The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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The flag

I’ve got two Union Jack flags stored in the grandchildren’s toy box.

They are quite nice. And occasionally I put them at our gate as an indication to visitors that they have found the right house.

Should I fly them tomorrow or will I upset the neighbours?

I don’t know what they voted, but WE voted for Brexit. I am celebrating.


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Bravecto for dogs

Many years ago, in Africa, a fabulous “new” product arrived at our vet. It was a little vial of some kind of flea and tick repellent that you punctured and applied at the back of the neck, skin deep, on the dog. It protected them for three months, more or less. It was called Spot On, or Guard or something similar.

At the time, we had five children all rough and tumbling with our dogs and I disliked the idea of them hugging the dogs around the neck and poisoning themselves. I knew it was horrible stuff because, every time we applied it to our dogs, large and small, they became obviously off colour for several days.

In Africa, ticks are a serious danger to dogs and humans. So our dogs suffered every three months to save their lives and our lives.

Now we come to the Bravecto problem. Science has evolved. Now, with one pill, we can poison the whole dog and make it a walking insecticide filled animal for three months. Our dog Bass, had one Bravecto treatment in the spring of 2019 and a second at the end of summer. He was very unwell. Very. Now he is due another, the vet says.

The vet has nothing else to offer except the Spot On kind of poison. And his Bravecto is fabulously pricy!

I’m not bloody doing it.

I am going to use nematodes in my garden, Borax on our carpets and furniture and vinegar spotted onto ticks if I see one. And an old fashioned flea comb if I suspect Bass has picked up a flea. I have never seen either on him.

But Bravecto? Bravecto poisons the whole dog in anticipation. No! Not on my watch.

My way prepares the whole garden and house in anticipation for something I have not seen, but believe exists.

There has to be a humane way of dealing with fleas and ticks without abusing the dog, making it sick for our benefit? Ideas are welcome here. Your experiences with Bravecto are welcome too, in the comments.They are hair raising on the Internet! Bravecto is a horrible thing.

What do you think?


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Midnight snack

I started writing this blog in 2014 because I couldnt sleep.

Not sleeping went on for some months. Must have been going through some hormonal change or something, because suddenly my insomnia corrected itself.

Occasionally I suddenly awake with clear mind, energy and a feeling that it’s sad to waste such a rare thing by trying to sleep.

Tonight I fancied a midnight snack. Dates, nuts and figs.

When I was a kid, we used to eat sardines and condensed milk under the floorboards of a rambling old wattle plantation estate house that my uncle lived in, in Africa. It was quite dangerous really, climbing down, giggling with excitement, in the black darkness of the night, illuminated only by the faint glow of erratic torchlight. There could have been snakes, spiders or scorpions there.

There are none here in my bed.

Dates, nuts and figs come from Africa. They are full of sunshine.

And sugar.

They are going to bugger up my glucose readings in the morning. But you know what?

I don’t care.


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Predictive text

My phone and my tablet are the dumbest creatures! They are on predictive text.

They drive me crazy.

Why is it they never learn, even though I have typed the word caping, camping, making, dating, taking, faking, gaping, va.ping, VAPING, a million times, it never gets it right!

Why does my predictive text never seem to learn? What am I doing wrong?

It floaty drivers mi Cramer!

Duck.


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Please try to comment on my post…..

Since my post “Spring is springing” my posts are showing ‘comments are blocked’, evidently.

WordPress tells me if that happens, it might unlock if you refresh the page.

Will someone try again please? If ‘comments are blocked’ displays, please refresh your page/ or clear the WordPress cookies that might be lurking….

And let me know!!!! (Wry smile)

In comments……


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On comments to my blogs

In reply to a suggestion that comments on my Last Furlong blog are blocked, I checked all my settings.

Actually, I have checked all my blogs. All comments are allowed without being held for moderation on all of them. To stop spam, though, names and email addresses are requested.

No comments are blocked. No comments need my approval first.

In ten years of having my YouTube channel on vaping, I got one bad comment.

It said “Fuck you”.

Those were the days when someone was allowed to type the word Fuck on YouTube without it turning into **** you. Indeed, it was the days when people were actually allowed to comment!

I went onto the channel that posted that comment to see what the person was like. Turned out it was a snot nosed kid. I asked him why did he post such an uplifting comment. He was quite friendly and blamed it on his brother. But his videos’ main communication method was simply “Fuck this”and “Fuck that”.

“Fuck you” actually means nothing. “Fuck me!” Is an expression of amazement and surprise. But it’s a lazy way of expressing emotion when better words are avaliable to a person who might know any.

So please feel free to comment on my blogs. All comments are welcome.

But “Fuck you” will be challenged…


It’s all in the mind

In my forties I thought I was turning one year older than I actually was. It was with surprise and delight I realised I was a year younger than I thought.

It hapenned again three years ago.

Today, I wished our daughter Happy Birthday thinking it was the 20th, only to discover that today is not the 20th.

So I am now 2 years and 2 days younger than I thought!

How good is that?


What happened to whistling?

There was a time when people, men in particular, used to whistle.

I used to love hearing whistling.

Mr Furlong used to whistle, but he doesn’t seem to do it anymore.

I only hear people whistling for their dogs and not because they are happy. What a shame.

Whistling is a language in some places. How very clever I think. But its not the happy whistling I used to hear…..


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Eating grass

Behind our home, is a field. But dogs are not allowed to run on it. The people who own it, want it kept poo-less so children can play on it.

It looks nice. But actually, it isn’t really. It has invisible furrows and bumps in it, so small dogs and small children simply disappear into holes and long grass that looked smooth from the top.

Our dog Bass, is not a small dog. He would manage running free on the field just fine. But he isn’t allowed.

But the field contains dog gold. It contains grass!

Bass eats grass. He gets DESPERATE to eat grass it seems. Not any old grass will do. Bass eats grass that he has carefully selected. It has to be special grass. Now and again he goes on a grass eating binge.

And so I take him on a long lead to the field. He takes a ages selecting the right grass, as I stand in rain, hail or shine, waiting while he munches.

Recently, I found he’d eaten all his ‘special’ grass that we have purposefully planted in our garden. It was freezing cold and teeming rain, and after ten at night. I was buggered if I was going to take him to the field.

So I put on my raincoat, and head torch. I splooshed around pulling out clumps of his special variety grass and brought it indoors, to our lounge, where Bass had a happy half hour eating his hay, while we watched TV.

Everyone was happy.

And the grass is chemical free, poop free and child free as none of those things have ever been near it.


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The bog people

Not only are we troglodytes living in our electrically lit cave, because it’s been so gloomy lately, but we are turning into bog people too.

I have to take my walks on pavements and tarred areas because the wood and the old ice rink field where Bass, the dog, can run free, have turned into mud traps.

Yesterday was a bright, dry day. I thought today we might try a wood walk. But no. It’s thumping rain again in the night.

Many years ago, when the UK renamed this area “Cumbria”, I happened to be in England, though I lived in Africa. The press was full of “Cumbria” this and “Cumbria” that. I asked a man “Where is this place “Cumbria””?

He said, “Well, if you just drive around and you see a big layer of clouds, go underneath them, and you have arrived in Cumbria!”

Joking? No! This is not the Lake District for nothing.

Rain makes lakes.

But first it makes bogs…..