23 April 2020

Milligan Life Under Lockdown: John Milligan

Whilst NHS heroes and those keeping essential services running manage the front lines, lockdown life looks a lot different for those of us able to work from home. Here’s CEO John Milligan’s experience so far.

What’s your working from home set up?

I am so lucky as I have a perfect ‘man cave’ at the top of our house, equipped as an office but also with my library, a big leather armchair, great sound system and giant TV screen. I also have an electric keyboard to mess around on. I never really have to leave apart from occasional raids on the kitchen. I am not missing commuting!

Have you dedicated any lockdown time to learning a new skill?

On day two of the lockdown I bought a piano accordion and I am trying to learn to play it. It is surprisingly loud so the family have limited my practice time to 15 minutes per day! I have a long way to go and I’m still trying to get used to moving the bellows, finding chords with the left hand and not being able to see the keyboard. That said, I am close to mastering Bobby Shaftoe and Skip to my Loo!!


What’s the best and most challenging thing about lockdown?

No commuting, not having to shave and wearing a tracksuit all day.

Not seeing friends, going out to the pub, cinema, theatre, concerts, dinner etc.

What are you reading at the moment?

Two great Biographies – What it Takes by the founder of Blackstone (Milligan’s first financial partner!) Stephen Schwartzman and The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney Company.

Fiction (my current book club book): The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

What are you listening to when working from home?

Listening to a lot of my old vinyls – Hunky Dory (David Bowie) is still one of my all time favourites along with Van Morrison, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen (another reason my ‘man cave’ is at the top of the house and out of the way!)

Go Go Penguin – great jazz instrumental band.

Always Bob Dylan – his new release ‘Murder most foul’ is growing on me.

What’s your drink/snack of choice?

We have tried not to stock pile with the exception of bottles of Timothy Taylors Landlord Bitter (I have enough for a few more weeks!) accompanied by Walkers cheese and onion crisps in a bowl mixed with some small chunks of mature cheddar cheese… heaven.