LOVE where you live - now that is a statement that gets my full backing.

Sometimes it’' not that easy when other people just aren't the 'loving' kind.

Those despicable morons across the North West and the UK who turned Bonfire Night into an excuse for violence and vandalism do not understand the term 'civilised society.'

If we all instil in others a 'pride of place' it creates a better environment - physically and mentally – which in turn eases the burden on the already over-burdened NHS.

Wirral in Bloom is one project that makes us all feel good.

And a big Inferno 'thumbs up' for the inspirational Love Where You Live ongoing campaign.

The borough has seen an increase in the number of residents, businesses and visitors taking a genuine interest in improving our local environs.

Out of the self-motivational initiatives a number of new groups and dedicated individuals getting involved either on an ad hoc or regular basis.

Happily 20 new 'Love Hubs' are thriving.

These were launched in February to provide litter-picking equipment for people to borrow and are now being actively supported by residents, scout and guide groups, schools and businesses.

Next Wednesday, at Birkenhead Town Hall, the seeds are being sewn for the very first Love Where You Live forum which takes place from 5pm to 7pm.

So well done to all the vibrant volunteers, freelance litter-pickers and those who are determined to tackle grot spots, encourage clean-ups (after the increased number of local events) and generally tidy up all those sites for sore eyes.

This is a user friendly invitation to share ideas, discuss problems and find solutions.

Time for a new slogan:

'Wirral ... you're looking good!'


ONLY 47 days to Christmas – yet for me the season of mellow merriment only officially starts on December 1.

But, according to a BBC survey yesterday, one-in-five of us have already wrapped up all our prezzies.

Where's the fun in that?

The last minute panic to buy the only remaining cardigan in the shop.

I miss the innocence of making advent calendars at primary school - where you created things out of cereal packets featuring tiny doors to see all manner of festive icons.

In later life, along came calendars where you could have mini-versions of your favourite chocolate bars which lay behind the Lilliputian card-board doors from Dec 1 right up to the stable in Bethlehem.

The commercial elves have now gone crackers with 'novelty calendars' to suit all occasions, occupations and tastes – in some cases, the nativity seems to be forgotten.

You can get calendars revealing scented candles, socks, gin and tonics, wine and for budding Bob the builders ... screw drivers.

My own ideal advent calendar would hide a duplicate front door key in every window.

Or, it would be a novel way to remind myself to take my daily intake of tablets.


WHENEVER I worked away from Merseyside I would always check the soccer scores for Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere.

My one-time London flat mate from Prenton would keep me up to date with the progress of Tranmere sporting the famous Wirral Council logo shirt.

One year I left him speechless when I bought him Steve Coppell's biography in which the player recalled his Tranmere days.

My pal would also pride himself on having every bit of club memorabilia.

We lost touch, but now I have a perfect gift to re-establish contact - I am sending him for Christmas a newly-launched Tranmere Rovers jigsaw puzzle – featuring the history of the club.

I can see him now on Christmas morning ... in pieces.

Result ...


HAPPY 70th Birthday to Prince Charles next Wednesday.

Charles once waved at me during the Grand National in 1982. He was with then wife, Diana.

When I told my editor his Highness was at Aintree the reply came back: "what was she wearing?"

I also recall thinking, rather optimistically at the time, that if I reach 100 years of age I would be getting a telegram from him.

I think I'll be sending him one instead.


"HELLO Scoop!" - that's what Professor Phil Redmond called me when I first met him back in 1992.

He still does.

The creator of Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks was rightly made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool at the Maritime Museum last week and Phil greeted every single guest including Andy Burnham.

Phil once famously said: "Why go to London when all you need is here on Merseyside."

So what next for philanthropist Phil?

I'd love to be the first to report the news that he will be 'Sir Phil Redmond' – a scoop indeed.


And finally ... thoughts for Remembrance Sunday.

"I SHALL never forgive or erase the grim reality of miles of brutal barbed wire.

"The man-made impenetrable walls that tore our bodies apart." - Word War 1 Veteran remembering November 1918 ...

... "I SAW that beautiful barbed wire going up. Beautiful sight." - President Donald Trump, speaking about the Mexican border at an election rally in Montana, November 2018.

Peter Grant