More or less the first thought which came to my head upon waking up this morning was “I wonder what Toilet Guy thought of No Time To Die.” No doubt he went to the premiere last night, and will be reviewing the new Bond film on his radio show on Friday. Of all the critics’ opinions, I value his among the most.
I am, of course, referring to Dr. Mark Kermode. Toilet Guy was Lyn’s name for him: she never really listened to him much (talk radio not being her thing), but whenever he was mentioned she called him Toilet Guy. I don’t think L was being disrespectful, but linking an unusual name to something she would have been more familiar with than most. Lyn must have needed to use commodes lots over her lifetime, and was presumably so familiar with the term she couldn’t help cheekily noting the similarity whenever he was mentioned. I suppose, over the years, the habit rubbed off on me, so that now I inevitably think of Mark Kermode as The Toilet Guy in my internal monologue. Lyn was always making little jokes or playing with words; she had a talent for it which I’ll always remember.
I still miss Lyn a great deal. Life with her was always full of such little jokes and games. She didn’t share my interest in Bond, yet, in a strange way, I cannot help associating the Bond Films with Lyn, especially those of the Craig era. The last three films were released when I was living with Lyn in Charlton; and let’s not forget both Lyn and 007 had roles in London 2012. For a new Bond film to come out now that Lyn is no longer here feels different and strange: life goes on and the world will continue, yet having lived with someone so remarkable for so long, it’s impossible not to occasionally feel their absence. There will always be moments, references, events and names which have the power to take the mind instantly back and remind you of a loss.
Thus I’m looking forward to Mark Kermode’s review of No Time To Die this Friday. I hope he liked it. I expect it to be long, detailed, learned and interesting, as his reviews of the last four Bond films were. Yet, due to Lyn, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop thinking of him as The Toilet Guy.