LIFE is looking up ...

Usually, at this time of time of year, I am surrounded by chocolate wrappers - another resolution ending in crumbs.

But I have started a new self-help motivating campaign and I mean to go on.

I am already totally teetotal and now allocate a big part of my day to relaxing, brain-reclaiming meditation.

Yet during a birthday spa break I was reading a newspaper (ah, bliss) and I came across ... 'Dry-Fi.'

At first I thought it was another well-meaning health kick like the excellent Go Sober October or No Smoking November drives.

It is, I happily discovered, something just as important and life-changing for so many of us hooked on the internet and all that entails.

It's about USING social media and not letting social media USE us.

According to the University of Chicago social media is more addictive than cigarettes.

I say this as another disturbing new survey out today says youngsters should not spend more than two hours a day on digital media and that there should be a global return to playing sport, reading and meeting other people ... face-to-face.

They call for a return to 'the real world'.

But surely this should be for people of all ages.

Count me in.

I have already started my own anti-social media plan.

I have stopped looking at my phone every few minutes.

I now delete the job adverts or expensive cruise commercials as they come in.

Incessant scrolling is no longer a bad habit.

It is liberating - the equivalent of tearing up junk mail.

I will only use Facebook for birthday reminders.

I do not want to know what somebody I hardly know had for lunch (with pictures).

Cue Billy Joel's My Life - "go ahead with your own life - leave me alone" is my new mantra.

I now leave my phone downstairs at night, no longer my bedside companion.

And I have told friends I am not 24/7.

Dry-Fi will be a permanent new way of my life.

The start of a revolution in my head.

I am encouraged by the CEO of Twitter who admitted to a self-imposed ten-day switch off at the end of the year.

On a positive note, I was very pleased to hear a 'robot' check-out at a Scottish supermarket has been sacked for being 'too impersonal.'


WHAT is happening to Corrie? It's fast becoming Coreleone Street, Godather Part 4.

EastEnders has always had a violent streak and Hollyoaks is now far removed from the harmless teenage drama that it once was.

The only violence in Weatherfield was the odd punch-up in the Rovers' Return.

Now complaints are rolling in (600 last week) about what Michael Parkinson calls content more akin to a 'horror film rather than a family show.'

The gentle soap has gone through such a pointless transformation.

It is no longer quaint escapism but a carbon copy of ugly all-too-real news stories.

Imagine Last of the summer wine overrun with drug pushers or Call the midwife - a hotbed for KGB espionage.

And as for our other mainstream dramas, can producers please help us viewers with some explanatory notes.

The new series McMafia, about Soviet financial skulduggery, has me and millions others baffled.

It's the TV equivalent of Sudoku.

McMafia ... I'm not loving it.


I APPLAUD Neil Diamond for revealing he has Parkinson's Disease.

This singer-songwriter has thanked his fans but says touring days are over.

Earlier this week, DJ Kid Jensen pledged that he, too, has gone public about the illness and will use his celebrity status to help others.

Celebrities like Michael J Fox and Billy Connolly are also to be admired for putting something back into society where their influence and inspiration counts.

As for Beatle-fan Neil Diamond, I will never forget him telling an audience in Manchester about a great place he had been to that afternoon on the banks of the Mersey - The Beatle Story museum in a fantastic city called Liverpool.

You couldn't hear a pin drop.



I WAS saddened to hear that my good friend Ken Dodd is ill.

I usually chat to Ken on a regular basis, so when I didn't hear Doddy's dulcet tones I was not tickled.

I have been in touch with his wonderful partner Anne and passed on the love and wishes of all Wirral Globe readers.

He is eager to get back on stage and keen to launch his Doddy Pop-Up book.

He has asked me to thank all well-wishers in Wirral for their kind thoughts.

Get well soon, Sir Ken ... Pop Up back into good health.

We need your brand of happiness more than ever.


WONDERING whether I will ever conquer Insomnia has kept me awake at night for years.

But it seems the boffins are determined to beat this state of affairs.

Neuroscientists say one way to help us drop off earlier is a 'to do list' on pen and paper.

They say noting down ten tasks you need to achieve over the next few days helps us get to the land of nod.

Worrying about unfinished work and deadlines causes brain activity, which makes it hard to drift off and even worse it wakes us up at regular intervals.

Writing a 'to do tick list' makes it easier to ease anxiety off-loading nagging thoughts about the next day.

Another tip is to watch a box set of Emmerdale.


AND finally ...

At last a Minister for Loneliness.

How about a Minister for Hindsight – there's plenty of candidates to explain why so many things have gone wrong.

Peter Grant