Gutted: Day +322

You would think that nothing could surprise me any more. I had a busy but absorbing week at work fine-tuning my studio at the Royal Academy of Music-[/nerd mode on] May I just say that Miller & Kreisel 5.1 Speakers & Audient Mixing consoles is about as good as audio gets.[/nerd mode off]

Was all set for a relaxing weekend when Bridget came back from work complaining about feeling slightly unwell. Well her condition worsened throughout the night, until she was screaming in AGONY with stomach pain. The usual home remedies didn’t work, so after a telephone consulation with an NHS emergency nurse, I had no choice but to call an ambulance. It was horrilble to watch her suffering. By this time Bridget was delirious with pain and vomiting in a manner that would make an exorcist suddenly remember he had another meeting planned. Well the ambulance came and we had the blue light treatment to good old Charing Cross Hospital (my home for 3 months).

She was given a cannular, some anti-sickness medication and a one hour saline drip. Verdict: Gastroenteritus, cause unknown.(possibly food poisoning). Fortunately she has been recovering well despite shakiness and loss of appetite for the next couple of days. I tried to look after her as best I could. It was, of course, very ironic and ‘slightly’ amusing to have such a role reversal, but I am very grateful it passed quickly. Wanna see some pics? She is doing fine now and despite my protestations plans to return to work tomorrow. Can I just say that where it matters, the NHS are fantastic and a very civilized entity.(My US friends, the NHS (National Health Service) treats ALL people equally regardless of insurance or income for FREE. We all pay through taxes, the concept is that our health is no-ones ‘fault’ and everyone’s responsibility. That is a further issue I have with such practices as smoking, as it unnecessarily costs everybody by increasing the load on healthcare. Of course it is seriously underfunded and people will complain of waiting ages for new hips etc, but I am biased by my superb (and free) treatment-the costs otherwise would have amounted to the value of a nice little flat in London!)

In other news, I found a stash of hospital pictures and movies that never made it to the editing stage. Gigabytes of them. I’ll start to sort over the next few weeks and post things up of interest.

You may have noticed Bridget’s Sheryl Crow T-shirt- she is a big fan. (As am I- she is an extremely talented musician, has an incredible voice and as a sexy 44-year old child-free independent & creative woman is really inspirational) Ironically about the same time Bridget was dripped up, Sheryl Crow was undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer (early stages) Reminds me that cancer really is everywhere, no-one is immune and nothing is guaranteed. So get on with everything you know you want to do. Now.

My 8-year old buddy, Daniel has been given a date for his Bone Marrow Transplant: 16th March. Thinking of him and his family.

Now go on and enjoy yourselves, milt


Articles of Faith: Day +317

Hello everyone, just a quick update before I collapse into a bed- I am living life to the full these days but am getting rather behind on sleep -So am learning to pace myself and to stay motivated but on a slower burn. It’s not working.
It was great to see an article on the EGO concert in Guitar Techniques Magazine (April 2006 p 15) Have a look. Nice to see.
Bridge has a great column on the Mixolydian mode in the same magazine. She has been getting back on track after one hell of a year and has some lovely new audio clips on her site. Go have a peek when you have a free lane on the “Information Superhighway” (Is that really a worse name than ‘World Wide Web?’ – Why, oh why did we not call it ‘The Matrix’ ,’CyberSphere”, ‘The Data Multiverse’ or ‘The Nexus’?? What a waste! )

On Tuesday I visited the lovely Jess Mason- A 23-year old aussie girl being treated for ALL in the Royal Free Hospital. It was a real pleasure to meet her. She is suffering without internet access, when will hospitals realize that Broadband ranks above Television, Hifi and a landline phone in terms of basic civilized human needs? – Don’t know if this is the case in other parts of the world, but the exploiatation of patients in terms of phone call prices in hopsitals is deeply criminal. Leeches.

My best wishes, respect and encouragement to Jess Mason, Daniel Kerkhoff and all of you going through a BIG challenge. You can do it.

Milt 🙂


Dan the Man: Day +312

Just got back from a trip to Sheffield to visit the Kerkhoff family (Jan, Neil, Antony & Daniel). Here are some pictures. 8-year old Daniel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when he was 4. He has spent a daunting amount of his life undergoing treatment, and at the end of last year, unfortunately exerienced a relapse of the leukaemia. An unrelated Bone Marrow Transplant is planned for March. This will involve total body irradiation & chemotherapy. Understandably, Jan & Neil are very concerned about him, but Daniel remains as brave, positive and undaunted as ever. We all went bowling and had a mickyD’s ( a Mer-mickyD’s?). Indidentally, I ate like a pig: my appetite is back with an agenda. I had a great day and Daniel is very brave, calm, uncomplaining and extremely funny. I also had the pleasure of meeting Paula Westnidge and her 11-year old son, Liam. Liam was diagnosed a year ago with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He seemed to be coping very well with his treatment. He is also a pretty mean electric guitarist- A tidy player with good time! We jammed some AC/DC and Maiden:)

Enoying the company of the Kerkhoff family, I missed my last train home and had to stay the night. This had nothing to do with their projection screen and Sky movies subscription, of course:)
I slept under a Sheffield United Football Team duvet, and dreamt about when I was 8 years old, ski-ing in Switzerland without a care in the world.

Follow Your Bliss, and please give blood and register your marrow, milt:)


A Little Plea: Day +306

I received an email today, from a lady who is desperately looking for a bone marrow match for her son.
If you have healthy bone marrow then please, please consider registering. It is quick and easy. In most likelihood that would be it and you could continue your life knowing that you’ve done something good. If you actually became a donor then you would have the opportunity to save someone’s life(with negligible personal risk)
How do you think that would feel? Go on, do a good thing and have a chance to be someone’s personal hero: register
The amazing jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker is in a similiar situation.

FYB, Milt P.s. if you do register, let me know so I can show my appreciation:)


Modern Letting: Day +301

I have a new video up. It is designed as a desensitization tool for the needlephobic. Breath deep and watch and repeat. Bye, milt


Past Tense, Future Perfect?: Day +300

Okay I had a blood test yesterday and the results were ‘perfect’: WBC: normal RBC: normal Platelets: normal HGB: 12.1 (slightly low for male, but normal for female blood!)
There doesn’t seem to be any sign of infection. I am now off the Septrim-leaving just 2 daily tablets of penicillin as my leukaemia treatment. I now go in for routine check-ups at Hammersmith Hospital just once a month. Compare that to Day 8 (16th Apil 2005)

20-hour anti-sickness drugs, 20-hour liquid morphine, 3 x 10-minute antibiotic syringes, 1-hour antibiotic drip, 20-hour Osmolite ‘feed’, 6-hour hydration drip. 3-hour immuno-suppresant, 10-minute methotrexate chemo injection, 2-hour saline drip, 2 blood-tests, 1 Chest X-Ray, 10 ‘obs’ (blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and temperature readings), 1-hour magnesium drip, 5-minute piriton injection, 1-hour platelet transfusion, 12 antibiotic/antifungal tablets, 6 antibiotic mouthwashes and 2 soluble paracetamol.

Some change I guess?

I have a new EGO event planned. It is going to be sooooo good. Want a sneak preview?

I will pin down a date, venue and personnel in the next few weeks- wanna come?

Man, I had a weird experience today. I was led to a site of a band I played with once. There is a promo video on the site and it has a couple of close ups of me.
What is strange is that I unknowingly had Leukaemia at the time. Which kind of explains me not looking too well in the vid. If you want to see what someone in the early stages of leukaemia looks like: Click here then click the Natural Woman(live) clip.

Yesterday saw a concert at Radley College of Bridget’s guitar students. It was really impressive! – both Bridget’s work and the talents of the kids. Hopefully they’ll all go into politics or banking and leave my patch alone 😉

More soon, I am working on my first vid in ages:) FYB, milt


The Show goes on: Day +298

Hello all. Been working at the academy again and keeping myself busy. PHD research, directing the CTL research centre, coaching a Jazz guitar quartet, reading ‘Unweaving The Rainbow’ (Dawkins)-recommended and trying to make my home beautiful. I have also, you will be most delighted to hear, memorized all the eons, eras. periods and epochs of prehistoric earth. Thats 4.6 billion years. 4.6 BILLION? That is impossible to fathom. I mean, I remember some pretty dull religious education classes at school, and even they didn’t feel quite as long as that. I digress.

As you might have guessed I have already started the ball rolling for the next EGO event. Those of you who missed the last one, please read the reviews below before you decide that you can afford to miss this one too:) Stay tuned for info…

Last tuesday I visited a brave young man, Gareth Mace, who is at Guy’s Hospital undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

I was taken by the courage and stoicism of Gareth and his mother, Fiona. I will see them again soon. It seems that I am now inextricably connected to the Leukaemia community- it’s nothing that I planned but, despite how difficult it is sometimes, it’s also nothing I would change.

There’s more to say but its 1.30am and I’m super tired- Nighty Tighty-milt x