LOTS of reasons spring to mind – how to sort them out is more of a challenge; but well worthwhile, if only to remind myself, yet again!

Originally from Staffordshire, I came to Edinburgh to university and often drove out – on my old motor scooter – to study in the calm of Longniddry Bents or Aberlady Bay on sunny summer days.

After graduating and getting a job in Edinburgh, marrying my girlfriend Jackie and a few years living in Penicuik, I moved to Aberlady 40 years ago this week!

The first things I noticed, apart from the countryside and the bay which had convinced me to look for a house in the area, was how welcoming the people were to me, my wife and two toddlers.

After the obvious first questions of “where have you came from and where do you work?” the most common question from the men was “and what’s your handicap?” “Err... my sport is table tennis,” I replied. “Oh, never mind,” was the usual rejoinder. We’ve compromised perfectly since then.

I’m now a long-standing member (and past captain) of Aberlady Golf Club, the village club that plays at Kilspindie. And several of the Aberlady villagers now play table tennis at the thriving Haddington Table Tennis Club, where I’m a coach and chairman.

This is an opportunity to promote our current project to win £50,000 from the National Lottery to provide new table tennis tables, equipment, and coaching classes in schools, community centres and sheltered housing across East Lothian. Whether we win this depends on the number of votes we get from the public – vote at www.tabletenniseastlothian.co.uk So far, all the above confirms that community is important to me and I see that in so many way in East Lothian, from the “morning Roger” from everyone I meet on my daily walks with my collie, to the willingness to quietly help and support neighbours who need it from so many in my village, to the pulling together as a community to support – or object – to things that impact the wellbeing of our area.

And our area is one of great history and of delightful natural environments. From the coast of the Firth of Forth through the woods and fields to the Lammermuirs – with a natural micro-climate that softens what the elements may threaten us with.

I love walking with my dog (and camera) around Aberlady – the bay, the ‘postman’s walk’ past ‘Bickerton’s tomb’ and the fields beyond and in the hills (where I ‘practised’ for my trek to Everest base camp a few years ago).

Is East Lothian the only place to live in the world? No, but as I’ve learned to say: “It’s nae bad.”

And I’m not leaving!