The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Dog responses to you…

This cartoon was supposed to show that dog thoughts are constantly innane. But actually, it shows better how our dogs respond to us when we are happy, depressed, angry, pensive, excited or suicidal They are wonderful companions, reliably loving… all circumstances.

This is why I love dogs. You can rely on them to be uplifting whatever your circumstances……


Impatience leads to choking and fire

So I’m really impatient. Impatience causes choking and fires in the Furlong house.

Mr Furlong has had enough of me about the fires, and he couldn’t help me when I was choking.

I was eating my lunch: delicious lunch of Oatcakes and Mr Furlong’s real Anchovy paste, topped with sliced tomato and Mr Furlong’s real Nando’s sauce. Yum! So I breathed a crumb down the wrong way. But instead of waiting for the choke that ensued to stop, I chomped another mouthful and breathed in to cough. Well, that caused the worst choke I have ever had in my life. I really should have waited to finish my choke before stuffing my face with more….

The fires are caused by a faulty stove/cooker. Well, it frustrates me, anyway. The plate takes AGES to get hot. So I chuck a little coconut oil in a pan and put it on the plate (turned to full power) and then go and do something useful instead of standing in the kitchen, picking my nose, waiting for the frying pan to heat up.

This causes problems.

I forget.

I remember when I hear Mr Furlong yelling “fire”.

The subsequent scene is not nice.

I must remember not to be impatient, I must remember not to be impatient, I must remember not to be impatient, I must remember not to be impatient, I must remember not to be impatient, I must remember not to be impatient,

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Beauty is in the eyes

I’ve noticed a lot of TV people, and celebrities have dead eyes. To me, a person can be perfect face-wise, but they are not “beautiful” unless there is light in their eyes.

Conversely a person can be plain, or even ugly, but beautiful by the light in their eyes.

I am often struck by the beauty of the light in Mr Furlong’s eyes, and our new grandchild is going to slay many hearts by the light in his eyes. I hope nothing takes the light away.

Children often carry the light, but lose it later. I don’t know what curtain falls over people’s eyes, but somehow it covers the light or the light withdraws…

What do I mean by the light?

Here is June Brown. She is ninety two and she’s beautiful to me.

June Brown

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Arthritis, arthritis, arthritis

I’m no expert on Arthritis, except I know I have it.

I have Osteoarthritis in my right wrist and both knees. Well, they can see it in my knees via X-ray which they told me about twenty years ago. But my knees never worry me. Some years back, I had a wrist X-ray – and there it was again! It showed itself.

And it’s a pest.

The reason my right wrist is in such a bad condition, is because, after my stroke disabled my left side, I only use my right hand. The doctor suggested that if the pain is too excruciating, I have my wrist “fused”. But then I might end up with two hands not working, yes?

So no. Not going to do that.


my friend in London says that people can “cure” that kind of arthritis – (Osteo), – as it is caused by the breaking down of cartilage. I’m looking into it – how to get collagen working there in my wrist. Today I made Bone Broth. I’ve used Bone Broth before. About Bone Broth.


However, another monster has raised it’s ugly head. Osteoporosis!

Osteoporosis is when bones, which are living things, that reform constantly, are unable to regenerate fast enough and become weak and prone to breaking. In old people, you can see a Dowager’s Hump which is caused by the fracturing of the lower vertebra.

Mr Furlong says he doesn’t think I have a Dowager’s Hump, but Mr Furlong has been known to be very cautious with answers!

But my sister has been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, so I got sent for a bone density scan by our Surgery.

Anyway, because I haven’t used my left side properly for almost forty years, I have Osteoporosis there the bone density X-ray nurse told me. If you don’t use it, you lose it, evidently.

So I was exhorted to exercise, eat my spinach and take the meds

Well, I’m not taking the meds,



Oh the sunshine!

Busy, busy basking.



Excursions on the bus.

Home along the river.

Swans and ducks, and even birds in our garden.

Walks through the wood and working in the garden with new dog Bass sunning himself on the garden table. He loves the sun. And his coat gleams.

We’ve all been basking in the sunshine.

But tomorrow the rain is coming back.

I believe.


Pedometer math

I bought a pedometer.

It has taken me quite a while to figure out how to set it up. But I have done it.


today I walked Bass-the-dog through the wood from my front door. I walked EXACTLY half a mile.

Then I turned around and walked home to the very same spot we started from.

My math-brain tells me a half a mile and a half a mile equals one mile. Well it did in my youth.

But my pedometer said I had walked only 0.95 of a mile.

I think it lies.


A touch of CBA – couldn’t be arsed

I think my bouts of CBA are stemming from watching the whole embarrassing Brexit palava on the TV. Every six o’clock news is like groundhog day. Same old, same old, same old. The CBA our politicians obviously feel for any kind of Brexit, any kind at all, is spilling down through us ordinary mortals.

I find myself thinking “We’ll go to France again AFTER Brexit. Right now, I couldn’t be arsed”

“We’ll lay more slate chippings on the front parking area AFTER Brexit. Right now, I couldn’t be arsed.”

CBA is a kind of depression. Groundhog day simply repeats and repeats with no hope of change. No hope. No optimism. No small light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ll tell you where I’ve got to saying to myself now – “After Brexit, who is going to be arsed to even vote for any of the political parties who have taken three years to get nowhere because they weren’t ever arsed to deliver the will of the people?”

Well, it wont be me. I couldn’t be arsed now – what is it going to be like AFTER Brexit? If there ever is one!

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Old dogs learning new tricks

I have noticed how dogs absolutely love dog training classes. I used to take the now-dead-Bobby-the-dog to dog training every Tuesday when we lived in the country.

Here, in town, dog training is eye wateringly expensive per session, so we can’t afford it. Dog training has to be DIY in the Furlong home.

We use the “reward” method except once, when Mr Furlong just hapenned to be standing at the front door when the postman shoved letters into the dog proof mailbox. But the-new-dog-Bass rushed up the hall almost choking himself barking at the disappeared postman and ripped the dog proof mail box off the door to get at the mail. Mr Furlong gave him a wallop and yelled “No!” and that was the end of THAT behaviour. It worked a treat!

Training dogs, I feel, makes for better and happier dogs. I notice sometimes, Bass sort of wanders around, not quite knowing where he should be whilst we are watching TV. If we say “Go to bed” or “in your bed”, he looks almost relieved and settles down happily because he knows what we expect. Likewise, on walks, I say “this way” at corners or crossings, or “wait!” and he knows what to do.

He’s an odd bloke. Sometimes he picks up a command super fast. He’s learning to balance a treat on his nose and throw it up to catch it on the word “go”, yet he took SIX MONTHS to perform “rollover” when he is in the down position. I think he thinks it’s not dignified. He’s a dignified kind of dog.

I might try some work on my tablet. Evidently you can teach dogs amazing stuff!

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Remember Mothers Day

I didn’t like my mother very much. I always felt I was a foreigner in my single mother family. I didn’t “match”. I was labelled what was then called a “difficult child”. But she was not a good mother in my fatherless world and we were financially very poor. I had an older sister, too much older to be my “mate”, who was my mother’s mate, not mine.

The bad relationship with my mother was rectified by me, as an adult, doing a thought excercise daily, a kind of meditation I did every night as I fell asleep. It took me months.

In this healing contemplation, I was to remember right back to my earliest memories and re-asses the situation our little family was in, then, through my adult eyes. I was to ask my parents WHY they did what they did, as if they were standing there in front of me. After the question WHY, I was to wait for an answer, an explanation, a reason, to develop in my mind that might explain their actions. (Or single action after their divorce)

The upshot of my healing regime was extraordinary. At every challenge to my imaginary younger parents, and eventually only mother, some kind of understanding revealed itself to me. I could forgive them (her) for my hurts because the reasons why they did what they did became clear.

I discovered that in every situation my parents were trying their best to grapple with life, to consider the children, to deal with poverty, lack and problems and overcome difficulties.

They were doing their best. They loved their children.

She was doing her best. She loved her children.

Most mothers are doing their best, have done their best, in a difficult situation called Life. Most mothers love their children – unconditionally.

I think that’s worth thanking them for.


Bravo! Rollover dog

Right! We have cracked it at last!

The dog does rollover.

Every time.

After training every day.

For six months.


I give myself a medal for the most patient dog trainer ever. And well done to Bass the-new-dog.

Golden medal design