Further comment from Stan...
That 3-1 thumping of Stoke by a Bundesliga 2 outfit was a head-turner.
St. Pauli's been known to pull an upset or two over the years, but it's still a second-tier, mid-table team....and had to do well last season to even manage THAT. And they are still in pre-season every bit as much as Stoke.
I'm not sure if that means Hamburg's "other" team is a threat for promotion to the Bundesliga, or if Stoke's going to pull a Reading and collapse back toward the table trapdoor after scaling to unexpected heights in its first season of Premiership football.
Of course, it's one pre-season friendly....so it may mean nothing at all. Then again, Stoke hasn't exactly brought in tons of new players that need a turn on the pitch just to get acquainted, so.....
Not that any of this has anything to do with Blackburn or Derby County.......
It's all grist to the mill, Stan, as we say "Up North", & still do, despite the author of "The Road to Wigan Pier" expecting it to fade away - it's close to the American grits, too:
Grist is the corn that is brought to a mill to be ground into flour. In the days when farmers took 'grist to the mill' the phrase would have been used literally to denote produce that was a source of profit. An early figurative use of phrase is found in Arthur Golding's translation of The Sermons of J. Calvin upon Deuteronomie, 1583:
"There is no lykelihoode that those thinges will bring gryst to the mill."
There are many grist mills still in existence and they would have specialised in whatever type of cereal was commonplace in their location - wheat, buckwheat, oats, corn etc. Grist is usually referred to as unground corn. When the phrase was coined, in the UK in the middle ages, corn would have meant wheat, as opposed to what is called corn in many other parts of the world, which is known as maize in the UK.
Oats that have been husked but not ground are known as grit. This is the source of the name the thick maize-based porridge that is widely available in the southern states of the USA - 'grits'. There is clearly both a linguistic and culinary connection between grist and grits, although not as straightforward a one as a simple spelling mistake - they both derive from the verb 'grind'.
'Grist to the mill' is still used, although less commonly than when I was a lad in the 1960s. Were he alive to see it, this would give some satisfaction to George Orwell, who dismissed the phrase as 'a dying metaphor' in his essay Politics and the English Language, 1946:
Dying metaphors ... a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill...
I may well use all of those - after all, what's a meta for? - when reporting on my first live game of the pre-season - at last! - just as soon as we've finished off the Aussies in the 2nd Test & I can go up to Yeovil to see the Rams start their tour of the West Country tomorrow. Bring it on! Before that, the Rams will be ringing the changes to take up the cudgels as a Derby County XI to toe the line with Belper Town tonight. We should ride roughshod over them, 'tho I've no axe to grind, Belper are a good local team, and we're really standing shoulder to shoulder with them. Defeat would play into the hands of Nigel's critics after the Chesterfield loss, which of course he said was "a good workout" with "many positives", an "experiment with three in the middle" and he'd "sooner have us make those mistakes now and learn from them than happen when the Championship season gets under way"; "all that matters for us is that they are ready come August 8th for Peterborough at Pride Park".
Enough of the long hours hunched over a computer reading summer blogs, the English summer is fading fast, ready for Rams v Posh, Blackburn v Man City.