Here I am in the Grove House Hotel, Wallasey, just a stone's throw from the tunnel to Paradise. Well, Liverpol anyway. Actually, when most of us think of Merseyside, Liverpool comes to mind, but there is a hidden secret to the area. It's the Wirral peninsula. It's a proper little holiday area. We have a training school in Hoylake, about 6 or 7 miles from where I am now. The fifteen minute journey from the hotel to work is quite pleasant, and Hoylake itself is a very nice wee town. You're never far from water on the Wirral, be it the Irish Sea, the Mersey or the Dee estuaries.
The thing of it is, the Wirral is just bursting with surprises. Thornton Haugh, where I stay sometimes, is the most stunning conservation village. It's beautiful, and this on a peninsula where beauty isn't altogether uncommon. Hoylake has the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, sometimes used to host the British Open. New Brighton, once a fashionable and bustling seaside resort, has faded a bit now, but it still has some very nice views and even nicer walks. Birkenhead has a fascinating U-Boat museum, comsisting of a real U-Boat which has been cut into sections. Wallasey isn't altogether ugly either. I could go on all night, but frankly I'm hungry and the grub at the Grove is award winning fare. Oh, and I was introduced last night to Nick, the owner and, nice man that he is, he furnished me with a wee glass of Macallan to aid restful sleep. Just for medicinal purposes, you understand.
Now, all of this is OK, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy my occasional trips down here, but I'll be honest. I'm missing my wife. She took a small tumble on Sunday and ended up with some nasty bruising which our cat is using to extort extra food from her. I never sleep well away from home and this trip is no different, although so far this is probably the best place I've stayed on the Wirral (and of course, last night's sleep was boosted by the medicine I mentioned earlier). I can't wait for Friday though, and the trek back to Scotland. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Linwood.