The Last Furlong

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Uh huh, OK

Because of school holidays, the old Furlong’s have been babysitting one particular grandchild.

She is very good at being entertained and also entertaining herself. This house has many interesting things in it, like collections of fossils, rocks, crystals, shells, Microscopes, computers, tablets, paintings, feathers, and stories from the ‘olden days’, science, history, philosophy and the like. And a dog.

I think she will remember days with us.

Whilst having a mini science lesson, or history lesson disguised as fun. Or analysing the movie we just watched on TV (usually a foreign film and not Disney), she has the habit of indicating she understands, or heard you, by saying “Uh huh” or “OK”.

It is comforting to know she is actually listening and may have got the point.

But then again, maybe not.

Her mummy has to do a lot of work at home because of Covid Lockdown so she is hearing conversations of her mummy at work.

Her mummy is a University Researcher. After she has posed a question to the person on the other end of the phone, and her mummy is listening to the outpourings being shared during the interview, her mummy says “Uh huh” and “Ok”



Happy bedday

Yesterday was bed day.

We took our beds down to rock bottom. Turning mattresses, vacuming and refreshing all the linen is hard work for two oldies with arthritic limbs and sciatica. Mr Furlong has a new topper, softer than the previous one for improved hip comfort and I’ve got pastel pillows and a plain white duvet on my bed. I already have a soft mattress topper that makes my bed the most comfortable in the world.

Bass, the black and tan fur shedding dog, had a very happy day.

We have discovered he simply adores fresh bed linen.

Especially if it’s white.

ESPECIALLY if it’s white.



In 2017 I had six months of crippling sciatica.

The chap in the flat upstairs commiserated with me, and told me his terrible sciatica haunted him for months and then, one day, he woke up one morning and it was gone!

In 2017 I tried everything, including taking antibiotics for common bladder infections which I read had been used succesfully for sciatica. Autopsies on people who died with (not of) sciatica often showed these bacteria between vertebrae.

I did hot, cold treatment, rubbed with ointments, excercised, had McTimoney chiropractic and drank concoctions all to no avail.

One day, I woke up and my sciatica was gone.

This time, I’m on a different tack. I do not want to be an irascible old groaner staggering around bent over double, or doing a ‘penguin’ walk stiff and straight, or complaining constantly at every step. And I can’t wait until IT decides to leave me.

The doctor has been useless simply sending me a page of internet physiotherapy excercise links half of which don’t work.

My new thing is using electro pads for pain.

I walk around with my little machine in my pocket, the wires dangling, that link pads to my lower back and the upper back of my leg. The program goes on for 5 hours. I do that once in a day on each leg. So that’s a ten hour shift. I can do everything I want, housework, watching TV and even going for a walk.

I am four days in to this new treatment for me. So far, it’s the only thing that’s worked.


In mourning

Every morning, Sunday Lunch comes to eat at the bird feeder.

Sunday Lunch, if you remember, is a massive rock pigeon that if roasted, would feed a family.

Sunday Lunch was once two. But currently he has no wife. I think she must have been eaten by something, but not us.

Every morning, therefore, I remember her because of her absence. Sunday Lunch looks so lonely. It makes me sad. I admire monogomy, Mr Furlong and I are what you’d call monogomous. There is not enough monogomy in the world today. But, now that Mrs Sunday Lunch is gone, Mr Sunday Lunch remains alone.


How sad is that?


Four years before…

The Furlong oldies – us, watch a lot of TV. Most things in our life are organised, we have no plans to upset anything by going abroad, we don’t dedicate our days to working for charities, replacing the kitchen, or travelling to London to protest anything. Life here is tranquil.

We get our kicks electronically.

Mostly, our taste is the same, our interests the same, and our ability to judge bullshit about the same.

But Mr Furlong just watched the whole series of the joyless miseryfest ‘Baptiste’. The minute the screen said “Four years before” I turned my hearing aids off. I knew it was going to be filled with plotholes. A writer who has to jerk my brain around by time jumps, isn’t for me.

I believe a good story begins at the beginning, travels through the middle and ends at the end. And a good writer never has to use a label on the screen “Four years before” or “Two years before” or “Fifteen years before”. Or has to jump around constantly to tell you a story.

He might however use “Four years later”. Or “Fifteen years later”. But it would appear on the screen as a footnote to a satisfying end.

That would be intriguing and I’d not feel the script was lazy, manipulative, or cheating me.

Baptiste was dismal. All the ‘befores’ couldn’t rescue it. And fifteen years in the future, it will still be dismal.