Derek Mahon’s Toilet Roll Holder

Wifi is amazing isn’t it? Especially now it’s back up and running. We had to sacrifice a number of small creatures—I couldn’t confirm their virginity, but I’m assuming they were as we have the internets again. I can sense the joy returning to every household that comes into contact with this post.

**Brief pause in typing while I go and put the Yorkshires in the oven**
**That took longer than I thought**

It’s coming up on a year now since I printed out Derek Mahon’s ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ and Blu-Tacked it to the wall near the skylight in the home office I made for myself when it looked like this was going on for a bit longer than a month.

As an aside, I am slightly concerned that the running gear I left in my locker at work has now become sentient.

Back to Mahon…

On Tuesday this week, the printout finally fell off the wall, and while it’s now up on the pinboard I put on the wall the day before, it felt like something of a sign. Something to pay attention to, that perhaps the ghost of Derek had chosen to tell me something.

That sign from beyond had me starting to think that the last line might be right, that things are starting to recover, that it is all going to be ok or alright; but perhaps that’s very naive and very foolish of me. Am I placing too much focus on the powerful last line, and not enough on what gets us to it…not enough on the “There will be dying, there will be dying”? Arguably, there very much is the need to ” go into that”, Del…!

However, that does feel a bit like being one of those Whataboutery-wankers…You know the kind, the type that finds it impossible to believe you can hold different concepts together in your head at the same time. It is possible to be happy about one thing, and then sad about another at the same time.

So, I’m choosing to focus on the sense of some relief that is coming down the line, the sense of things opening up again – in a literal and metaphorical sense. That may come to bite us on the literal and or metaphorical arse further down the line, but in a week where I’ve seen more people in one place (well-spaced out gardens, of course) than in the last year, and in the week where things in our garden have started turning green (as they should), and in the week we have wifi back, there’s some cause to focus on Mahon’s last line.

Speaking of ghosts and meeting people…We met up with a friend of ours and his kids on Friday for a walk around town. How quiet was the Blackfriars part of town?!!!

Part of our day out was a self-guided Ghost walk from Blackfriars to St Paul’s Cathedral (not far, I’ll admit, but it stopped the bin lids from moaning). The high point, for me, of the walk was at The Deanery. The below is taken from the guide

Who wouldn’t be interested in a haunted toilet roll holder? Spookily, we watched Taskmaster last night and part of that revolved around a toilet roll holder…You literally couldn’t make this up.

Where else would you get Derek Mahon and a loo roll holder, eh?


46k running – Inc 2 Half marathons in two days
0 day of 2 x 7-minute workouts, but the above means I don’t feel so bad
0 x rejections: Got the answer I was expecting from Spectator
1 x acceptance
2 poems worked on: Gentrification, Nature Abhors A Vacuum but I Love My Cordless Dyson (working title)
1 new Submissions: Frogmore Papers
34 poems currently out for submission.
66 Published poems*:
40 Poems* finished by unpublished
30 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
0 Review* written and submitted. 3 to do though, so must crack on
1 month, 6 weeks without cigarettes…
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green

* To date, not this week. Christ!!


The Dude of Edinburgh


Will Harris: Rendang

Bill Janovitz: Live From Q Division Studios
World’s End Girlfriend: Enchanted Landscape Escape
Renée Reed: ST
Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg
Cassandra Jenkins: An Overview of Phenomenal Nature
Hannah Peel: Fir Waves
Allie Crow Buckley: So Romantic 
Flock of Dimes: If You See Me, Say Yes
The Julie Ruin: Hit Reset
Ratboys: Printer’s Devil
Kate Rusby: Ghost
Sera Cahoone: Dear Creek Canyon
Courtney Marie Andrews: Old Flowers
Spacemen 3: Perfect Prescription 
Pixies: Indie Cindy, Trompe Le Monde
Bill MacKay & Nathan Bowles: Keys

Masterchef Semi Finals
Real Madrid Vs Liverpool..
Back To Life E4-6
Superstore: S1 E6-8
Return of the Jedi
Palm Springs

Zooms, etc

The Verb: Planets
Spectator Book Club: Jon Day on Homing
The Archers
Poetry Society – Selima Hill interviewed by Emily Bell

3 x Graham Mort books from Seren
Luke Turner’s ‘Out of the Woods’ via local bookshop
Spelt Magazine
Poetry Review
Mike’s Birthday Present
My Brother’s Birthday Present

A sweatshirt
Running Insoles
Mike’s Birthday present

2 thoughts on “Derek Mahon’s Toilet Roll Holder

  1. Thanks for the timely reminder about that Derek Mahon poem. Didn’t realise you like Kate Rusby – not too keen on her last couple of albums, which are a bit too synthy for my ears but I really love “Make the Light”, her album of original tunes, plus “Underneath the Stars”, “The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly”, “Awkward Annie” etc. I don’t know “Ghost” well enough, but I will refesh my memory!

  2. Hey mate, my pleasure. It is a great poem. I’m a latecomer to the Rusby…So, I’m finding my way through her work at present. It’s all lovely so far, but hard to work out what stands out and what doesn’t yet.

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