Saturday 15 June 2024

Post 507 - A foodie gramble

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

Have you ever watched Dragons Den? No? Neither have I. That's a lie. I've seen snippets of it, but have never consciously sat down to watch it. I know the format though. It goes a bit like this...

WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEUR: I'd like some money please.

DRAGON'S DEN PERSON: You can't have any.

The end.

Okay, it doesn't quite go like that. More like this...

WBE: I have a business proposition that might interest you.

DDP: And what is that, young fellow-me-lad?

WBE: It's a restaurant.

DDP: Boring...

WBE: No, seriously. It's a very special restaurant. It doesn't have a menu.

DDP: No menu? What kind of a restaurant has no menu?

WBE: I say no menu; it does have a menu of sorts. Only the customer doesn't get to choose from it.

DDP: Sorry, not with you.

WBE: No, because he or she gets everything on the menu.

DDP: No. You've lost me there.

WBE: You see, it's a taste menu. There are six courses, but only a little bit of each item gets served.

DDP: And no choice?

WBE: Well, there is a vegan option.

DDP: Ah, so that's different, is it?

WBE: In a way. It's the same dish with the meat taken out.

DDP: I don't much like the sound of this. What about drinks?

WBE: Oh yes, there's a drinks menu.

DDP: Good. Now we're getting somewhere.

WBE: But we would discourage people from selecting from it.

DDP: Why?

WBE: Because we have specific wine for each course.

DDP: No actual choice, then.

WBE: No.

DDP: So let me get this straight... You want to run a restaurant where everybody gets the same food and the same drink?

WBE: Yes.

DDP: With no exceptions?

WBE: None. Apart from the veggie option, of course.

DDP: Of course.

WBE: Are you interested?

DDP: What do you think? Get out!

It does sound like a crazy idea. It'd never work, surely. Ahh, but it does and don't call me Shirley.

There is a very popular restaurant chain called Fleeced by Enrico, or something, that has that very business model.

I recently went to it with Mrs G. What can I say? It was... erm... different.
I enjoyed the experience, certainly but, for me, there were too many negatives to counter the positives.

Firstly, the cost. This was not a cheap meal out. It cost over 40 quids for the food before you had even thought about the wine part of the meal. If that was included, the price went up to a whopping 75 smackeroonies. Oh, and a 12 per cent service charge was also to be added. Gulp!

For two people to eat and drink in the restaurant, it would cost (wait for it) 168 quids. Blibbing flip!

That would feed four families in Wetherspoons!

My next gripe was the food itself. It was, as I have said, a tasting menu. You are really only getting a small sample of each item. But the quantity wasn't the issue. The problem, for me, was that there was no alternative to what you were given. It was a case of like it or starve. If you prefer fish and chips to cordon bleu, don't go.

The flavours were interesting, but some just weren't pleasant. If I'm spending so much money on something, I at least want to enjoy it. Luckily, there were only two out of the six that I wasn't sure of.

Mrs G and I didn't bother with the wine part of the deal because there were wines in there that we just didn't fancy.

My biggest gripe, though, had nothing to do with the food or the drink; it was time or lack of it. Pardon sorry excuse me? Each course arrived at the table and the waitress spent a bit of time explaining what it was... That's a bad sign if they've got to tell you what is on your plate.

We ate said course and, without giving us time to even belch, the next course was plonked down in front of us.

The reason for this became clear towards the end of our meal when we asked for a coffee as a finisher. We were then told that we could have a coffee but we would only have 10 minutes to drink it as they needed the table for the next 'sitting'.

That part of the deal really annoyed me. We had just spent a lot of money in the establishment and we weren't even allowed any time to relax after our meal. This was more like going to a cafeteria than an expensive restaurant.

Even big Arnie would agree with my sentiments when I say, I'll not be back.

Talking of restaurants, particularly those less high-end types that specialise in the aforementioned fish and chips, let's finish with five 'interesting' names for such establishments [I don't like the sound of this. - Ed.]

Fishcoteque [Oh dear. - Ed.]

New Cod on the Block [These are awful. - Ed.]

Frying Nemo [Please stop. - Ed.]

Cod Almighty [No more, I beg of you. - Ed.]


[Are you finished? - Ed.]


[Thank... heh heh... cod for that... heh heh. Do you get it? Thank cod for that. Good eh? - Ed.]

I think I'll do the birthday honours.





Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 8th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

John Smeaton 1724 - Civil engineer. Not to be confused with an ex-baggage handler from Glasgow airport.

Robert Stevenson 1772 - Another civil engineer. Famous for his lighthouses. Not to be confused with a film director.

John Everett Millais 1829 - Painter. Painted Ophelia... on a canvas... not on a woman called Ophelia... I’ll get me coat.

Ronald Shiner 1903 - Comedian and actor. Doc Knott in My Wife’s Family. Exactly 100 credits on IMDb.

Francis Crick 1916 - Molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist. He really was a right old smarty boots.

Tony Mottram 1920 - Tennisy bloke. Linda and Buster’s dad.

Frank Costin 1920 - Automotive engineer. Co-founder of Marcos.

Ray Illingworth 1932 - Crickety bloke.

Derek Newark 1933 - Actor and well-known anagram. Det. Insp. Tucker in Barlow.

Millicent Martin 1934 - Actress and singer. Had her own TV show back in the 60s. What was it called, again? Oh, I know... Millicent or was it Mainly Millicent?

Fred Dinenage 1942 - Author, journalist and TV presenter.

Doug Mountjoy 1942 - Snookery bloke.

Colin Baker 1943 - Actor. One of the many Dr Whos.

Derek Underwood 1945 - Crickety bloke.

Annie Haslam 1947 - Singer and songwriter. Here’s a track from 1977, I Never Believed in Love.  In case you were wondering the other voice you hear is none other than her then boyfriend Roy Wood.

Bonnie Tyler 1951 - Singer. Here’s her first ever single, My! My! Honeycomb. [Sounds like an advert for Crunchie. - Ed.]

Tim Berners-Lee 1955 - Computer scientist credited with the invention of the World Wide Web.

Harriet Thorpe 1957 - Actress. Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous.

Mick Hucknall 1960 - Musician. The man is simply Simply Red. A clip? Why, of course. Here’s Simp’s only number one single, Fairground.

Nick Rhodes 1962 - Musician. Keyboard wizard with Duran Duran. You want another clip? No problem. Here’s the band’s last single to chart, Black Moonlight.

Neil Mitchell 1965 - Musician. Keyboard wizard with Wet Wet Wet. [A lot of wizards about. - Ed.] How about a clip? Here’s If I Never See You Again.

Doris Pearson 1966 - [Sounds like a medium from the 1970s. There’s a thing; why were they all called Doris? - Ed.] Ahem. Singer. She was in Five Star. [She was in petrol? - Ed.] Will you pack it in? Let’s have another clip. Here’s System Addict.

Will Smith 1971 - Comedian, screenwriter, novellist, actor and producer. In fact, a right old etc..

Colin McCredie 1972 - Actor. D.C. Stuart Fraser in Taggart. There’s been a mud-dah!

Ian Bond 1973 - Booler.

Graeme Smith 1983 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Joel Dommett 1985 - Comedian and TV presenter.

Richard Fleeshman 1989 - Actor and singer/songwriter. Craig Harris in Coronation Street.

Qasim Akhtar 1991 - Akhtar. Do you see what I did there? Zeedan Nazir in Coronation Street.


Now, let’s move on to those famous folk born on the 15th of June.

James Robertson Justice 1907 - Actor. Sir Lancelot Spratt in Doctor in the House and its spinoffs.

Wilbert Awdry 1911 - Author. Wrote the stories about talking trains with faces. Must have been on the whacky when he up with that idea.

Billy Burden 1914 - Comedian and actor. Maurice Moulterd in Grace & Favour.

Richard Baker 1925 - Newsreader.

Ann Morrish 1928 - Actress. Jo Hardy in The Expert.

Tony Ellingham aka Dorian Gray 1942 - Singer. One hit wonder with this, I've Got You On My Mind [That would go down well in Wales or Aberdeen. - Ed.]

Helen Fraser 1942 - Actress. Sylvia Hollamby in Bad Girls.

Mervyn ‘Muff’ Winwood 1943 - Musician and record producer. He played bass guitar in the Spencer Davis Group. I think it’s time for another clip. Here’s I'm a Man.

Johnny Hallyday 1943 - Chanteur. Voici une vieille chanson, Hold the Night.

Nicola Pagett 1945 - Actress. Liz Rodenhurst in A Bit of a Do.

Demis Roussos 1946 - τραγουδιστής. Εδώ είναι ένα παλιό τραγούδι, My Only Fascination.

Neville ‘Noddy’ Holder 1946 - Musician, songwriter and actor. Frontman of Slade. Here’s an early song that failed to trouble the charts, Shape of Things to Come.

Roy Holder 1946 - Actor. Jackie in Whistle Down the Wind. Hey up, Jackie. Want to buy a kitten?

Angela Down 1946 - Actress. She seemed be in just about every TV drama at one time but all but disappeared from view after a few short years. Played Avril in Take Three Girls.

Henry McLeish 1948 - Politician. Scotland’s second First Minister [? - Ed.] whose political career ended when he resigned following a ‘irregularities’ in his expenses. Who’d have thought it? Wouldn’t happen today.

Simon Callow 1949 - Ectaw, dear leddie. Tom Chance in Chance in a Million. There’s an oldie for you.

John Redwood 1951 - Politician who tried to mime to the Welsh national anthem. Impossible, boyo!

Kim Fuller 1951 - Writer for film, radio and TV. He wrote Spice World which was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for worst screenplay.

Alan Brazil 1959 - Fitba guy.

Samira Ahmed 1968 - Radio and TV presenter.

Mel Giedroyc 1968 - Comedienne.

Jim Weir 1969 - Fitba guy.

Justin Fletcher 1970 - Comedian and TV presenter. Oh... and he provides the voice for Shawn the Sheep.

Jason Dair 1974 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Kallum Higginbotham 1989 - Footy bloke. He had a loan-spell at Motherwell, you know.








I’ve received a letter...

Dear Noddy Grambler,

We have always been fans of your work. We can both recall you first had a number one single with Coz I Luv You but neither of us can remember the name of the follow-up. Can u help?

Yours with luv,

Luke Watt, Hugh Dunn.




Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Dorkleabs fare? We won... yet again. This can’t last, surely. Don’t call me Shirley. Four out of five of The Grambler’s predictions came trumps. Yay! From our £2.20 stake we won £4.32. Brill!

What has The Grambler come up with this week? Euro 2024 is just getting underway, maybe he/she/it thinks we should have a little flutter on that. No, apparently he/she/it is sticking with the Swedish leagues.

Game - Result - Odds

Gefle vs Landskrona - Away win - 21/20

Skovde vs Degerfors - Away win - 8/11

Utsiktens vs Varbergs - Home win - 4/5

Helsingborgs vs Orebro - Home win - 5/6

Sandvikens vs Oddevold - Home 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


Ooh, more whopping than last time.


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 1997 in Wandsworth. A winger, I began my senior career at Charlton Athletic before moving to Everton. I was loaned out to, and eventually signed for, Leipzig. During my time there I was loaned out to Fulham and Leicester City. I moved to my present club, Atalanta, in 2022. Although capped for England under 19, 20 and 21 games, at senior level, I play for Nigeria. The giveaway clue? I scored a hat-trick in the 2024 Europa League final.

Answer - Ademola Lookman

2. Let’s talk promotions. How many times have Southampton been promoted to the Premier League?

Answer - 6

3. As expected, Erling Haaland scored the most Premier League goals (27) in season 2023-4, but who came second with 22?

Answer - Cole Palmer

4. How many times has the Champions League final been contested between two English clubs and which clubs were involved?

Answer - Three times - Manchester United vs Chelsea (2008), Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur (2019), Chelsea vs Manchester City (2021)

5. Which club has just been promoted to the Football League from the National League for the first time in its history?

Answer - Bromley

Shall we have five for this week? Why not. Euro 2024 is about to begin, so let’s have some questions relating to earlier UEFA European Championships.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Mâcon, France in 1991. An attacking midfielder, I began my senior career at Real Sociedad before moving to Athletico Madrid. I then moved to Barcelona before returning to Athletico Madrid. I have been capped 129 times for France and I was the top scorer at Euro 2016 as well as being named player of the tournament.

2. Scotland have played in three tournaments over the years but have never progressed from the group stage. Which is the only country to have progressed from the group on every occasion it has played in the tournament?

3. Who is the only English player to have been the highest goalscorer of a tournament?

4. Which country has failed to qualify for the tournament despite making 16 attempts?

5. Of the countries that have made only one appearance in the tournament, which was the most successful, reaching the quarterfinal?


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 Mr. R. Baker who features in this week’s final clip. Yes, Richard Baker, the man known for reading the news. Here’s a did you know. Did you know that he presented the Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s very first television news broadcast on the 5th of July 1954? You didn’t? Well, you do now. But, he did more than just read off a teleprompter. Apart from appearing on, and presenting, a few classical music-related programmes, he also narrated children’s TV programmes such as Mary, Mungo and Midge and Teddy Edward. This makes him sound like quite a serious person, but he must have had a sense of humour, because he made three cameo appearances on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and he appeared in this famous song and dance routine. See if you can spot him.


And now for something completely different...


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.


No comments:

Post a Comment