I used to have one, solitary returning chin hair. I christened him Bob, though it’s worth pointing out that despite this concession to friendship, I also tweezered the hell out of him whenever he made a reappearance. Still, he persisted.


That is, until lockdown, when he unexpectedly disappeared. I can only imagine he got a glimpse of what was coming and decided he wanted no part of it, which in some ways is quite sad – as a result of my staring down at a laptop for 18 hours a day over the last ten weeks, he’d have returned to find his kingdom rapidly expanded. COVID chin is ‘a thing’ now, for me at least.


I say all this, despite the risk of inducing disgust, because I now feel like Bob’s exodus heralded the start of something new. Having opened the exit door, much more followed – a year’s paid work, to begin with, then balance, and finally, arguably, my sanity. Why else would I have set out on my own?


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