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MARY-JANE DUNCAN: On my wish list? To be like Wendy

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Has anyone else been extra sleepy this week?  I can’t decide if I was trying to snooze through to the end of January or if it’s just this annoying chest cold/cough I’ve had wiping me out slightly.

I’ve not been ‘ill’ for a long time, and this isn’t even ‘proper’ ill.  I’m typing this in bed trying to convince myself I’m not lazy.

I only have a certain amount of energy and I’d already used this week’s quota by 09.42 on Monday morning.

The common cold brings the fear

As a kid I never understood why my mother would just go and lie down in her room in the dark.  Just lying on her bed.  Curtains closed.  In silence. I get it now.

I’ve powered through while over explaining to anyone within earshot it’s not Covid.  I’ve had a negative PCR.  I’ve been doing my LFTs.  I promise it’s not the ‘rona’.

The more I hear myself saying it the more I want to crawl through to the back office and hide.

We’v forgotten what it’s like to just have a ‘normal’ cold.

I wonder if we’ve all forgotten what it’s like to have a common cold or cough without believing it might be a pandemic worthy hack.

It’s been a strange week, still juggling staffing shortages, waiting to hear PCR results on almost a daily basis.  Thankfully all negative.

We had some wonderful customers with lovely chat, some kind enough to say they enjoy my column and making a point of telling the team how much they’ve enjoyed their visit.

How much they’ve appreciated being able to come for a sit in rather than just a take away.  Some customers rely on us for a wee check in.  A daily blether.

Others are not so gracious.  I debated over moaning about it here.  I am probably just a grump thanks to more coughing equalling no sleep.

Pleas from a small business

IF you are gracious enough to return to a small, independent hospitality business (thank you) but please remember they are probably trying to get back on their feet after lockdown.

Dealing with lack of funds, increased expenses, ginormous overheads (rising costs of raw materials/energy doesn’t just apply domestically) and worries over how to sustain long-term.

All coupled with the constant struggle to maintain some grasp of current Covid restrictions and updates on restrictions.  It. Is. Exhausting.

I can only speak for our business BUT know these are not problems specific to us.  Please do not make it difficult for staff asking you to ‘check in’.

It is NOT for marketing purposes.  We are not going to track you and demand to be besties.  We do not have super senses and cannot hear you whisper from under your mask behind a Perspex screen.

People use small cafes as a social hub. But please be considerate.

If you and your pal are only here for a cuppa, to catch up on two years worth of blethers, we are thrilled you chose us.

But please can you not sit for two hours (over a busy lunch service) just asking for more hot water to refresh your cup?

Even if we smile and just bring you some for the sake of not creating a scene.  We don’t like confrontation which usually requires an apology.

Sorry in a Scottish accent

Sorry never sounds good in a Scottish accent, it always sounds like it should be followed with ‘but you started it’ and even I realise that’s not a good look.

When they finally left saying thank you on their way out, I accidentally combined ‘all good’ and ‘no worries’ and said ‘all worries’ which is probably the most accurate and honest thing I’ve said all year.

Let me tell you about ‘Weekly Wendy’ who we deliver lunch to every Thursday.

I hope our lovely Wendy doesn’t mind me sharing that she dances into her 90th year this week full of life and joy.

Be like Wendy…

We quarrel each week over who gets to deliver her lunch, as even the smallest blast of Gwendy-Wendy brings us nothing but pure joy.

What would it be like if we stopped criticising ourselves for being lazy or unproductive and started respecting ourselves for being tired due to hard work?

To face down this new year with grace, patience and understanding?

Storm Corrie managed to blow away the last few days of the longest January ever and dump us into February, so shall we all try to be more ‘Wendy’?  Especially me.