During current tensions caused by a massive Russian military build-up on the borders of Ukraine my thoughts have been with my constituents with family connections in the eastern European nation.
The local families are largely descended from displaced Ukrainians who, caught up in the turmoil of World War Two, later found themselves interned at a Dumfriesshire PoW camp.
With their homeland occupied by Soviet troops after the war, and unable to return because their lives were at risk, a significant number of Ukrainians settled in the region, many marrying and raising families here.
Despite the passage of time, subsequent generations take a pride in their Ukrainian heritage, language and culture and are understandably deeply worried about family and friends in Ukraine.
I'm pleased the UK Government continues to offer practical and other support to the Ukrainian Government and I'm sure local people may wish to join a planned 'Prayers for Ukraine' service at the Ukrainian Chapel, Hallmuir, near Lockerbie on Sunday March 13 at 1.00 pm.
My email inbox has recently included an issue raised by local drivers, who parking for even brief periods on the former auction mart site, just off the Whitesands, Dumfries, describe later finding themselves facing hefty fees for not using a mobile phone to pay a charge at the time.
It appears, particularly on dark winter nights when signage was not seen by some, a camera - controlled charging system registered the visits, leaving a number of my constituents subsequently deeply annoyed and disputing requests for a £60 payment.
My constituency staff are currently investigating the issue further but, in the meantime, I felt it would be useful to widen Courier readers' awareness that this off-street site, close to free council public parking areas, currently operates as a private managed and monitored pay parking area.
A downward trend in Covid numbers and the phased easing of restrictions in different ways across the UK nations is welcome.
The plan for secondary pupils to be able, if they wish, not to wear masks in Scottish Schools from the end of this month, will also be a positive step and, I'm sure, appreciated by many students and staff.
There is little doubt that Covid, to a lesser extent, will be with us for some time and whilst mandatory rules are scaled back we can all make judgements to wisely take voluntary precautions limiting the spread of the virus, particularly to those most vulnerable.
I'm sure in this year of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee many will share my delight that many of our traditional events and celebrations, including Dumfries Show and Guid Nychburris, look set to return this summer after a two-year gap.