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The View From Here: Mary-Jane’s ponders on her newfound status as a superhero sidekick

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I’m working from home today for a few reasons over and above the Tier 3 implementations in place for my council area. My new work has facilitated home working by suppling us with laptops, thank you kindly.

There are enough staff in my own business premises today to make me nothing more than a nuisance if I go to “help”.

They are exceptionally polite and reduce their exasperation to a muffled sigh when I try to get involved. I trust them implicitly. They’re better at it than I am. I just occasionally like to feel I can still help and they’re a kind, tolerant bunch bless ’em.

As I write, today is an in-service day for the kids. Naturally the mister, who was due to be off, has been called into work on a “rest day”. Are the kids old enough to look after themselves? Absolutely. But after the year 2020 has been so far I’m taking no chances.

All the above are valid enough reasons, but if I’m honest there might be one more. I never thought myself particularly vain. My best friend used to despair at me going clubbing in trousers and gutties while she wore sky-scraper heels and a skirt the size of a sheet of A5 paper.

My inability to walk in anything higher than a flip flop was legendary and on the odd occasion I wore heels they were abandoned in the corner of the dancefloor while I went barefoot.

So it surprises even me that I’m reluctant to go out because of the nick of my sore face. I currently sport an eye and mouth more fitting of a scene from the movie Fight Club than a cake-baking mother of three.

Current Covid restrictions can confirm there are few licensed premises open to facilitate a rumble so it’s definitely not due to a bar scrap. Nobody turned Hulk and finally snapped after one of my sarky comments.

Instead this round of chemo has had a go at my eye and mouth leaving me looking like I’ve had an overdue smack in the face. OR that I’ve tried to walk in heels again and face planted with my renowned poise and grace. Suddenly face masks are a blessing rather than something I have to add to remember alongside all the things when leaving the house.

Therefore I’m hiding. Hiding and hydrating. Hiding and hydrating and slathering my poor face with every brand of cream we have in the house.

Today’s trial lotion is a medicated tube of white cream. It would actually be a shame to leave the house while using this one. It’s mid-November. My winter coat is bright red. I have a big belly.

Adding a white chin into the mix might be a step too far for any local children who could mistakenly want to know if I believe they’ve been naughty or nice.

I’ll stay inside for now thank you very much. This means I can avoid getting in the car with the biggest kid. Who has passed her test <YAY> and proves to be an excellent driver <double YAY>.

I have, however, still not accepted I am old enough to have a precious first-born who is of the age to buy herself a car and DRIVE. Maybe if I’m not WITH her IN the car, people might believe it’s a younger, prettier me and not this swollen, red, old version!

So, littlest kid and I are comfortably set up in our work-dining space. Just us two gals diligently working away. Littlest with her homework. Me with my two laptops and a mobile phone to facilitate the bazillion to-do list tasks.

She has just announced that I remind her of a superhero sidekick. How lovely is that? Thank goodness for her. My wee button. We have a quick discussion about how important support is for superheroes.

Who might we both be? She would be kick-ass Shuri from Black Panther and I would be the one from Spiderman. I’ll take that! Spiderman’s Mary-Jane? Oh wait. Not M-J… Okay then who is Spidey’s sidekick if not Mary-Jane, it is even MY name after all? It’s Ned, not M-J but Ned… I am, in fact, Ned.

More in this series:

The View From Here: Mary-Jane negotiates Zoom calls and clingy canines


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