The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


My first outing

When I was teaching in a primary school, a popular topic for writing letters was “Write to your aunt/grandma/uncle/grandpa telling them about…….”

“Dear Aunt Emily RIP,

My first outing after lockdown was pretty disappointing. I lost it.

In public.

And I was very rude to a stranger, which I regret.

What happened was this.

Mr Furlong drove me and the dog, (sorry, the dog and I) up to Asda so that I could choose a few plants for our garden which is now mostly weeds. (or should which be that?)

The dog was on a retractible lead.

I chose a trolley which (or possibly that) I spritzed well with my isopropyl alcohol 70% spray, and started off to the outdoor plant section. Somewhere deep inside the Trolley Bank, the dog found a large dried out (or dried-out) chop bone with spiky points that people call T bones. The dog was delighted, but I was horrified. It’s exactly the very bone we would never ever feed him. (Or should I have written, the very bone, rather than exactly the very bone?)

I yelled “NO”.

He dropped the bone. I kicked it out of the way. He ran after it. And I ran after it too for I’m not a good kicker at 75 (or should that be seventy five) and don’t kick that far. So I kicked the bone around for awhile, yelling all the time. Eventually the dog won the match and chomped the bone up while (or maybe whilst) I stood over him beating him over the head and yelling some more.

During this dignified performance, a man took advantage of my mental health problem, by snitching my meticulously cleaned trolley.

I’m afraid, Aunt Emily, I did not behave well.

I do not wish to tell you about it. But the man looked surprised.

Anyway, I did actually walk the dog home, and fortunately, half way home, it absolutely bucketed down with rain. (Not sure if bucketed is a word). It was fortunate, because it took my mind off things as (or should that be because) I had no raincoat or brolly with me. ( or should that be nor?)

That is all I have to say Aunt Emily RIP,

Hope to see you soon,

Your niece,



(Or perhaps the XXXX is wrong)

With love might be better?

Hope to see you soon,

With love,


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Its not just the bally bluetooth

I am not at all surprised that Covid19 trace and tracking via mobile phones has been a flop in most countries that have it.

I could have told you so.

The rule for smart phones and computers is to turn the bluetooth OFF. Who wants snoopers digging around in your devices? Most people have been taught to keep the bally bluetooth OFF. We do, unless I’m transferring files. So the idea that now, we all have bluetooth turned ON, seems to most of us, to be a bad idea. Its a bad idea.

I could have told you so.

Now, we must turn on bluetooth so that it can snoop on other peoples’ phones and tattletale from ours. As a result, you might be quarantined for two weeks and muck up the lives of every other person your phone has “informed’ on. Does that sound nice? No, it sounds horrible. Do most people feel safe doing track and trace? No, they feel threatened. Thats why they are not co operating. They do not like it.

I could have told you so.

Am I going to do track and trace?

No, I’m not.

World governments should have asked me first before someone in them thought track and trace using mobile phones was a good idea and saved them the disappointment that it flopped. I could have told them.

Its not just the bally bluetooth, its the whole bally idea!


Talking Stella

I haven’t much to say, so I thought this might be entertaining.

I didn’t know Starlings could talk, did you?


We’ll meet again

Vera Lynn has died. She was a wonderful performer of the most tear jerking songs in a time when most people were dealing with shock, horror and grief.

She was 103.

Thats a good age. We heard her singing quite recently and she wasn’t half bad. No quavering wobbly voice. She still ‘had it’ as they say.

Even now, her songs will make people with any nouce of history tear up.

Maybe her songs helped win the war, the war that the white priviledged fought, so that all people could have freedom, whatever their race or colour.

Young people dont know her. The reference in the Queens speech about lockdown to ‘we’ll meet again’ probably went over their heads. But us oldies knew. Us oldies know that ‘we’ll meet again’ means much more than the end of lockdown.

We’ll meet again means profound things, love, commitment, patience, hope, community, resolve, determination, faith, optimism, and implications of the eternal.

Thank you Vera Lynn.


How Clothes Are Made Meditation

This is a meditation for today!

Have you ever watched/contemplated the ingenuity, care, and absolute miracle of The Industrial Revolution in action? Do we have reverance for the tee shirt, the jeans, the dress or skirt that we are wearing today?

Our ingenuity is actually fantastic in the scope of miraculousness, to me. No longer do spinsters sit at their doors spinning yarn all day. No longer do serfs do the heavy tilling and ploughing. No longer do slaves pick cotton in the South.

Machines do it. Machines intricately designed by the skills of civilisation – Science, Math, Engineering, Investment.

I think it’s bloody amazing!


Barking mad

I have been reduced to writing about dogs and birds and other inconsequential stuff, because they are almost the only sane things in life at the moment. I once actually posted stuff that I was thinking about, like a bit of politics, or a bit of history once in a while.

I have decided thinking is bad for one’s health.

I still have Post Traumatic Stress after the shock of almost world-wide Lockdown. The horror and enormity of the danger of the “deadly” virus that could incapacitate the planet, seemed unbelievable. Literally unbelievable. Beyond imagination.

But we’ve got used to it. The world response seems crazy now. We are not cowering in shock and awe. We are going into the discontented phase.

Then there arrives, here in the UK, again, Black Lives Matter. They are relieving their discontent by defacing monuments, toppling statues, attacking police, firing rockets into crowds, terrifying the horses, all the while chanting abuse about white priviledge. Everyone is going down on one knee to pay tribute to a violent criminal killed by an equally violent policeman in a whole nother country.

In China, the Chinese rule the country. The Chinese are the priviledged. In Africa, there is no white priviledge – only Black Privilege. The rulers of any country make the rules. In Europe, the people were white. Their history and culture come from thousands of years of being white. They are called “Europeans”. European still implies you are white.

But according to Critical Race Theory that is taught in our new, fair, education system, it’s white privilage, that has caused all the problems for black people. White Might has been a dreadful thing and it still lurks in every institution they established, every order they brought to the West, every advancement in health, technology, science, investment, conservation, philosophy, religion, education, meritocracy, democracy, all knowledge. All recorded History.

White Privilege, yes. They have made the world in the West. And ruled. In typical fashion, white people brought their culture, their law and order, health systems, transport systems to the countries they groomed to better those places and for their own greed, true.

Black Privilege, yes. Everytime a black person is hired without merit, that’s it. Everytime white people bend over backwards to promote Critical Race Theory ideas, for the victims of White Privilege, that’s it. Everytime we work on an equality of outcome system, that’s it. When institutions hire, promote, encourage, uplift, subsidise, enable Black people and so on, that’s it. When your colour brings you benefits, thats it.

Should white people, dump science, technology, law, order, their history, their institutions, monuments, gollywogs, toys, computers, mobile phones, jeans and tee shirts, culturally appropriated clothes and food? Should we demand compensation from all the European countries that invaded and took priviledge from each other? Should we destroy all Roman, Greek and Egyptian architecture? Should we beg forgiveness for being white? Or apologise for being black? No we bloody shouldn’t.

Right now, the world has gone barking mad. Totally. I’ve never known anything like it. I must stop thinking about it. Thinking has become bad for my health.

I prefer birds, and dogs. They are always up for self promotion one way or another, but they never make a fuss. They just wheedle their way into our hearts. Quietly.


Dog humour

I don’t know if dogs have a sense of humour. Do they?

Something happened the other day, that made me think they do.

In fact two things happened.

Maybe, the habit of dogs arranging their toys might be just that too. It’s dogs communicating something. Bass no longer arranges his toys. Well, maybe he does, but I’ve stopped noticing.

The first thing that made me decide Bass was actually playing a joke on me, was when I lost him on a walk. He often disappears into the wood and then suddenly pops out. But that day, he wasn’t popping out. I called him. No popping. I called him again. Still no popping. I called louder. And turned. There he was right behind me in ‘play’ mode, with his front down, bum in the air, tail wagging, inviting me to play! Laughing at me in fact. Well that’s the impression I got.

Mr Furlong had an extra fatball when he was feeding the birds the other day. So he tossed it whole on the bird feeder table. A fatball is quite heavy for a bird to carry away. So when the fatball disappeared completely a few hours later, Mr Furlong asked me if I’d taken it and put it somewhere else. But, of course, I hadn’t. The mystery continued the whole day, but was solved as I pulled my pillows over to get ready for bed. There, neatly tucked under my pillow was the missing fatball. Mr Furlong didn’t do it. Mrs Furlong didn’t do it. There is only one Furlong that could have done it. And that was you-know-who.

Oh, and then there’s the plastic garden frog, I forgot about…..but that’s a story for another time.