Friday 3 May 2024

Post 504 - Grambling back from near extinction


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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (

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.

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

You may have noticed that your favourite ill-informed blog has not been published for a few weeks. You didn’t? Well, it hasn’t. What was wrong, I hear you ask. I’ll tell you. Pull up a chair, why don’t you...

A week or three back, I settled down to write that week’s (g)ramble. I tried to log onto and there it was; gorn. Yep. Apparently, there was a problem and I was being invited by some unknown individual or group to purchase the domain. Hang on a mo, I have already purchased that domain. It is my domain. Or at least, I thought it was.

I tried all the ways I knew (sadly, not many) to access the account, but nothing I did seemed to work. I resigned myself to either setting up a new account or, heaven forbid, stopping writing the world’s greatest ill-informed blog [That sounds like a plan; you should consider it. - Ed.]

Having considered these options, I settled on the former [Shame. - Ed.] and decided to set up a new account to publish the blog. Since some bast... someone had nicked, I would have to use another name. As I began searching for a domain provider, the new name was presented to me on a plate... the new blog would be thegramblero. Actually, it was going to be thegrambler0, but I thought it would do. It was the neatest name I was offered, so I went for it.

Then came the difficult part: designing a new blog from scratch. Have you ever tried it? It’s not easy, I can tell you; especially as there is no instruction manual to guide you. I hit a few snags and dead ends as I tried to come up with a decent layout that wouldn’t seem at odds with what has gone before.

I also decided that I would resurrect a few past editions, because, remember, the old could no longer be accessed; it was, apparently, lost in the ether forever. I thought it might be a good idea to pick out some of the best [You mean least worst, surely. - Ed.] and occasionally include them as a trip down memory lane. And don’t call me Shirley.

That fact actually depressed me a little. [Aah... Poor you. - Ed.] Well, it did. I have been writing this drivel material for over ten years and it would all be lost, in its entirety, never to be read ever again. That is depressing. [Not for me, mate. - Ed.]

But hold, I hear you say. If is not accessible, how come I am reading this now? What witchcraft is this?

Aah, yes. Not witchcraft. Let me explain. I really was struggling to find a decent format and was wishing that I didn’t have to. Then, I had a lightbulb moment. Ting! (or whatever noise a lightbulb might make) Why not actually write a letter (well, email) to the company from which I had bought the domain in the first place? [It’s a crazy idea, Captain, but it might just work. - Ed.] Thank you, Scotty. I explained to ‘whoever’ that my domain had been hijacked and asked for some assistance. And guess what... It worked. Huzzah!

Now, read on. [Must we? - Ed.] Yes. I should point out that this week’s edition, thanks to the extended period since the last blog was published, is a little different to the norm.


Story Time 2

Regular readers of this esteemed blog may recall that my favourite beverage is not something alcoholic, but good old coffee. I told you. I did. Ages ago. Do you not remember I was extolling the virtues of a stainless steel cafetiere? [Ooh. That sounds painful. I wouldn’t want one of them shoved up my wotsit. - Ed.] That’s a catheter; and they are not made of stainless steel. [Thank goodness for that. - Ed.]

I do call myself a coffee snob. Not for me a spoonful of instant coffee granules; instead, I like a coffee that is 'brewed' using ground coffee beans and a cafetiere. I don't go as far as grinding coffee beans, however; although, I do know people who do include this as a necessary part of the process to ensure they get a decent cup of coffee.

Why am I telling you this? [Yes. Why? - Ed.] I'll tell you.

I like my coffee black. [Like your women. - Ed.] Behave yourself, please and let me continue.

Yes, when I go to a cafe, I use the words, 'could I have a black coffee, please.'
Now, to me, that is a simple, easy to follow request. Sometimes, I am asked if I mean an Americano and I answer, 'No, I don't mean a blibbing Americano, I mean a black coffee. Black, as in the colour black. The colour every cup of coffee is before milk or cream is added. Black. Simple as that. Not Americano or any other silly, made-up terms you pretentious coffee shop snobs like to use. Black coffee. Got that? Good. And another thing, I want said beverage in a quantity that makes some sense, such as small, medium or large size. I do not know what a 'tall' coffee is. Or a venti or trenta. Or primo or assio. All utterly meaningless. Nor do I want a cup that is so large that it requires two handles to lift it. That's not a cup for use in a cafe, it's something to place under the bed if you haven’t got a toilet. And why do you blibbing well need to know my name?'

Actually, I answer, 'Yes, an Americano. Pardon? Oh yes, my name.'

Any road up, why is it that during the period between taking my order and delivering same, the waiter (or waitress) totally forgets what I asked for? Without fail, I am presented with a cup of black coffee with, in a separate receptacle, some milk.

And why, when I point out the fact that I don't require milk, they look at the jug and then at me and ask me quizzically, 'You don't want milk?'

Grrr... Any road up, I generally take my coffee without sugar. However, as some coffees can be a little on the bitter side, I do, occasionally add a few granules. It is this uncertainty that leads me to my next problem.

Most cafes have a basin on the table that holds various packets of sugar (white or brown) and sweeteners. When I visit such establishments and my coffee requires it, sugar is there. Not a problem. However, there are cafes where sugar is not so readily available. Here, things get a bit silly...

Having received my black coffee and refused the milk proffered by the waiter (or waitress), he (or she) will ask me if I require sugar. I say to him (or her), ‘Perhaps. You see, normally I take coffee without sugar, but sometimes, coffee can be a little bitter on my palate so, on those occasions, I like to add a few granules, probably no more than a quarter of a teaspoon. That is just about...’

It is at this point I realise that the server’s eyes have glazed over with boredom. He/she is probably thinking that he/she shouldn’t have to listen to this tw*t rambling on. Not on his/her wages.

So, I now, to paraphrase the old anti-drugs message, just say yes.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 13th of April? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Actually, so much time has elapsed since the last (g)ramble, let’s just have those that can provide a link. Okay with that? Good.

Brian Pendleton 1944 - Musician. Founding member of The Pretty Things. Your first clip this week is Buzz the Jerk.

Right, not very many there. What about the 20th of April? Same rule applies.  

Cy Laurie 1926 - Musician and bandleader. Have a clip. Here’s Papa Dip.

Jimmy Winston 1945 - Musician. Founding member of the Small Faces. Here he features in some British B movie of the 1960s where the band perform I've Got Mine.

Iris Williams 1944 - Canwr. Another clip? Here’s Pererin Wyf.

Del Dettmar 1947 - Musician. Spent some time in the band Hawkwind in the early seventies.  Here’s a track he ‘composed’ Electronic No 1.

Tina Cousins 1974 - Singer. Here’s a hit from back in 1999, Killin' Time.

Carina Round 1979 - Singer-songwriter. She has worked with Tears for Fears, but here is a solo toon, You and Me.

Tom Hull aka Kid Harpoon 1982 - Singer, songwriter, musician and producer. Here’s a track from 2009, Stealing Cars.

And how about the 27th of April?

George Powell aka George Asaf 1880 - Songwriter. He wrote the lyrics to the patriotic marching song, Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag.  Factoid: Powell was a pacifist and a conscientious objector during the war.

Will Starr 1922 - Musician. Have another clip. Here’s Jacqueline.

Gordon Haskell 1946 - Musician, singer and songwriter. Have a clip. Here’s How Wonderful You Are.

Pete Ham 1947 - Musician. He is best-remembered as the vocalist and composer with Badfinger. Let’s have a clip. Here’s No Matter What.

Adrian Uttley 1957 - Musician. He has been with the band Portishead since 1990. A clip? But, of course. Here’s Numb.

Sheena Easton 1959 - Singer. A clip? Indeed. Here’s For Your Eyes Only.

Marco Pirroni 1959 - Musician (not a beer). He is perhaps most famous as being the songwriter and guitarist on many Adam and the Ants tracks. Here is one of them, Antmusic.

Antonio Di Bartolomeo sensibly shortened to Tony di Bart 1964 - Singer. He had one hit and here it is, The Real Thing.

Mica Paris 1969 - Singer. Have another clip. Here’s her first big hit, My One Temptation.

Mathew Priest 1970 - Musician. Founder member of Dodgy. Here’s their best performing single, Good Enough For You.

Rob Coombs 1972 - Musician. The fourth member of Supergrass, although he remained in the background until becoming a fully-fledged band member in 2002. He did, however, appear on all the band’s albums and singles. Time for a clip? But, of course. This is Mary.


Let’s move on to the 4th of May.

Zal Cleminson 1949 - Musician. Guitarist in the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Anthem.  Zal is the one with the clown make-up.

Zal in more recent times... still with clown...ish make-up

Colin Bass 1951 - Musician. Andy Latimer’s sidekick in Camel for over 40 years, but he has had a successful solo career over this period. Here is a song of his that has had more than 50 cover versions made of it, Denpasar Moon.

Jay Aston 1961 - Singer. Part of the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest winning group Buck’s Fizz. Unlike other winners, they didn’t disappear in a puff of dry ice and had a few more hits. Like this, If You Can't Stand The Heat.

Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots 1984 - Singer-songwriter and DJ. Have a clip. Here’s New in Town.

Emma Stevens 1986 - Musician, singer-songwriter. Let’s have another clip. Here’s Riptide.




I've received a letter...

Dear Marco Grambloni,

I was wondering about the various hits you had when you worked alongside Adam with and without his Ants. I know the Ants had a couple of number one singles, Stand and Deliver and Prince Charming, but felt sure that they had another top ten hit before Adam went solo. I can’t remember its name, though. Can you help?

Yours myrmecologically,

Anne Trapp.

[I never realised there was a band member called Dairylea. You learn something new every day. - Ed.]



Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Loadbreks fare? It’s so long ago, I can barely remember. Oh yes, 66 pees back. Ho hum. Let’s not bother with what happened, let’s just move onto this week’s bet.

Game - Result - Odds

Burnley vs Newcastle - Away win - 20/21

Sheffield Utd. vs Nottingham For. - Away win - 4/6

Aberdeen vs St. Johnstone - Home win - 4/6

Motherwell vs Livingston - Home win - 13/20 [Uh oh. - Ed.]

Ross County vs Hibs - Away win - Evens

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


Fairly unwhopping, I reckon.




Teaser time...

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 2003 in Copenhagen. A forward, I began my senior career with Copenhagen, before moves to Sturm Graz and Atalanta. I joined my present club, Manchester United in 2023 for a fee of over £64 million. I have been capped for Denmark 12 times.

Answer - Rasmus Højlund

2. Who is Nottingham Forest’s first team captain?

Answer - Ryan Yates

3. Which team has won the most league games in the Scottish Premiership this season?

Answer - At the time of asking that question, the answer was Rangers with 24 won. However, their results have faltered a bit since then and Celtic have caught up. So both teams now have 25 wins.

4. Which player from Iceland has made the most English Premier League appearances?

Answer - Hermann Hreiðarsson

5. Which club plays its home games at Meadow Lane?

Answer - Notts. County

Shall we have five for this week? Yes, let’s.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Manchester in 2002. An attacking midfielder, I began my senior career at Manchester City before moving to my current club, Chelsea. I am Chelsea’s top goalscorer for this season. I have been capped for England twice.

2. Who is Everton’s first-team captain?

3. Which English Championship side drew the most games in season 2023-4?

4. Who was Ireland’s most capped player?

5. Which club plays its home games at the Oakwell Stadium?

There you have it. Have fun trying to work that lot out. 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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK



Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).  Click on this link: The amount quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a gentleman who should be in this week’s birthday honours but, since he hasn’t produced any music to give a link, he has been missed out. His name is Julian Barratt and, though he has appeared in many films and television series and is probably still best remembered as Howard Moon in The Mighty Boosh, I thought you might like to see him from the early days when he performed solo back in the 1990s... If you thought Noel Fielding was the wacky one, think again.  Did you spot a very young Lee Mack introducing him?



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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