The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.



This is just my personal opinion, but I’ve always found it strange that someone would arrange their own funeral.

I was under the impression that a funeral was something your friends and relatives put on for themselves, to remenber you with. Or a wake to have a party.

Why plan your own funeral?

It puts a huge responsibility on other people to organise the readings, the music, the vicar, the venue, the guests, the seating, the tea party, or whatever YOU thought appropriate for yourself.

It’s something the family and friends ( if you have any) give to you, not something you give to them.

Someone in our family has planned their own funeral down to the last tiny detail. I hope to snuff it first so I don’t have to follow all the instructions!

The Furlongs in general follow no religion. There were never any instructions to us from those who have gone before. As our predecesors passed over to the next dimension, we had a good party after their cremations, and played the music that reminded US of THEM. We scattered their ashes in natural places we thought befitting, like the sea, or a mountain. And thanked them for sharing their lives with us.

I have ‘planned’ my own funeral in the same traditional way. The instructions say ” Have a party. My favourite music is in my library on Spottify. Do not grieve. We had the best adventure! We shall meet again.”

There is no death, only transition of consciousness. The idea that death is the end is the biggest hoax of all time.

Attending your own funeral as you might, then, would be far more delightful if you watched what other people were offering you spontaneously with love, than watching what you offered them under instruction from yourself bound by your own ego!

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Recipe for a tickle-cough

Yesterday, I blogged that I’d hardly slept the night before because of the wretched tickle on the tonsils cough I have developed as a result of my ferocious head cold this week.

Mr Furlong remembered a recipe for coughing that we’d used many many years ago, that was passed down to us by our ancestors.

I am sharing it here.

It worked.

I slept all night and only had to use it twice.

Take an onion, slice it, place it in a bottle and toss in a desertspoonful (or thereabouts) of either brown or white sugar. Screw on the lid and leave in a warmish place. Shake occasionally.


Thats it!

The cough syrup is the juice it makes. Decant into a small container ( in this case a 30ml squeeze bottle) and take TINY, TINY sips when necessary.


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Thanks for the memories

Gosh, I had a dreadful night for coughing. Not coughing coughing, but for a tickly throat coughing – a tiny tickle-worm that bored into the back of my tonsil despite sleeping with fragments of Bronco Stop stuck to the roof of my mouth.

I eventually got up.

My bedside clock said 5:30. My wristwatch said 2:20.

They can’t both be right. But my tablet confirmed 5:30 and having nothing much else to do, I browsed it. I discovered I have ‘contacts’ on my tablet. I didn’t know. They are email contacts, new and also from a thousand years or so ago. Hundreds of them!

I’ve just been on a blast from the past!

I see I sorted many into groups. ‘Party invites’. ‘Petition’. ‘Xmas list’. ‘Village play’. ‘Computer classes’. ‘Friends’. ‘Aquaintances’.

Once, I was a busy person.

In the old email days.

Now I just use WhatsApp.

I’ve lost contact with those folk who don’t.

I found so many people in my email contacts lists, were dead. Dead, gone and buried.

Oh the nostalgia. It was almost too hard to bear.

I do hope to meet you all again on the flipside. It was good knowing you. We had fun.

Thanks for the memories.


Step together, side. Step together, other side.

I’m in bed with a ferocious cold in my front face. I don’t know how any self respecting germ could have entered our home, or my sinuses against our Covid barrier. Mr Furlong has been stricken too. Its shameful, but it isn’t Covid.

I thought a bit of excercise might be good for me.

I didn’t know there were so many dance styles! My dancing technique has been ‘step together, side. Step together, to the other side.’ Repeated. Repeated. Repeated.

Its been good enough for me in the past, and will be in my future, if I make it!

The empty chair

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Easter bunny

For some unknown reason, our neighbour who walks the dogs regularly and without fail in the morning, arrived at our door last night with her adolescent grandson and offered our dog Bass a ‘night walk’.

Well, it was a disaster. They took the dogs to the normal fields where they usually run free.

Bass is very black. Blacker than black. Only paws and a star on the bum are white. It is impossible to see him in the dark.

So the Easter Bunny appeared and Bass disappeared.

Into the night.

Bunnies are the only animal that make Bass lose his mind. All caution, all thought, all discipline evapourate. I should have mentioned that I suppose. But I never thought to say.

So the ‘night walk’ developed into a ‘night mare’ with the responsible neighbour and the athletic grandson searching the fell for a black black dog in the black black dark trying to find it. The fear on the fells is that many small dogs attempt to go underground into the bunny burrows and get stuck. Here, such tragedies happen.

The dog walkers arrived back at our door greatly agitated and somewhat exhausted but they had the felon on his lead. I don’t know how they got him back. I presume Bass’s bunny insanity dissipated. And maybe he came when they called.

But Bass was very excited – fullfilled one might say.

No Easter Bunny has come to our house today. They are staying away!

And maybe the dog walkers will too….

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Easter hunt

I am organising an Easter egg hunt for the grandchildren.

The Furlongs have done it before.

Many times.

But this Easter it’s different to the many times in the past when we did it for our own five children when they were growing up.

We don’t have to hide chocolate eggs cautiously, secretly the night before in the dark, whilst taking care not to walk on a snake, or discover a scorpion nestling in the bushes. Or placing the eggs at cunning heights so the St Bernand or Doberman or Rottweiler or whatever the large dog we had at the time was, didn’t scoff the lot, silver paper and all, before the morning.

This time, there won’t be any chocolate at all. I’m going to hide small gifts and fruit and biscuits in secret places in our garden.

And I could place them really low down near the ground about half an hour before the grandchildren arrive.

I’d have to do that, because even here, in our garden, we have devious animals that could scoff the lot in the twinkling of a night star. Or the light of day.

Greedy creatures like EINSTEIN the rat, or our very own BASS the dog.


Not too bad

17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24, and now its today. I haven’t written here for eight days.

Eight days!

I dont know what happened.

It wasn’t done on purpose to see if anyone might enquire how I was. They didn’t.

Those eight days have been not too bad. I enjoyed them.


Illicit visits

The Furlongs are looking foreward to a real visit from the family. We’ve had a few illicit ones.

These consist in sitting in our cars in the little parking lot next to the field behind our flat. From there we can talk through our car windows whilst the grandkids run on the field. Well, if the weather is good.

Our last car visit ended up in a tropical downpour and greats splots of rain driving onto us through the open windows. We usually meet a lunchtime and scoff our packed lunches together whilst catching up on the news. I can see my face in the side mirror. It really is depressing. My face at rest is decidely gloomy. I must remember to smile.

I might smile if there was a sunny day and we were all comfortable and warm in our own garden.

We have exceptionally nice neighbours. Yesterday, I delivered a bottle of garden fertiliser we were sharing to our next door neighbour.

A strange thing happened.

We had a moment of forgetfulness. Simultaneously. When the old lady came to the door she reverted to habit as in the past, when we have had pleasant chatting sessions with me sitting on her sofa rather than hanging over the fence. She said “Oh, DO come in!” So I did without a second thought.

It was only when we were well into sharing our thoughts on all sorts of topics that Covid came up and sort of simultaneously, it dawned on us that me sitting on the sofa and her relaxed in her armchair, as of old, was absolutely forbidden. We were breaking the rules. Furthermore, both she and I had moved out of our bubbles. We were being NAUGHTY!

How to escape?

Had the neighbours seen me enter her flat? Should I slither out of the back door and shin over the fence? Should I just leave and hope no one would see? All our neighbours are either shielding or in tight bubbles as we are old – all old.

I felt really guilty. Shocked really at how we both just ‘forgot’.

So I slithered out of her front door just as all the dogs were arriving home from their morning walk. It seemed as good a distraction as any.

And I came home behind them with my tail between my legs.

So to speak.



I have a post I am going to make today, but I have been sidetracked and horrified to find there are comments “pending”. They seem to have been “pending” for a while. I never knew! I have now unpendicated them. Thank you for them all!