Recent developments in Aberdeen are a reminder of just how fragile our progress is and of the important role we all have to play in our efforts to protect our communities from a COVID19 resurgence.

People who have been shielding are now allowed to leave their homes after almost five months, children can now look forward to school, most health care services are back on track, and many businesses have been able to open safely. By working together, we can protect this progress and our communities.

If everyone plays their part, we can continue to support our local businesses, enjoy hospitality across the city and get out and about with friends and family – we just have to do it safely.

I have been impressed with the innovative safety measures local businesses have put in place. While there is always room for improvement, it is clear the vast majority of folk are doing their bit to ensure our city can remain open. It has also been fantastic to see the Courier get behind businesses with the Back To Business campaign and I have enjoyed reading about all our city has to offer.

While on the subject of local businesses, I know courier readers will want to join me in wishing Nancy from the Victorian Market a well-deserved retirement. There will be few folk brought up in and around the city who don’t remember spending time in Nancy’s joke shop in their youth. She has long become a much-loved part of our city, and while it’s the end of an era for the market, we hope you enjoy your retirement, Nancy.

On my travels, I was fortunate to visit the Inverness Botanical Gardens. Amongst all the excellent COVID-19 safety measures implemented, I got to experience a rather rare event. This month, a cactus, planted some 25 years ago, has flowered for the first, and last time, in its life. The magnificent Mexican Agave cactus has shot through the cactus house roof, and its yellow flowers tower over everything else. It’s quite the sight, and I would highly recommend booking a visit to see it while it’s still here.

I look forward to spending the rest of parliamentary recess getting around so many of the terrific venues and businesses our constituency has to offer. For now, though, thank you for all you are doing to support local businesses and our communities by staying safe.

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