. Frontman for Marillion. Would you like a clip? Course you would. Here’s You're Gone.
Jan Ravens 1958 - Impressionist. [What, she’s a painter? - Ed.]
Tim Roth 1961 - Actor. Mr. Orange/Freddy in Reservoir Dogs.
David Quantick 1961 - Writer. He claims to have penned the first internet sitcom (or docusitcom), Junkies.
Ian Blackford 1961 - Politician. Not a fan of Bozzer, it would seem.
Ian Astbury 1962 - Singer. Vocalist with The Cult (I said cult). Would you like a clip? I’ll bet you would. Here’s Lil' Devil.
Tony Marshall 1964 - Actor. Noel Garcia in Casualty.
Emma Forbes 1965 - Radio presenter.
Greg Davies 1968 - Comedian. Aka The Taskmaster.
Cate Blanchett 1969 - Actress. The voice of Valka in the How to Train Your Dragon series of films. Did you know that? I didn’t til I looked it up.
Clare Teal 1973 - Singer. Another clip. You betcha. Here’s All for Love.
Martine McCutcheon 1976 - Actress and singer. Tiffany in Eastenders. That kickstarted her singing career. Here’s her number one from 1999, Perfect Moment.
Lee McCullough 1978 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Clinton Morrison 1979 - Footy bloke.
Jim Howick 1979 - Actor. Pat Butcher in Ghosts.
Nigel Reo-Coker 1984 - Footy bloke.
Olly Murs 1984 - Singer and songwriter. Do you a clip? You do? Are you sure? Okay, here’s Dear Darlin'
Louis Moult 1992 - Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Aaron Ramsdale 1998 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Steve Hogramble,
So nice to hear a Marillion track with your good self on vocals rather than that big fellow that used to sing with them. Tell me, what was the first top 40 hit the band had after you took over as vocalist?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week? Well, we didn’t win. We didn’t lose, either. We got exactly £2.20 back from our £2.20 stake. What were odds on that happening? What happened? Read on...
Barrow vs Northampton - Away win
Result - Barrow 1 Northampton 3
Sam Hoskins curled home a delightful opener from 20 yards after just five minutes and it was 2-0 soon after when Fraser Horsfall headed home Mitch Pinnock's corner at the back post.
Midfielder Hoskins then added his second and Northampton's third with a neat finish into the bottom corner after Josh Eppiah won possession.
With the visitors rampant, only a fine Joe Grayson tackle prevented Eppiah from making it 4-0 and that intervention proved vital in keeping Barrow in the game, with Josh Kay's tidy finish from John Rooney's corner bringing a glimmer of hope for the hosts.
An improved second-half performance saw Josh Gordon hit the bar for the hosts and brought spells of sustained pressure and a few close calls.
Hoskins nearly grabbed a fourth goal but was denied by a superb Paul Farman save.
Bradford vs Carlisle - Home win
Result - Bradford 2 Carlisle 1
Bradford were rewarded for a bright start by going ahead in the 13th minute as Lee Angol diverted Charles Vernam's shot past goalkeeper Mark Howard.
Bradford kept up the pressure and Jamie Walker twice came close to increasing their lead, both chances coming from crosses from right-back Luke Hendrie.
Walker first saw his shot blocked and then Howard saved the rebound in the 19th minute.
Four minutes later Howard turned the ball over the crossbar at full stretch.
Bradford keeper Alex Bass was rarely troubled, although he was called into action in the 28th minute by a 20-yard shot from Jordan Gibson.
Carlisle pressed hard for an equaliser at the start of the second half but created few clear-cut chances and Walker increased Bradford's lead in the 70th minute.
The goal came less than a minute after Carlisle had had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Hendrie tangled with Kristian Dennis.
Bradford went straight down the other end and Walker took a short pass from Dion Pereira before scoring with a low right-footed shot.
Harrogate vs Sutton Utd - Away win
Result - Harrogate 0 Sutton 2
Goals from Craig Eastmond and Isaac Olaofe gave Sutton victory at Harrogate.
Eastmond poked in the loose ball after Omar Bugiel's header hit the bar.
And Olaofe sealed the win with a late right-footed strike from near the edge of the penalty area.
After skipper Eastmond's opener, the hosts almost equalised when a corner was headed against the bar by Rory McArdle.
Olaofe headed against the post after being found by Eastwood shortly before the interval, and a second-half effort by Bugiel also hit the woodwork before Olaofe doubled the lead.
Mansfield vs Forest Green - Home win
Result - Mansfield 2 Forest Green 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Matty Longstaff had put the hosts ahead before the break, with Ebou Adams restoring parity just after the hour mark.
Two goals in two late minutes saw Jordan Bowery restore Mansfield's lead before Josh March hit back to snatch the point.
The hosts went ahead through Longstaff who met a deflected ball from Jamie Murphy (ex-Motherwell, you know) in the box before beating goalkeeper Luke McGee with his second attempt.
Rovers were a constant threat and eventually restored parity, thanks to Adams' cool finish after latching on to a through ball from Jamille Matt.
Matt sent a close-range header over the crossbar soon after and Nicky Cadden had a shot saved by Nathan Bishop as the visitors chased a winner, but it was Bowery who scored a second for the Stags.
But just a minute after coming off the bench, March beat the offside trap to lift a fine finish over the home goalkeeper.
Newport vs Rochdale - Home win
Result - Newport 0 Rochdale 2
Boo oo oo!
Matt Done's goal set Rochdale on their way to a final day victory at Newport County.
Ethan Brierley's lovely through ball allowed Done to beat the Exiles offside trap and fire past Nick Townsend.
Newport came close to equalising before half-time when Finn Azaz hit the post after combining with Dom Telford.
A late second from Abraham Odoh, finding the near bottom corner sealed the points.
Now then, what about this weekend? There can’t be that many divisions with games to play. Are there even five to randomly choose from? [Eh? That’s not how random works. - Ed.]
There are five Premier League games taking place this Sunday (15th) at 2pm, so let’s go with them.
Game - Result - Odds
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace - Home win - Evens
Leeds vs Brighton - Away win - 8/5
Watford vs Leicester - Away win - 19/20
West Ham vs Manchester City - Away win - 2/5
Wolves vs Norwich - Home win - 9/20
The bets have been placed - 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
Hmm... fairly average whopping.
Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in Birmingham in 1995. I play as a winger or attacking midfielder. I joined Aston Villa aged 6. I made my first senior appearance for them in 2014 after a loan spell at Notts County. In 2021 I signed with Manchester City for £100 million, a record for an English player.
Answer - Jack Grealish
2. Which player holds the record for the most Champions League winners’ medals?
Answer - It’s that man Cristiano Ronaldo with five
3. Which current Premier League player has made the most P.L. appearances?
Answer - James Milner (585 and counting)
4. Which father and son have made almost 600 Premier League appearances between them?
Answer - Peter and Kasper Schmeichel
5. What Premier League team is sponsored by Lotus?
Answer - Norwich City
How did you do? Five out of five? How about five more for this week? We begin with...
1. Who am I?
I was born in La Louviere, Belgium in 1991. I made my senior debut with Lille in 2007. In 2012 I moved to Chelsea. I played 245 times and was named as Chelsea’s player of the year on four occasions. I was signed by Real Madrid in 2019. I have been capped 116 times.
2. Which Belgian has scored the most international goals (It’s not the guy in question one.)
3. Who is currently the longest-serving manager in the Premier League?
4. Liverpool won the League and FA Cups this year; which other teams have achieved the cup ‘double’?
5. Which club plays at Brunton Park?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.
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. E. Bartholomew, one of Britain’s favourite comedians in the 1960s and 70s. Who, I hear you ask. Eric Morecambe, I answer. He changed his name to that of his home town. If his comedy partner, Ernie Wise, had done the same thing, we might now be remembering Morecambe and Leeds. That’s neither here nor there, but I think we should finish this week with something from the biggest British TV stars of that era. It was said that people gauged how good a Christmas they had by the quality of that year’s Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special. So here, ladeez and genullum is the entire 1969 Christmas show. [I’m guessing that was a particularly dull Christmas, then. - Ed.]
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.