Tony Penultimate

How I dodged a bullet!

Leaving the hotel head first - not feet first!

Its been almost two months since your trusty correspondent posted anything online, during which time the Ukes have toured Germany and the United States - so where I hear you ask, is our daily dose of digital diarrhoea from Penultimate's pen?

Where's the piffle?

Regular readers of this blog may remember a flippant post earlier this year where I speculated whether I would die in transit, like my great grandfather (who died on a tram) or my grandfather (who died running for a train).

I certainly wont post anything like that again as during the second night of our German tour in Lunen, I suffered a major attack of bacterial meningitis, leaving me unconscious in my hotel room, shortly before the show - yes, it was that scary!

Statue of children outside the hospital in Munster

Meningitis, is a real killer - usually associated with children and teenagers, it is rare for someone my age to get it (I contracted it from an ear infection). The only symptoms are a kind of flu like drowsiness, but thats nothing different from what I've had on tour before. I have no recollection of what happened immediately prior to my seizure, other than I told my bandmates I was going to miss the soundcheck and lie down in my hotel room as I wasn't feeling well, but was going to come down to dinner before the show.

When I didn't show up, Will, Richie and Viola came up, got me out of the room and called an ambulance (incredibly, there was a neurosurgeon staying at the hotel who volunteered his help) whereupon I was quickly transferred to the local hospital in Lunen and from there moved to the University Hospital in Muenster nearby, where I was operated on. 

As it turned out, I was unconscious for four days! - during which time my poor wife Gilly had the worst of it, wondering if i was going to die, or be left blind, deaf or without use of my limbs (readers of this blog can rest assured that my capacity for bullshit remains undiminished).

After two weeks in hospital, I was discharged having made good progress, according to my doctors, and I returned to the UK via ambulance, to continue my recovery at home.

When you are extremely ill, one of the most heartwarming things is the outpouring of love and goodwill from friends and colleagues, old and new, far and wide. Knowing that people have you in their thoughts is a very powerful tonic to getting better (I imagine people who can't stand you just keep schtum and keep their fingers crossed).

So there are a long list of people to thank: Professor Rudack and her team at UKM who operated on me, my wife Gilly who came straight to my bedside in Muenster and held it together when the news didn't look good. Bandmates Will and Richie who got me out of the hotel in Lunen, Viola who accompanied me to hospital in Muenster. Bandleader George, who returned after the tour was over to keep a vigil at my bedside, George's partner Jane who accompanied Gilly out to Germany to the hospital.

And to all the many people who sent me get well cards, messages or even sent me 'good vibes'. God bless you all and I will be back soon in the ukulele saddle at the end of April!

 Pocket prayer cloth sent to me by friends



Bloody Hell. I've only just seen this. I'm so sorry you all went through this! Let me know if you need ANYTHING!!! I'm glad you're back on the way-up to full Pete. Lots of love, KathyX
Thanks Simon, glad you enjoyed it and you should always pop by and say hello afterwards!
Incredible. Glad you made the Southend show last night, had no idea you'd been so ill. All the very best. Fantastic show by the way, and enjoying the blog!
Thanks Rich - I'll keep trying not to die! A friend took the photo and offered it to me before he deleted it, as they say, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!
After last year, I’ve only got The Ukes and John Cooper Clarke left in my living Pantheon so stay well, Peter! (It must be reassuring that even when you’re unconscious and being wheeled out of a hotel, someone is taking a photo for the blog!)
Thinking of you and sending loads of love to you, Gilly and Poppy xxX
Get well soon. You are a ukeing hero and a plucking survivor. TTFN The Strummers
All the best wishes for a complete recovery from Germany.
Peter, we followed your travails from afar. So glad you've made it through! Missed you on the American tour, but hope to see you this summer.
Peter I had no idea that you've been so ill! So glad you're on the mend you're loved by so many all over the world! Best wishes Nick
Thank you Paul, Fred and Andrea for the welcome back!
Hi Peter, Hope your recovery is going well, you've been missed. Paul.
Wow, Peter, I had no idea you were fighting for your life. I only knew that you hadn't blogged in awhile and that you "missed" your birthday. Several times I was going to message you to ask if you were ok and let you know I was missing your posts. I thought it would be a bother. Now I wish I would have. Best wishes and prayers on your full recovery!
Hi Peter, best wishes!!

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