The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.



Since last year, I have gone to pot. I used to make notes, record my weight, blood sugar and what I had eaten. Sometimes, I might jot down an idea for a blog post.

But for some reason, all discipline has evaporated.

I couldn’t be arsed any more. (English term meaning couldn’t be bothered)

Mr Furlong and I are having trouble with our memories. The most common phrases used in our home are “Can’t remember” or “I don’t know”.

Without Mr Furlong, I’d have trouble writing anything at all. For when I can’t remember a word, a name or the spelling, there’s a chance that he can.

One morning recently, he stood in my doorway in his very smart navy blue pyjamas looking very dapper and refreshed from a good nights rest. He made an observation which was very funny.

We fell about laughing.

I said “Oh, that would make a wonderful blog post!”

I should have written it down, but I didn’t.

But now when I ask him what it was he said, he can’t remember.

And neither can I.

Our minds are BLANK.


Bed Dog

Our dog’s loyal servants, US, have been well trained in all aspects of his life.

We make ‘nests’ for him when his baleful eyes tell us he screwed up the one he was making .

We turn on the outside light at night and open the door despite bright moonlight and a perfectly good dog flap so that he can see when his stare tell us he wishes to do his business but we must open the door and turn on the light first.

During the day, the dog flap works well, but it doesn’t work when its dark, evidently.

Our life is timed by his commands. Noon is lunch. Three o’clock is supper. Ten o’clock is bed.

A short sharp yap is ‘look at me!” An excited barking from the couch in the bay window means “look at them,” and the hysterical yip yaps, squeaks and loud barking happens if someone is at the door.

Mr Furlong has a routine. When the doorbell rings, he ushers the dog into the forbidden front room where it leaps on the chair in the window with great joy. Mr Furlong then closes the door and Bass is trapped in the room, allowing us to deal with the people at the door. From the front bedroom window, the dog can observe, comment and warn us of the dreadful danger of any visitors.

So we are well trained and have succumbed to every whim of our master.

Except one.

It’s the race for my bed.

I love dogs ON the bed but not IN the bed.

Bass burrows. He nests in just about everything he can find. I have to make certain my duvet is dog burrowing proof.

Mr Furlong is more relaxed. Sometimes after the visitors at the front door have left, we ask “Where is Bass?” Having been let into the forbidden front bedroom, he is making sure to have a cosy kip deep inside the happy dark, under Mr Furlong’s duvet.

Mr Furlong is a pushover.

But not me.

Under MY duvet?


Well almost never. We are still working at it Bass and I. He’s finding me very hard to train.


Yackity yackity yak

What a tower of babel surrounds us at the moment! Opinion, opinion, opinion.

Yackity yak.

Trump or Covid, Biden or Covid. Trump and Biden and Covid. And Boris and Covid. Vaccinations and Covid. And flooding. Trump, Biden, Kamala, Boris, Floods, vaccinations and covid.

And Covid.

You could scream.

At least these cats seem in harmonious conversation. Maybe you’d rather watch them than the News? Or the livestream I offer at the end of this post…..



The convergence of laziness

Yes, I am physically lazy.

Always have been.

I hate excercise.

My main focus at school was to avoid sport. It was fortunate that during my very first tennis lesson, the server slammed the ball into my eye so I could feign terror of tennis to the gym teacher, so she let me off tennis. Someone bombed me in a swimming lesson and the teacher rescued me from the bottom of the pool. I feigned pool terror. The teacher let me off swimming.

My motto has been – never run if you can walk, never walk if you can sit, and never sit if you can lie down. It has worked all my life so far.

But now there is a convergence occurring that needs attention.

The neighbour walks the dog, so I don’t anymore. He gets much better walks from her – goes miles, in fact.

The weather is crummy, rain, ice, snow – always something to do with water. They don’t have lakes all over the place here for nothing. So I’m not walking to see my sister twice a week. I drive.

I never go out otherwise.

Gardening is out. Everything is dead. The ground is iced solid.

Swimming on Thursdays has been cancelled because of Covid-19.

And the final situation is that we now have a robot vacumn cleaner. He’s wonderful! I never have to do a thing except empty his tummy when he has finished his duties. If I change his tummy for a water tank, he even mops the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Whats there to do?

I know!


Mr Furlong is a kitchen creature. He produces great food.

Food plus laziness equals fat.

It’s simple Math.


The big outing and the mystery of my eyes

Last week we had an appointment for eye tests and possible new glasses. I had not been into our town since last March. So it was a big excitement outing for me.

In fact, we were the very very first customers to arrive after the Optometrists’ Christmas break. The day was a day of black ice and snow, of snarling clouds and horrible wind. The pavement outside the shop was suspiciously shiny. I made Mr Furlong walk on it first in case it was slippy and I held onto his arm as we went. The street was absolutely deserted. And all the shops were closed. It was as if the citizens had been abducted by aliens.

Disappointing really.

Inside the shop they seemed pleased to see us but it was frightfully chilly. They had just turned the central heating on after the Christmas hols.

In my pocket, I had brought my favourite old glasses from circa 2004 for resuscitation as we cannot afford new frames and new lenses together. My old glasses frames are very special. They were hand made in Germany and are one of a kind, but the story is too long to tell today.

I was the first in to the inner sanctum, still in my coat and gloves and wooley hat – and mask for it was like a fridge. The optometrist did all the tests and we caught up on news since my last visit. He’s a most likeable chap. And we talked about their total closure during the first lockdown and how times were hard. He wrote notes. He repeated some tests. And checked a few more.

Then came the big reveal.

“Your eyes have improved since your last visit” he said. “You don’t need glasses at all.”

I was just as astonished as he.

I told him my mother did eye excercises regularly because, she said that eyes were just muscles and if you excercised them, you wouldn’t need glasses. My mother, even in her nineties, never wore prescription glasses. I told him I disliked my last glasses so I seldom wore them. Maybe that was it?

We observed each other with puzzlement.

The poor man, dealing with his very first customer of 2021, in his bleakly freezing rooms had to tell them, that they did not need the product he sells! It seemed truly sad.

I took out my very special frames lurking in my pocket. “I like these” I showed him. “I like these because they hide the bags under my eyes. Do you think you could put lenses in them to your prescription and tint them slightly pinkish?”

“Sure” he said. “That will be no problem! We can do that”

So today our reading glasses are ready for collection.

Today there is black ice, glowering clouds and snow is predicted. But I think the rooms, when we get there, will be warm. I am looking forward to my old glasses made new.

PS. (Can you put PS at the end of a blog?) I realised when I got home what might have happened to my eyes to improve themselves, but I’ll tell you in another post…..

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Oh, I’ve been enjoying the live cams on the internet. There are so many.

Last night, Mr Furlong and I happily watched the train junction at Crewe! We saw seven trains pass through and the clickerty clacking as they appeared and disappeared was strangely comforting.

In fact they are all great. Especially the ones you can be there, in the snow or ice, the bustling city centres (not bustling in lockdown), or underwater in real time from the comfort of the couch.

Heres my list. Enjoy!


SA birds




Animals and birds Germany

Critter cam, USA

Bears, Transylvania

Bears Alaska

Polar Bears

Trains Crewe

Train Norway

Times Sqare



Aurora (northern)

Planet Earth

Let me know if you find others!

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Music, music, music

Mr Furlong and I listen to a lot of music. That’s why we first went out in the very old days. We liked the same music.

In lockdown, we have found new and exciting young people still making the old music we enjoy. The old guard is still there too. But it’s so pleasing to listen to the new generation carrying the sound on. Real music – more than four notes! Our daughter suggested some music she liked on Spotify. So I joined Spotify.

On Spotify you can find just about any artist you like, except for a few that have opted out. Its a grand app! No one is spreading venom like Twitter, or uploading Selfies ad nauseam like Facebook and, whats the other one, I can’t remember, or uploading innane Tic Tok clips of nurses dancing in empty hospitals. The best things on Tic Tok are the cute dog videos….

If you have a free Spotify account, there are adverts – occasionally. But hey, they are everywhere. You can donate to the artist you like too. If you have a computer, phone or tablet, enjoy music, have time, try Spotify – no commission being paid here, I’m just sharing my delight.

Spotify can be any kind of place you like, peaceful, happy, uplifting, energising, fun, comforting, joyful, because its just music, music, music.

And the music YOU like is good for YOUR soul.


Waste not want not

For ten days, I have eaten everything I’ve wanted to. Mr Furlong, who is the chef in the Furlong household, has made some pretty yummy food, including Fudge and Coconut Ice. Our cupboards have been groaning with food.

The wrong kind of food.

It’s been wonderful!

But the last delivery that Mr Furlong ordered, arrived with NO stollen, top iced Christmas cake, shortbread, mince pies, chocolate, or Marzipan. He is not making Fudge or Coconut Ice.

I don’t know what I’m going to do. The end is nigh!

2021 is going to be a year of want.

But it will only begin for me when I’ve finished eating the last of the delicious things that are still left over from Christmas.

I hate waste!

I will check my blood sugar and weight when I’ve scoffed what’s left.

Happy New Year again and again, till it’s not.