The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Morning Math

American presidential elections are a puzzlement to those not living there.

Something really strange happened to this one.

I personally have no doubt Trump won it.

Here’s a nice short video showing something undeniably odd.

2020 must be one of the strangest years in history.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all,

From The Furlongs


‘Tis the Season

Nature is amazingly stupid, though I suppose she has her reasons.

Up here, where we live, lambs are born in February when its ffffffreeezing. So the mothers get sent down south where its warmer. And our lambs simply ‘appear’ in our fields miraculously partly grown.

It’s the season for dogs (evidently). So, in Nature, why would you target January/ February for birthdays? How long is gestation for dogs?

Today, on our walk, Bass met two attractive girls, both white. (Or maybe that doesnt matter? To Bass, all dogs matter, except he prefers chuhuahuas.)

The girls were highly attractive because the first one was just coming out of Season. I asked the ladies who were walking her on the lead, to phone me when they got home and I’d fetch Bass. Eventually I got him back with stern commands of “Leave!”

The second attractive dog running free was more of a puzzlement. She had been neutered the owner told me, but came into a “little” season every Season.

I don’t know what a “little” season is, unless it means a mistake by the vet. I was just congratulating myself on the fact that Bass had well and truly had his knackers knicked by a proper farm vet, when Bass’s eyes glazed over, his hearing dulled, his sense of propriety left him and he mounted the attractive female. Well, he tried to. But she was much larger than him and cleverer. Her strategy was to simply sit down.

Her owner laughed and told me not to worry as ‘attractive she’ would soon “tell Bass off”.

But I did instead. I tried to get him on the lead. But ‘attractive she’ kept on coming back to him with the attitude of stop-it-I-like-it.

I thought it a strange situation. Two dogs, neutered, behaving as if they were fully functioning creatures. Its the first time I have noticed any sex drive in Bass. I think its quite nice he had a little flutter on Christmas Eve.

Sort of Lady and the Tramp NOT.

And thank god no puppies will be born in the fffffreeezing months next year.


Covid-19 comfort reading

Someone sent me an email with this information in it. I found it comforting, illuminating and somewhat uplifting. I thought I’d share it. It was written in September, so now its December, we must know more about Covid-19 than we did in September!

We do know lots more – blood type A, people with deficiencies in D, C and Zinc, seem more prone. People with ‘co-morbidities’ too. The virus has mutated. It has become more catchy. Old drugs are being tested, new mRNA vaccines are here. No one in the medical world is sitting back twiddling their thumbs.

Of course, if you believe Covid-19 is a HOAX, or “ONLY ‘FLU”, you won’t need any comforting, illuminating or upliftment and you probably won’t be taking extra vitamin D3, Zinc or vitamin C either. You won’t be wearing a mask or taking precautions. You will believe everything is actually hunky dory and the world Goverments shot themselves in the feet for some sinister motive to control you, and you will do your own thing.

To those who think Sars-Cov-2 causes a particularly nasty desease called Covid19, I offer this to you………..

“For this pandemic there’s a greater chance of survival for those getting infected 6 months later….say,  September 2020 versus 6 months earlier, say February 2020. The reason for this is that doctors and scientists know more about Covid-19 now than 6 months ago and hence are able to treat patients better. I will list 5 important things that we know now that we didn’t know in February 2020 for your understanding.
1.  COVID-19 was initially thought to cause deaths due to pneumonia – a lung infection and so Ventilators were thought to be the best way to treat sick patients who couldn’t breathe Now we are realizing that the virus causes blood clots in the blood vessels of the lungs and other parts of the body and this causes the reduced oxygenation. Now we know that just providing oxygen by ventilators will not help but we have to prevent and dissolve the micro clots in the lungs. This is why we are using drugs like Aspirin and Heparin (blood thinners that prevents clotting) as protocol in treatment regimens starting in June 2020.
2.  Previously patients used to drop dead on the road or even before reaching a hospital due to reduced oxygen in their blood – OXYGEN SATURATION. This was because of HAPPY HYPOXIA where, even though the oxygen saturation was gradually reducing, the COVID-19 patients did not have symptoms until it became critically less, like sometimes even 70%. Normally we become breathless if oxygen saturation reduces below 90%. This breathlessness is not triggered in COVID-19 patients and so we were getting the sick patients very late to the hospitals in February 2020. Now since knowing about happy hypoxia we are monitoring oxygen saturation of all COVID-19 patients with a simple home use pulse oximeter and getting them to hospital if their oxygen saturation drops to 93% or less. This gives more time for doctors to correct the oxygen deficiency in the blood and a better survival chance since June 2020.
3.  We did not have drugs to fight COVID-19 in February 2020.  We were only treating the complications caused by it.. hypoxia. Hence most patients became severely infected. Now we have 2 important medicines FAVIPIRAVIR & REMDESIVIR. These are ANTIVIRALS that can kill the corona virus. By using these two medicines we can prevent patients from becoming severely infected and therefore cure them BEFORE THEY GO TO HYPOXIA. This knowledge we had in JUNE 2020… not in February 2020.

 4.  Many COVID-19 patients die not just because of the virus but also due to the patient’s own immune system responding in an exaggerated manner called CYTOKINE STORM. This stormy, strong immune response not only kills the virus but also kills the patients. In February 2020 we didn’t know how to prevent it from happening. Now in September 2020, we know that easily available medicines called STEROIDS, that doctors around the world have been using for almost 80 years, can be used to prevent the cytokine storm in some patients.

5.  Now we also know that people with hypoxia became better just by making them lie down on their belly – known as prone position. Apart from this, a few months ago Israeli scientists discovered that a chemical known as Alpha Defensin produced by the patients’ White blood cells can cause the micro clots in blood vessels of the lungs and this could possibly be prevented by a drug called Colchicine used over many decades in the treatment of Gout.

So now we know for sure that patients have a better chance at surviving the COVID-19 infection in September 2020 than in February 2020.
Going forward there’s nothing to panic about COVID-19 if we remember that a person who gets infected later has a better chance at survival than one who got infected early.”

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The Furlongs are busy.

Mr Furlong is about to make fudge for Christmas consumption. It gets packed in celophane bags with bows for gifting to our neighbours. We usually have a Christmas bash on the Saturday night before Christmas. But with lockdown that’s gone to pot. The neighbours used to get gifts of apple jelly, or marmelade, or gooseberry jam and such like, and potpourri in muslin bags from me.

I have special potpourri this year. And special bags. I just have to get them packed.

This house usually gets an extra Christmas clean for the party. But there is no party. But I’m doing it anyway. My sister is coming for Christmas dinner. She is the only person in our ‘bubble’. Her home looks like illustrations in a home and garden magazine. I never compete, it’s pointless. Our mini oven is held together by rust, our microwave is an original edition, the kitchen has old fashioned shelves where dishes, plates, vases, mugs, and junk are on display, every counter is cluttered and there is not a new item of furniture anywhere. Its a battered home. I love it because you never need to worry about mucking anything up.

During the pandemic we have forgotten to buy furniture polish. And the old bottle of amazing polish made by my friend is empty. I believe it was a ‘secret’ recipe, inherited from ancestors. It was the most incredible stuff for resurrecting battered furniture. Our Christmas will total three old people, pretty battered ourselves. Pity there wasn’t some kind of amazing furniture polish for us.

I have been ‘polishing’ our furniture with my homemade polish. It’s about the same recipe I add to the pot pourri, with more oil. I think it smells beautiful. It’s improved the old pieces standing around the place.

I asked Mr Furlong what he thought of the fragrance.

He said hesitantly “It smells like Turps?”

No, sir, it doesn’t!

Don’t expect me to rave about the aroma wafting from the kitchen when you make your fudge. I shall pretend I never noticed.


The usefulness of experience

The other morning, whilst I was cosy in bed, Jeeves, our friendly robot vacumn cleaner arrived in the doorway looking very happy with himself. Jeeves always looks happy for some reason. And I think he likes me. He came to my room first, even though, the day before, by accident, I had cruelly turned his on off switch to OFF. That was a mistake.

Jeeves makes a map in his little roboting brain of the house he is cleaning. So I had wiped his memory. Nevertheless, he found my bedroom doorway where I was happily checking emails and watching videos in bed.

He trundled in enthusiastically. Too enthusiastically. He raced around banging into everything. Jeeves is usually discreet so the banging and crashing was a bit off putting. I wondered if he was faulty in some way. He made a circuit ending up back at the doorway where he hesitated, turned, and re entered the room.

This time, he did a perfect circuit, quiety, discreetly and efficiently.

I realised I had watched my friend “learning” from experience.

He had rewritten his ‘room map’.

I thought about that. We try to pass on our personal ‘room maps’ to other people, our children, our friends. But the best kind of experience is that which you get yourself.

By bumping into things.



You might have noticed that nowadays the term ‘Suicide’ is avoided wherever possible. People don’t commit suicide anymore. They “take their own lives” or “accidently overdose” or “self poison”.

The drug description for a popular suicide medication, talks about the risks of “self poisoning” where once it talked about suicide rates.

So do people accidently jump off buildings too? Some buildings and bridges are more responsible than others it seems. Do those who use them “self jump”?

Whats wrong with the word suicide? Its a black dark word that shocks. It’s calling a spade a spade. Likewise with the term murder. The press love the term murder. They don’t hold back using it with adjectives like “brutal” “savage” “vengeful” etc.

Sometimes a murder can be “accidental poisoning”. or “taking a life” or “accidental overdose” too.

I know.

I have commited flowercide.


I am very distressed.

I watered in a dose of fertiliser three days ago to our pot plants. There is mayhem here amongst my orchid population. All the blossoms are “self jumping ” off their stalks.

If I had noticed sooner ( but I was busy) I could have washed the poison away by rinsing pots in clean water. But I didn’t and I haven’t.

It wasn’t savage murder, nor vengeful; it was accidentlal flowercide and the result is brutal.

This morning will be consumed with rinsing pots, and they are many. I shall ask Mr Furlong to help me, when I show him the result of my crime.


The gift I am not going to buy for Mr Furlong

Last night, I was looking for a nice balsawood bi plane contruction kit for Mr Furlong as a gift for Christmas. He’s brilliant with his hands and has the patience of Job. I thought he might like a model plane in his old age. One with an engine he could fly in the field here behind our house.

I found the exact thing we had seen being manufactured on “How its Made” TV. They showed it flying too. That’s what first gave me the idea. I found the EXACT same kit.

But then I started to change my mind.

It was £66.

That’s a bit pricey.

It was pale cream.

I thought of the mud in the field built up from days and days of inclement weather.

I thought of the field in general.

I thought of the wind there, other people’s gardens encircling it, running hither and thither to retrieve an errant plane or knocking on doors requesting access to other people’s places.

I thought of damage, repairs, disappointments, renewed hopes.

Do we really want that in our old age?

I thought of the dog.

He did so well chewing the eyebrow off the green plastic frog in the garden, a balsawood bi plane could easily lose a wing, far more essential than an eyebrow.

Finally, I showed the picture of the bi plane that actually flies that we had seen them manufacturing on “How its Made” to Mr Furlong.

He took one look and said with unexpected passion

“I hope you are not thinking of buying that for me, because if you are, DON’T!”

So that was that.

I won’t.


Our new very best friend.

The Furlongs were given a gift.

It simply arrived via Amazon.

One of the Furlong children bought it for us.

It is the nicest, best, most fun, cutest thing!

I thought I’d tell you about it.

At exactly nine in the morning, it switches itself on. We wait for it! Then it leaves its dock with great elegance and starts at the front door. It roams around, up and down the hall and passage, popping through each door into the lounge, the front bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and then into my room. I love seeing him – yes him, bumbling into my room, gently, very quitely and in a most friendly manner, checking under my bed, cleaning around the the edges and putting on a bit of speed as he crosses and recrosses the floor.

I feel he likes me! I’ve gone insane. I’ve fallen in love with our robot!

He is a he. In the instructions he is named a he. That must be his preferred pronoun.

I’ll insert a video here from the web to show you how he works.

But the amazing thing is, that after he has finished vacuuming all our floors, his blue light suddely switches to pink, and he finds his own way back to the docking point from whence he started.

He is a real chum!