The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

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My boot on the glutes

I fell on the bus a week ago.

It’s been a difficult week.

Here is the problem….it’s my glutes, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.

The problem is the pain in one of them – or all.

My glutes have always been the flat kind, not round and sexy, just always flat and boring. In fact, they’ve always been so flat and boring, I never knew I had any.

But I have!

Not one, not two, but three. It’s a pain in the arse.


Entangled in the dark arts

The UK parliament seemed full of loonies on the day of doom yesterday when Boris wanted the vote on his “deal”.

The demonstration outside it seemed mainly comprised of flushed excited children waving flags and wands.

The press don’t know where to hedge their bets so wiffle on endlessly whilst wobbling on the fence.

The people, that’s you and me, don’t know what the hell is going on. Well, maybe you know, but I don’t.

So in this time of complete craziness where even Nigel Farage is behaving like a numpty, I decided to resort to the dark arts.

I’ve checked psychic predictions. Not helpful. No one is getting the right “vibes”.

So I’ve resorted to consulting the stars. No luck there!

But this might indicate the cause of the chaos.

Though the final few days of this month and first week of November are bedevilled by disruptive Scorpio New Moon opposition Uranus, a major setback, accident-prone Mars square Saturn followed by a high-risk, exceptionally aggravated few days running into Mars square Pluto on November 5 – and a retrograde Mercury from October 31st to November 20th.


I didn’t think Halloween for Brexit was a good date…But what the heck do I know?

Not much more than anyone else – obviously!

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It was suggested three years ago. And voted on. We all voted “yes”.

But we couldn’t get a deal. No one seemed to have time, commit, be prepared to do the job.

But some weeks ago, it started for real. Only on sunny days.

It’s taken weeks.

Tomorrow it’s OVER and we have to pay the bill.

No, it’s not Brexit.

It’s us, the owners of these four flats we live in.

We had our soffitts, facia boards, gutters and downpipes painted.

And it’s a damn good job.

We are very pleased.

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Fairy stories for humans

We live in an age of fairy stories. Mostly, they are versions of “Chicken Likken”


characters called Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Hen-Len, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Ducky Daddles, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Goosey Poosey, Gander Lander, Turkey Lurkey


all run about squawking and spreading fear.

It’s all the same stuff. “The sky will fall after Brexit” “The sky will fall if we don’t get Brexit” “The sky will fall according to Extinction Rebellion” “The sky will fall if you breathe one molecule of second hand smoke” “Trump is making the sky fall” “The sky will fall if you eat bacon or fat or sugar” “Boris Johnson is making the sky fall” “The sky will fall…..” “The sky will fall…..”

Many of the real fairy tales have different endings, so people can choose which one they want. I like the one where the silly hysterical creatures are ALL eaten by the Fox!

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Fairy stories for dogs

A while back, Bass-the-dog and I met The Pie Piper.

Today, we met him again. Only this time, the man was throwing the pie packaging into the bin and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

The Pie Piper is a scary looking fellow. He had a checked lumberjack shirt on and the same big boots. Bass loves him. But obviously we met at the end of his meal and there were no crumbs for Bass.

But wait!

All the way along the path home Bass was eating flakes of pastry, crusts and tidbits that had fallen on the Pie Piper’s walk to the bin.

The Pie Piper is a messy eater, obviously.

I think today he’d swapped fairy tales and was Hansel from Hansel and Gretel.


So much of a good thing, grandchildren

We’ve just had two of our grandchildren for a stay over.

It was good.

Bass LOVES it. He was so exhausted, he went to bed early.

This time, having complained before about the business of grandchildren being consumed by their tablets, computers and self focus, we had a good time doing more old fashioned things.

Their great granny and great great granny, were authors. So we dug out all their books and made a pile in the passage. And talked stories. We laughed at funny photos. We learned a song. We read a book. They read to me. We practised best manners at meals.

And no one was allowed to shout. Or romp.

“Romping always ends in tears.” Well that’s what MY granny used to say.

My granny had a huge influence on me. I spent many wonderful times with her. And we lived with my grandparents for quite a few years.

Often, after the grandchildren have stayed over, I feel we’re not very important. We’ve not done anything memorable. We’ve not transmitted anything useful.

But this time, it was good.

Singing, reading, not shouting, eating with good manners and knowing where you came from, and how to behave well, are important things that Grandparents can do better sometimes, than parents!

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Too much of a bad thing, music, music, music

I have stopped listening to music – pop music that is. I have never heard such dreary stuff in all my life.

Try this at home. Count how many current pop songs are built with just four notes. FOUR NOTES!

Not clever four notes, but dull, dreary four notes set to depressing lyrics and belted out in nasal yelling voices, or falsetto men’s voices.

There is no attraction for me in nowadays pop. The words are insane, or rather you have to be insane to understand them. They offer grotesque language. They are usually depressing rather than uplifting. Heavy, not light hearted, humourless.

On TV and in shows the weakness in the music is covered up with flashing lights, costumes and vast expensive sets that blind to the talent – which might be a good thing seeing there often isn’t much.

I like my music simple, clever and uplifting. In the old fashioned way…..


Too much of a good thing – haste, haste, haste

It seems to me, everyone is in haste nowadays – filling quotas, ticking boxes, being “scientific” in answering to their employers, rushing, rushing rushing.

This affects us all. A doctor’s appointment on our National Health Service with a strange doctor you have never seen before and who knows absolutely nothing about you, is allowed SEVEN minutes! That’s down from ten minutes a few years ago.

Trains and busses have to shunt on passengers, and then shunt them off as quickly as possible. No time for pleasantries, no time, no time.

Today, I caught the bus to go to town as a sort of more interesting dog walk. The bus was slightly late. Who cares? This is a rural area and we live in a small town. But ticking boxes, filling quotas, and answering to your employers still applies. The bus driver was in a hurry.

Following me and Bass-the-dog onto the bus, was a frail old chap pushing a wheelie trolley thingy that assisted him walking. Unoccupied seating was right at the back. As I turned round to put my bum on the seat, so I was facing frontwards, the bus took off with a jerk. I fell full length on my back in a very narrow isle. Not my bottom, but my coccyx area. I have no idea what happened to the frail old man. Nor do I know what happened to Bass.

I called out “Please get my dog!” and someone shouted “It’s OK, we have him.”

I lay for a short while in shock and surprise looking up at a sea of old faces looking down at me. Some real old fashioned gentlemen grabbed my arms and pulled me up. “One two three!”

The bus driver was very concerned (and so he should be) but as I had fallen on takeoff the bus had only gone a few yards down the road, I simply told him, I’d just go home. It appeared my legs were working OK. So I stood in the street shaking with shock, and Bass and I came home.

I’m not going to the doctor. It would take me more than seven minutes to tell him what happened. And, anyway, who cares? As long as everyone ticks boxes, everything is fine…..


Too much of a good thing – shopping, shopping, shopping

This is the start of my blog posts for my 75th year. I have turned into a grumpy old woman. I’m allowed to be grumpy – I’m 75, dammit!

I have a grumpy blog called “Life on an Alien Planet” (see link above right of my blog). I find I’m posting more on that, than here on “The Last Furlong”. I enjoy being grumpy. I’m allowed to be grumpy – I’m 75, dammit!

In the summer Mr Furlong took me shopping for a bathing costume. I was shocked at the sloppyness of the isles in the shop. I managed a brand in a department store for several years when we first came to England. There were staff – us – who treated our stock with respect and care, and our customers did the same. But that was over twenty years ago.

Nowadays, staff are minimal, and customers have turned into disgusting, selfish, grasping, sloppy scavengers, intent on satisfying their own shopping addictions.

How things have changed in twenty years. I see huge unpleasing changes in shops. I know about shops – I hate shopping because I know about shops and how the word “staff” simply means “servants” And I know about eye-watering markups. I’m allowed to be grumpy – I’m 75, dammit!

When I saw this video, I immediately felt angry. It shows more about shoppers than any overworked, underpaid staff. And it looked like the floor I bought my bathing costume from! I thought it was disgusting. I’m allowed to be grumpy – I’m 75, dammit!


It’s my birthday, depressing

It’s my birthday today.

I have woken in a state of great melancholy.

It’s my birthday AGAIN.




Thank you for all the good wishes you are going to send me. But I’d prefer commiserations…….in black!