The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

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Stop Pretending

A post from one of my favourite smokers. Although I vape now and don’t smoke I really hate the situation that surrounds smokers and, now,vapers. The smoking ban really needs reassessing.

Frank Davis

Writing about the US political scene last night, I started out by saying that the UK smoking ban had changed my outlook on life in all sorts of ways, and moved me from left of centre to right of centre. I’d like to try to explain why that smoking ban mattered so much.

The smoking ban, as ASH’s Deborah Arnott accurately predicted, “exiled smokers to the outdoors.” It would probably be just as true to say that they were expelled from society. Smokers ceased to be welcome anywhere at all. They became marginalised.

The result is that I for one no longer feel that I’m no longer part of the British culture in which I grew up, and take almost no part whatsoever in it. It’s not just that I only ever go to pubs in order to sit outside. It’s also that I don’t go to art galleries, museums…

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Gender re-assignment

When I was a very young mother, there was another mother living in the same block of flats whose daughter/son had been born with two sets of sexual organs – male and female. Continue reading


Everybody Have Fun Tonight

This is a reblog from a blog I follow. I like the humour. Today’s post is lovely again.

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Smoking – is so enjoyable

This morning the first article I read in The New York Times, was utterly uplifting. At last an article that points out that smoking is ENJOYABLE. It is written with no sour mouth, judgement or brainwashing. It points out that figures about smoking say nothing about the pleasure it gives.

Here it is in full…. Continue reading

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Watching the hanging

There is a lot on the TV right now as to whether we should show REAL violence, like the recent TV presenter shootings on TV. Should they be shown on the internet? Should people see such things? Should they be shared?  Continue reading

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Enjoyed this. Dentist today for me. How could I make that fun?

WARNING – if you try to read more of the reblog, your computer will warn you it’s an unprotected site…. 😦


helen ekg

I hate going to doctors! Hate being poked, prodded and stuck with needles. Hate the smell of hospitals. But today, I forced myself to keep a 5-year overdue appointment with my cardiologist. I knew it would be ignominious so decided to make it fun.

First, I chatted up my fellow patients. Easy, cause this crowd is so old that no one was on their cell phone! I discovered that three of us were scheduled to see the SAME doctor at the SAME time. “Oh, goodie,” I said, “Let’s all go into the exam room together and scare the heck out of him!” They smiled politely and looked back at their magazines.

Finally, a very large, 20-something, male nurse called my name, walked me solemnly down the hall and had me step on the scale.

“Get on with me,” I impIored, “So we can put some real weight on it!”


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Manuel Lima: A visual history of human knowledge

I found this TED talk quite fascinating.  Especially the art at the end…. Continue reading


Strange people and my dog

Yesterday I blogged about odd comments on my clothing by two friends in our village – oops – town.  One said I could join Isis because I had on my full black raincoat, and the other said I looked like an eastern potentate in white.

But the thing I find even more amusing is people’s response to our dog. Continue reading

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The Scottish Government

Very nice post. It inspired me this morning. So I’m sharing it.

Bolton Smokers Club

When we talk about “The Government”, whether we intend to or not, we refer to the whole apparatus. The political party which won the last general election is not “The Government”, although it is part of it. Or rather, it is those politicians in the winning party who become ministers who are part of it. But the ministers are only the top of a volcano. What spews out of the volcano comes from far below the crater. Have we not seen countless examples in recent decades? A couple of examples:

Around 2005: Conservative party: “We have no plans to introduce smoking bans”.

2015: Conservative/Liberal government introduce ban on smoking in cars with kids present and PP.

2010: Con/Lib administration: “There will be a bonfire of the quangos”.

2015: Bigger and more powerful quangos in place.

Even so, it tends to be the case that politicians do keep some control…

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Black or White – can’t satisfy everyone

I just came back from our village. Mr Furlong calls it “the big smoke”. HA.

Last week I visited my friend in her little shop. It was raining and I was wearing my black raincoat, light as a feather that rolls into a pouch in its back. A most useful item of clothing for it reaches down to ankle length and stops me getting puddle struck by passing cars. Continue reading