I feel very lucky to represent the Borders for a lot of reasons. We're fortunate to live in a beautiful place packed with brilliant people.
But when I speak to MPs who represent other constituencies, one thing that really stands out about our local area is how steeped in history and tradition we are in the Borders.
Very few other places around the UK can match the shared culture and heritage that we have, and they miss out on the wonderful community spirit that still exists across towns, villages and streets throughout the Borders.
From the many ancient Abbeys to Sir Walter Scott's home, the history is all around us. And as for an example of our shared heritage, among the many traditions that thrive in the Borders, the Common Ridings and Festivals are perhaps the most unique.
As you know, it's a tradition that dates back centuries in the Scottish Borders. Many of the customs that are still observed today date back hundreds of years.
I've been going to these events for more than a decade and I'm always encouraged by the community spirit on show. The events are great fun for people of all ages and it is always good to see an event that brings people together.
One of the things that makes the Common Ridings so memorable, and one of my favourite things about them, is the fact that each town has its own festival, with its own traditions and customs, so no two festivals are the same, and each one has its own unique character and atmosphere.
While they still preserve tradition, the Common Ridings have also adapted and evolved over the years to ensure their continued relevance and resonance with young people, families and tourists who visit each year. They now encompass a range of activities that cater to diverse interests and age groups. The festivals are often also a time for local people to showcase their skills and talents, from horse-riding to pipe and drum bands to the wonderful work of local artists.
We're lucky to have events like this on our doorstep and I hope they will continue to be successful for many years to come. I'm looking forward to attending the Common Ridings and Festivals again this year and I hope to see you there.