Ever the optimist, I try not to read too much in the papers - if you read the papers, you get depressed, but if you talk to local business people, although a lot of people are struggling at the moment, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
I was pleased when I picked up a story on the web about how Norwich has fewer than average shops lying empty. Researcher Local Data Company (LDC), claims that Noriwch has vacancy rates of 5.6%, whereas the UK average is about 12%. This ties in well with Norwich's status as a top 10 retail destination in the UK and with its strong mix of independent shops alongside the larger brands.
Yarmouth and Lowestoft are also doing well, with vacancy rates of 3.3% and 5.5% respectively.
This is a great example of seeing a glass half full / half empty - only the other day I heard someone moaning about how terrible it is that there are so many shops standing empty in Great Yarmouth, and yet in the greater scheme of things, it is faring better than other parts of the country.
It's also a great example of why Norwich and Norfolk are a great place to live and do business. Norwich is a vibrant city, but small enough to be friendly, it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and amazing beaches.
Another piece of news which cheered me up enormously this week, was a report that house prices in Wymondham Norfolk have risen faster than anywhere else in the country.
So, the sun is out, house prices are starting to rise, interest rates have stayed low for another month, Norwich and East Anglia are faring better than average in the retail stakes, we have fewer traffic jams than anywhere else (this is from my personal observation rather than statistics!!), we have huge deserted beaches where you can swim with seals, holiday resorts on our doorstep, and people who still chat to you in the street! What more could you want.
And if you think I'm being naive, I'd much rather live my life smiling and hoping for the best than worrying about things that may never happen.