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.

Merbear's World

“When was the last time you had fun?” my new therapist asked me Tuesday.

I laughed. “Define fun, please.”

“Doing something that you enjoy,” she responded brightly. She always laughs at my little quips. She is the Pollyanna type, always perky with a smile on her face. The sort of person who usually irks the hell out of me, since I am the exact opposite.

“Well, I visited my oldest friend from high school for a cookout. That was nice. I went to my other friends house to listen to some Beatles music and chit chat for a couple of hours. I had my birthday party with my family. I ate some cake. Does that count?”

“Yes! Spending time with other people is almost as good as taking an antidepressant!”

Her pearly white teeth glimmered from the sunlight streaming through the window. I think I burned my retinas.

*Note to…

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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