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…
Story time 1...
Often I mention to you that that I like to play the odd word game on my phone. I do. Don't you recall? Well, I do. Any road up, I'm guessing that whoever came up with the
game isn't British, and possibly isn't even English first language. Why have I come to such a conclusion? Often, you are invited to play the computer at the word game (which it invariably wins) but, to make this sound
less scary, the computer has a character name. They are usually alliterative like Pirate Pete, or Sally the Cyclist... Incidentally, when I typed in the word cyclist there, the predictive text came up with the word cystitis. Actually, that might well have been one of the character names, because I suspect they are running out of ideas, judging by the latest effort. I also get the idea that whoever comes up with the names is getting a bit peed
off. Why, I hear you ask.
A smiley person holding what appears to be a chicken or turkey drumstick (leg) is shown. Okay, what name could we expect from that? Charlie eats chicken? Tillie eats turkey? Oh no. This week's name is... are you ready for this? Faire eats Fanny. Splutter pardon what? You read that correctly, Faire eats Fanny. Now, there have been some howlers in the past but, come on, somebody is either having a laugh or is seriously pissed off with their job.
I wanted to take a picture of the offending gamer's name but, guess what, it's been changed... to Faire greeter Emma.
Oh, so her name was originally meant to be Fanny. That answers that one, then.
Story time 2...
I have just attempted to use a car park that I have never used before. I won't tell you the name of the group that run the setup, but let's just say that, in view of the fact that Brexit means we are no longer in the EU, I am surprised that they still have a presence in the UK.
It was a pay and display car park where you are supposed to purchase a ticket for the length of time you think you might be there and place that ticket in your car windscreen.
With me so far? Good. Here's where things get a little complicated. The machine where you purchase said ticket was out of order. Sort of. It wouldn't accept money and it wouldn't spew out a ticket. How then was I meant to pay and display?
There was another option; I could download an app to my smartphone. I tried that. Guess what... the app wouldn't download.
Now what could I do? Ah, it was possible to phone a number. I tried that. It was one of awful automated things. You know the kind of thing, you had to say your car registration number and also your bank card details. Sure. I'm standing in the middle of a car park and you want me to shout out my credit card details. I don't think so. I was beginning to not like this car park at all. In the end, I felt the safest bet was simply to get out the car park and leave the car somewhere else.
That also had its downside; the car park had cctv cameras trained on the entrance and exit. Your registration number was noted as you entered the car park and again as you left. If you hadn't paid, you would be liable to get a hefty fine of £30. I hadn't paid, but had been trying to for about 40 minutes.
If I receive a letter, I am ready with my angry email to the company behind this shambolic business.
Another instruction caught my eye. Disabled (or differently abled, if you prefer) drivers were to pay to use the car park whether they had a blue badge or not. How mean is that? A bit rotten, don't you think? Okay, that aside, there were bigger issues to deal with. The pay machines, even if they had worked, would have been strictly out of bounds to somebody who had to use a mobility scooter or wheelchair. Why? Because they were all positioned on a raised plinth of paving. There was no dropped kerb for wheelchair access.
Ahh, you say, the differently abled person could use their mobile phone (assuming that all the ways to pay functioned as they should). But what if anyone using a mobility buggy had no phone with them? Our car park planners hadn't thought of that one.
Whoever designs these places ought to spend some time in a wheelchair; then, perhaps, they would appreciate the problems their short-sightedness causes for disabled... sorry, differently abled... people. [If they are short-sighted, does that not mean they themselves are dis... differently abled? I'm just saying. - Ed.]
How about a car park joke to finish?
What did Richard III say when Henry Tudor told him he was going to build a car park in the centre of Leicester?
'Over my dead body!'
I didn't say it was funny. Do you know any car park jokes? Exactly.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 18th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.
George Mallory (who got a mention last week) 1886 - Mountaineer. Died 800 vertical feet from the summit of Mount Everest. As I said last week, another didn’t-quite-make-it-er.
Carleton Hobbs 1898 - Ector dear leddie. Played Sherlock Holmes in over 80 radio adaptations from 1952 until 1969.
John Warburton 1903 - Jobbing actor. Leon Renault in Secrets of the French Police.
Ian Carmichael 1920 - Actor. Famous for playing upper-crust silly ass types. Bertie Wooster in The World of Wooster.
I say, you cheps!
Johnny Pearson 1925 - Musician and composer. He led the Top of the Pops orchestra for 16 years. He composed a few TV themes in his time. He was also part of Sounds Orchestral, a group of musicians who produced music that might be described easy-listening by some [You mean soporific. - Ed.] and between 1965 and 1977 they recorded 17 studio albums. However, only one track from that outfit made the charts; this one, Cast Your Fate to the Wind. That was actually rather pleasant. Johnny was the man tickling the ivories there.
Paul Eddington 1927 - Actor. Jim Hacker in Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.
Norman St. John-Stevas 1929 - Politician.
John Quarmby 1929 - Jobbing actor. Mr Carnegie in the Fawlty Towers episode Basil the Rat.
Delia Smith 1941 - Dinner lady.
Paul McCartney 1942 - A Beatle or a bit of Wings. I do the man down. He is probably one of the greatest songwriters ever. He has written some crackers; Yesterday, Fool on the Hill... erm... We All Stand Together. He has been involved in 25 number one singles and 19 number one studio albums. Quite a career. My favourite McCartney song? A very simple little toon, Blackbird.
Pat Hutchins 1942 - Illustrator and author of children’s books.
Barry Evans 1943 - Actor. Jeremy Brown in the very politically incorrect Mind Your Language, a ‘comedy’ that poked fun at just about any racial stereotype imaginable. 42 episodes aired so someone must have liked it.
Kara Wilson 1944 - Actress. Helen Davies in Adam Smith. Mrs Tom Conti.
Gordon Murray 1946 - Car designer.
Luan Peters 1946 - Jobbing actress. Raylene Miles in the Fawlty Towers episode The Psychiatrist.
Philip Jackson 1948 - Actor. Japp in Poirot. 171 credits in IMDb.
Dominic Guard 1956 - Author, child psychotherapist and former actor. Starred in The Go-Between when aged 14.
Kevin Drinkell 1960 - Footy bloke.
Alison Moyet 1961 - Singer. Here’s a song that reached number 2 in the singles charts, That Ole Devil Called Love.
Stephen Marcus 1962 - Actor. Nick the Greek in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Richard De Vere 1967 - Magician.
Jason McAteer 1971 - Peileadóir.
Kevin Bishop 1980 - Actor and comedian. Nigel Norman Fletcher in Porridge. The 2016/17 one, not the decent one.
Moeen Ali 1987 - Crickety bloke.
Jeremy Irvine 1990 - Actor. Albert Narracott in War Horse.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Paul McGrambley,
I have been a fan of yours since the days of The Beatles. I always loved the film Help and had the album. Here is a question you might be able to answer for me. What was the first single from that album to top the charts?
Your obedient servant,
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Well, we did win. Sort of. 64 pees back from our £2.20 outlay. What happened? Read on...
England vs Italy - England to win
Result - England 0 Italy 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Luxembourg vs Turkey - Turkey to win
Result - Luxembourg 0 Turkey 2
Netherlands vs Poland - Netherlands to win
Result - Netherlands 2 Poland 2
Ooh! ’It the bar! Again!
Romania vs Finland - Romania to win
Result - Romania 1 Finland 0
Wales vs Belgium - Belgium to win
Result - Wales 1 Belgium 1
Ooh! ’It the bar! Yet again!
Come on Grambler, pull your SSDs up, give us some decent predictions! Unfortunately, there are no footy games on this week... Or are there? I was all set to give you a selection of gee gees this week, but Mr Bet365 isn’t playing ball and won’t let me place my bet. So, I took a look around the various world leagues and have managed to find something that we can bet on until the English and Scottish leagues reconvene for the 2022-23 season. How about the Finnish Veikkausliiga? Don’t fancy that? Tough, that’s what you are getting. All the games take place today (18th) but at different times. Let’s see what The Grambler has come up with...
Game - Time - Result - Odds
FC Haka vs IFK Mariehamn - 13.00 - Home win - 7/10
FC Ilves vs Lahti - 15.00 - Home win - 17/20
HJK Helsinki vs AC Oulu - 15.00 - Home win - 2/9
SJK vs FC Inter - 15.00 - Away win - 29/20
HIFK vs VPS Vaasa -21.00 - Away win - 21/20
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
Ooh, that is slightly 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 Tocopilla, Chile in 1988. I am a forward with Inter Milan but have had spells at Udinese, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United. I have been capped for Chile 148 times and am the highest goalscorer for the Chilean national side having scored 48 times.
Answer - Alexis Sanchez
2. Which Polish player has scored the most international goals?
Answer - Robert Lewandowski
3. Which club is managed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink?
Answer - Burton Albion
4. Which club plays at Gresty Road?
Answer - Crewe Alexandra (The stadium is now officially known as the Mornflake Stadium for sponsorship reasons.)
5. A daft one to finish. Name the nine clubs in the English and Scottish senior leagues with parts of the body in their names. Arsenal doesn’t count, nor do either of the Bristols and definitely not the team which is about to be relegated to the National League.
Answer - Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, Colchester United, Heart of Midlothian, Peterhead and Kelty Hearts.
What about another five for this week? We’ll begin as always with...
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1992 in Bree, Belgium. I am 6’ 7” tall. I began my senior career with Gent. I then moved to Chelsea, but was immediately loaned out to Atletico Madrid for three seasons. I helped them to win the Europa League in 2012 and La Liga title in 2014. I returned to Chelsea and was part of the team that won the Premier League in 2015 and again in 2017. In 2018 I was sold to my present club, Real Madrid, for £35 million.
2. Which two players tie as Scotland’s top goalscorers with 30 goals each?
3. Which English club has the motto ‘Audere est facere’ (To dare is to do.)?
4. Which English club has the nickname ‘The Grecians’?
5. Another daft one to finish. Name the seven clubs in the English and Scottish senior leagues with a compass point as part of their name.
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, for this week’s finishing item, I am indebted to a Miss L. Peters who appeared in an episode of Fawlty Towers some 45 years ago (Can it really be that old?) and gets old Basil in trouble as he fumbles for a light switch...
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.