The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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Lockdown Syndrome

I see people are doing all sorts of things during lockdown. They have changed. Depending on their proclivities and interests, people are :-

  • Shaving the head
  • Not shaving the face
  • Going naked
  • Porn watching
  • Escaping to the Tool shed
  • Revamping the home and DIY
  • Distroying furniture through using it as gym equipment
  • Skipping showers or baths
  • Wearing the same clothes for days
  • Not putting on makeup
  • Not wearing a bra
  • Wearing robes
  • Snacking
  • Putting on weight
  • Chocolate bingeing
  • Book reading
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Consulting the I Ching, Tarot or Runes
  • Praying
  • Drinking
  • Useing foul language
  • Beating the children, wife or husband
  • Blaming the Government
  • Making obnoxious tweets or inspirational ones
  • Making long phonecalls
  • Having regular panic attacks or comforting someone who does
  • Re-watching old movies
  • Maxing out on phone data
  • Checking the news constantly
  • Shouting at the TV, children, neighbours, dog, cat, inanimate objects
  • Blessing the children, neighbours, dog, cat, inanimate objects
  • Taking selfies or photos of inconsequential things
  • Staying in bed
  • Staying up late
  • Going to bed early
  • Doing favours
  • Joining charities
  • Worrying about money
  • Giving away money
  • Rationing food
  • Hoarding food
  • Cooking for others
  • Getting to know hardship
  • Counting blessings
  • Complaining
  • Attempting to find someone to blame

But there is one thing we are all doing together

We are ALL using TOILET PAPER, most basic in the hierarchy of needs!


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Shedding

This time of year, two things in my life drive me nuts.

The Holly tree sheds thousands of leaves that blow around the garden and that savagely pounce on your hands and feet at unexpected moments. The only solution is to constantly sweep them up every day from under the tree where they fall. It drives me nuts. The tree belongs to us, but the chap in the flat upstairs has begged us not to cut it down because it shields his balcony from prying eyes.

And then there’s the dog. We have now had him long enough to know that he sheds. He SHEDS.

He sheds in the Autumn and then in the Spring. The Spring shed is the worst.

The best way to keep on top of it is to brush him every day. Otherwise he drops clumps of fur in unexpected places like the bathroom floor where you suddenly discover them lurking like black spiders at you feet in the dim light of a night visit. The scare stops you sleeping for the rest of it.

So we need to be grateful at this time of Covid19 lockdown. At least we have something to DO!


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Covid19 adventures

It’s just like kids!

One lot gets better, and the other lot gets it.

I’ll be very pleased when the whole damn family has had Covid19 (not severely of course), then at least I won’t feel jittery all the time. They will have got it over and done with.

But they mustn’t come near US!

This morning, as I was writing this, I thought my lungs were making a funny noise. Oh my God, is it Covid19?

No it’s not. It’s the dog snoring loudly in his bed and I knew it wasn’t me when I heard him woofing gently with pleasure.

I see that there is an ongoing experiment to see if dogs can sniff out Covid19 in humans. It would be great if they could – cheaper than a laboratory and probably far more accurate!


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Covid-19 in the Furlong family – how it progressed – long post…..might be helpful

Our daughter and her family have had Covid -19. I thought it might help other people to see how the disease progressed in her day by day…

3/11/2020 I’ve started with a bit of a sore throat this morning. I’m hoping I’ve not got your cold. I don’t think it’s Covid19 – I just looked up the symptoms. They are strange. Very different to a cold/flu. I feel I’m developing a dry cough.My lungs feel like when I used to smoke too much. My throat is a bit sore but otherwise I feel ok.Rang the GP and they said they’re not doing any testing anymore. I just have to self isolate.

3/13/2020 Not sure if it’s corona virus. Feeling not too bad. Lungs are feeling more sore now. Had a slight headache and feel tired. Haven’t really developed a fever. Feeling anxious tonight. My symptoms aren’t bad but I just don’t know what’s going to happen.

3/14/2020 My temperature is 37.5 Not officially a fever. I was a lot better today. My lungs are feeling tight again. I have been busy doing kid bedtime so maybe I pushed myself too soon.

3/15/2020 I’m Ok. Coughing more now. I’m definitely cycling up and down through the day. It hit my lungs solidly. I was wondering if it was because I used to smoke?

3/15/2020 Me to my daughter How are you now, today?


3/15/2020 Feeling tired and mild headache that won’t budge. Lungs still sore.


3/15/2020 Me to my daughter Sorry. Are you taking paracetamol and doing infusions?

3/15/2020 Yes. Paracetamol doesn’t help with the headache. Ibuprofen is better.

3/16/2020 My lungs are still heavy and I’m a bit more breathless.

3/17/2020 I’m slightly better but still need to rest a lot. James (child) is coughing and seems to be feeling shit. I think Sarah (child) has started coughing now. John (husband) still seems ok.

3/17/2020 Me to my daughter Rachel Mathews (from Frozen2) on her Covid-19 quote “Her symptoms ranged from “a sore throat, fatigue and headache” on the first day to developing a fever, body aches and shortness of breath.

According to Matthews’ diary, by the fifth day her symptoms were more manageable, although she continued to experience shortness of breath, loss of appetite, fatigue, and “randomly, no taste/smell”.


3/17/2020 Thanks that’s useful to know. That’s like I’ve had it. Still short of breath but not achy today 👍🏻

3/18/2020 I’m a bit better. Still tight lungs but a bit less so. Feeling quite emotional 😭

3/19/2020 This is hard work. James had a temp of over 40 last night and that was after calpol. He also seemed to be breathing fast and shallow. We called 111 and they called an ambulance. But James perked up about 5 mins later so we cancelled the ambulance. John slept next to James all night checking his temp every hour. I then had to deal with Sarah at 3 am. She said she had a sore tummy and was feeling scared about getting sick. She slept with me and then woke at 6am.


3/19/2020 James is better this morning but then has pockets of crying and like he’s in pain. John has gone to bed because he got up with the kids and let me sleep. Sarah being difficult- she’s crying about going to have a wee because she has to stop watching telly 😡 ffs!


3/19/2020 Me to my daughter Give her a potty. And so it’s stupid to ask how YOU are? 😢


3/19/2020 Meh – feel down. Still got a slight headache. Worried about James. Lungs better today. Stressed with cabin fever. Me and John are tired of kids and Sarah been particularly shite today.

At this point the family had to get medical help for the children.

3/22/2020 Yes. I’m better emotionally. Feel the best I have since I got sick.

3/23/2020 I’m Ok. But got no voice, sneezing and congested like I’ve got a cold now. Wtf?!? 🤷‍♀ It’s not bad just annoying.

3/24/2020 Hi – we are ok-ish. I’ve been feeling shit with this head cold and a rattly cough. I still can’t talk properly and my throat hurts so I’m not going to ring tonight.

3/24/2020 The kids are much better. Sarah’s temp is back to normal but she is coughing quite a bit. James is better but is still sticking his finger in his ear so I’m not sure that the antibiotics have completely worked for his ear infection. I’m tired of everyone being sick all the time. It’s been a hard 2 weeks.

3/25/2020 Me to my daughter Any better today? 🤔


3/25/2020 No. I’ve rung the Dr and I’m waiting for a call back. I feel like I might have a chest infection. Sleeping more and feeling tired. Very chesty cough

3/25/2020 Dr thinks I’ve got a bacterial chest infection. He’s prescribed antibiotics. We’ve sent out neighbour to collect it and I’m hoping it will be ready before they close at 6pm. Dr said he’s doesn’t think it’s anything serious or that I need to worry.

3/26/2020 From me to my daughter – I was thinking. I re-read Connor Ried’s symptoms if Covid 19. (I posted it right at the beginning when all this started) His Covid19 ended with pneumonia for which the hospital gave him antibiotics ( remember our discussion about why did he not take them?) I think you are still finishing Covid19. That was how his finished – with a “cold” and pneumonia. What else is a “bacterial infection” of the lungs? So, please give yourself time to get well. Drink lots of fluids and still do some inhalations, it will loosen the mucus. And HUG yourself! ❤


3/26/2020 Thanks Mom. I’m still feeling shit today. Lungs less heavy I think.

3/26/2020 Me to my daughter Good news on the lungs. The antibiotics should work, otherwise the Chinese doctors, and your doctor wouldn’t prescribe them! Feeling better?

3/26/2020 No not really. More my joints. Mainly just feeling tired and very bunged up. Antibiotics are making me feel a bit sick and I’ve got a metallic taste in my mouth from the pills

And that’s where we are at today!

My daughter has given me permission to publish this and sent me her own notes which she stopped writing when she began to feel “better”, which, of course, she wasn’t (and isn’t).

Wed 11.3.20
Woke up with slightly sore throat

Thursday 12.3.20
Sore throat for all of the day
Late evening felt like lungs were a bit sore and heavy

Friday 13.3.20
Sore throat a bit better
Lungs felt worse. Got quite painful as day progressed.
Temp started going up around 11am from 37.1 to 37.5
Temp dropped with paracetamol to 37.1 and stayed that way all day.
Slept for 2 hours after lunch. Felt week and a bit achy with slight headache

Saturday 14.3.20
Woke feeling better after good night sleep. Lungs felt less sore and more thickly. A bit of dry coughing. Declined over the morning. Took day nurse and it didn’t really help. Lungs felt sore but inhalation of steam helps for a short while. More tired and thick head and a bit achy. Just want to rest.Grumpy and anxious. Symptoms Seem to come in cycles through the day.

Sunday 15.3.20

Similar day to yesterday. Felt the need to do more inhalations. Had a constant headache that didn’t ease with paracetamol. Cycled up and down through the day. Noticed more breathlessness today.

James has been coughing a bit today.

Monday 16.3.20

Felt like I had a bit more energy this morning. My lungs felt heavier and I was breathless. Found climbing stairs difficult. This progressed into a full blown panic attack and we had to call the ambulance. I was hyperventilating and felt faint. My hands and arms began to tingle and I felt terrified. The paramedics confirmed my blood oxygen levels were normal and that I’d had a panic attack. They also said I most probably had Covid-19 and they are seeing more cases in the community and more people having panic attacks. Once I’d calmed down my lungs improved through day but I had a really bad headache by the end of the day. Didn’t sleep well.

James seems under the weather and is coughing. He is still playing and eating well. His eyes are watery.

Tues 17.3.20

Much better today. Not feeling achy and the headache has lifted. My lungs felt tight this morning but then eased through the day. I have now developed a tickly cough and my lungs feel a bit worse again tonight.

James is coughing quite a bit today. He actually had a little vomit and his breath smells bad. So does Sarah’s, but she says she feels ok. She said her throat hurt a few days ago. James was playing nicely tonight but then got upset and clingy at bedtime. His temp was up to 37.7. We gave him calpol.

She added “I stopped writing down symptoms because I felt much better. The cold kicked in on about day 11. The chest has been there all the time and progressed into infection. Started getting phlegmatic in day 9 ish.
By the way we all had a fart day and a bit of a runny tummy about day 5.”


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The bumpy field in extraordinary times

I worked out a walk I could do without venturing far from home. Behind the Furlong house is a field and a private road which we call “our back passage”. The road services the backs of the houses on our side of the street.

I figured I could walk up and down our back passage, should we go into lockdown. And now we have.

The bumpy field is owned by a group of people who bought it years ago to stop it being built on and as a place for their children to play. Thank God they did. But there is one rule. No Dogs Allowed.

So, when we go out for a walk now, I’m going to let Bass free on that field. Stuff them. Some of the grumpy old ones have died, their children grown and gone, and the rest will be stuck inside their houses, just like us.

Who is going to care?

These are extraordinary times.

Bass is going to love it!


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Traffic flow on my dog walk and people helping people

I went for my usual one mile dog walk where Bass can run free.

I noticed a different flow of traffic.

People were all there. Bass met all his old friends. But everyone passing, moved to the far side of the path. The path is about three metres wide, or maybe wider.

So we all passed each other more widely, but everyone was just as friendly, just as nice.

We are in deep shit actually. We personally are just getting out of a two week quarantine because of our Furlong daughter’s Covid-19, and now we go into three months isolation because we are old.

The spirit here is amazing! We have had so many offers of others doing our shopping, helping, phoning for chats, bringing food etc, it is quite extraordinary.

Community Help Groups seem to be assembling all over the country.

We’ve had emails from banks, financial advisors etc to assist with our mortgage ( we don’t have one fortunately), the AA for free car assistance, free licences of various kinds, Heritage sites opening for free so people can exercise in wide open spaces and on and on.

Strange, fascinating, interesting and scary times! But the biggest astonishment is what people are doing for other people!


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Covid-19 in buckets and bottles..

We are facing up to four months at home, us oldies, tucked away from the madding crowd while we wait to avoid Covid-19. What the hell are we going to do?

It’s a daunting thought! But one thing I can guarantee from us hoard of oldies confined to our homes, there won’t be a population explosion in nine months!

What IS the UK doing? I think we are learning from other countries. What are we learning?

This is how it might be supposed to work, if we do it right…..


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This Covid-19 thing

The UK here, is in the delay stage in dealing with Covid-19.

The Furlongs are in the stage of trying to get rid of colds and ? flu that keeps returning just when they are feeling better.

The Government asks people to stay at home for a week if you have such a thing. Every time we think we are better, we find we aren’t. So that’s another week of staying home.

The dog is getting fat.

Today, I’m feeling better, but that might be different tomorrow, so I’m going to try my planned Covid-19 isolation dog walk just in case we get that too.

Excercising Bass in pouring rain, hail, tree felling gales, mud, swamp, and bone chilling conditions is not easy.

I’m sick of it.

Actually, maybe that’s why I can’t get rid of my cold.

These Furlongs have lived in this area for over twenty years and never experienced such depressing, continual rain.

My planned Covid-19 isolation dog walk is circular, deserted and short. We’d have to repeat it four times to make a mile.

That ought to do in an emergency, if all old people were confined to their homes.

That’s probably coming. Our supermarket delivers, but Mr Furlong and the dog are going to feel mighty bored.

Covid-19 has come to our town. How annoying!


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That swing thing

Recently I posted that Mr Furlong and I had a new hobby. Watching swing.

We don’t do it, we watch it.

We once did it – sort of.

We have now watched loads of videos from way back and we come out with a constant favourite couple called Nils and Bianca.

From a place of complete ignorance, we must have taste, because, funnily enough, guess who wins a lot of contests?

Nils and Bianca!

This is their last year’s entry…..


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The most sung song

Guess what the most sung song is in the world?

Yup

Happy Birthday.

And now it’s going to top planetary charts as we are exhorted to wash our hands for 20 seconds – or two rounds of Happy Birthday – to contain the spread of Covid 19.