There are not many things I share in common with a global record-breaking, award-winning superstar singer-songwriter.
But Ed Sheeran and I share a common love – Suffolk.
You would have to have been living under a rock to not know that one of Ed’s two recently-released songs, Castle on the Hill, was a homage to growing up in our county, in particular Framlingham.
While I might not have quite the same pulling power (my Ipswich Town tweets are not shared by thousands upon thousands of followers in the same way as Ed’s cryptic messages), I too champion Suffolk at every corner.
For almost all of my 20-year working life, I have lived in Suffolk. From Haverhill, Clare, Long Melford and now Horringer, I feel blessed to have lived in some fine towns and villages.
I once considered trying out the bright lights of London, but I have no regrets – and I am pretty sure I will see out all of my days in this wonderful county.
I am very fortunate that my business takes me everywhere from Newmarket to Lavenham and lots of stops in between.
Every town has its own unique appeal, some are truly and continually blossoming and some have the potential and desire to match the very best on offer in Suffolk and beyond.
Some are steeped in tradition and most, dare I say, are looking to embrace their past with a forward-thinking approach.
It’s this that makes Suffolk so appealing. Just a few minutes up the road from me is my jewel in Suffolk’s crown – Bury St Edmunds.
Take a winter walk around the Abbey Gardens, watched over by the imposing beauty of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and history is everywhere. That is something to be truly proud of.
But there is so much commitment, so much hard work, so much passion to ensure Bury is the best it can be.
That can’t happen just by having a proud history.
The town simply won’t work without thinking of the future and continually looking to improve.
Away from Bury, one of my resolutions for 2017 is to get to see even more of Suffolk – for personal, as well as professional, reasons.
I love my corner of this fine county.
It’s now time to see even more of what Ed is singing about.