Tuesday, 28 May 2013


At 11am this morning I witnessed my very first epileptic seizure. It was a rather calm sort of thing - a mild attack by all accounts - and fortunately, a few months ago, the guy who had the seizure happened to show me film footage of him mid-attack, so I was aware of what was coming and knew not to worry too much. I guess it was both ironic and predictable that it was Bob who was going through the ringer. Bob is the vicar who is singing the song about epilepsy in our White City film. The whole experience was strangely calming and as he came around afterwards, he looked incredibly mellow. He took a few moments, and then went through a sort of check list with me, to make sure his brain was functioning as well as it had before the seizure: "we're in the studio, we're recording the song line by line, we'll stop and re-do it if I get things wrong..." What an amazing man.

I felt somewhat privileged to have witnessed the event and astonished how quickly things returned to normal afterwards. 

So, today we were back to the grindstone, mopping up the vocals for Tales of the White City which we'd not managed to record last week. Norma, who'd so spectacularly melted down on Thursday, stepped into the studio like a woman on fire. At times I thought I was recording Dionne Warwick! It's astonishing what a Bank Holiday will do for a woman's confidence. She was brilliant.

The only thing we've yet to record is the steel pan band. These were the guys who "forgot" to come to the session we'd booked for them last week, and from what I can gather, have subsequently been giving us the run-around, telling us we need to speak to other people associated with the group, people they won't be seeing for some time etc etc. What I find genuinely upsetting about the situation is that I wrote special music for them to play. I came to a rehearsal to see them learn new music. They listened to what I'd written and said how much they'd enjoyed it. They agreed to do the song - no-one held a gun to their heads - and I would have thought that pride alone would make them want to fulfill their promise. It worries me quite how quick people are to let people down. 

I sincerely hope that they'll work something out. They're such wonderful players and such brilliant role models. It would be a terrible shame if we were forced to cut their number - and all the other people involved in it - just because they couldn't get their act together. At this late stage, however, I'm not sure what other solutions there are. 

A woman on the tube seems to be holding twelve copies of the Evening Standard on her lap. Do you suppose she's going to try to sell them on the black market up north? Perhaps she's saving the crosswords for twelve of her friends. Suggestions on a postcard, please. 

1 comment:

  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comSunday, 12 October 2014 at 17:22:00 BST

    Hi Benjamin,

    I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing the effects of epilepsy on the body. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.

    You can see the overview of the report here: http://www.healthline.com/health/epilepsy/effects-on-body

    Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page: http://pepysmotet.blogspot.com/2013/05/seizure.html

    I would appreciate it if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of the effects of epilepsy to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

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