The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Oh dang, not again!

Tomorrow is my birthday-again.

Maybe when you are old, it seems like time is speeding up so that at the end of your life your old age is easier to endure. Maybe the speeded up version of time is a kind of perverted compassion to all creatures by Mother Nature.

When I was a child, it took years to get to my birthday and now, they seem like just the other day.

I cannot see why we celebrate birthdays after the age of sixty. In fact, they should be banned.

Have you ever thought that a birthday’s opposite is a death day. And the older you get, the closer it gets. Are old aged persons celebrating that? Or are they celebrating their longevity? Either way,¬† I don’t like birthdays.

They remind me of loss after a certain age. Another year gone, another bit dropped off, another slow down, another wrinkle, another hair thinning, skin thinning, arthritic knuckle, bruise, blemish, entropy, atrophy, decay celebrating day.

Are we daft? I think birthdays are a day other people make you the excuse to celebrate for themselves.

Is there aught we can do?

No, there isn’t. Just bring the damn thing on Father Time, I’ll grin and bear another birthday. And remember with gratitude that I live in modern times. I have not been devoured by a sabre toothed tiger because I’m slow, nor stamped on by a woolly mammoth because I’m small and weak.

That’s a blessing I suppose.

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Caterpillar ID

Overnight, our roses in the front garden were denuded of leaves. But one rose bush, sitting solitary in an opposite corner was not.

One day, I spontaneously picked two red roses off the unaffected bush and took them to my sister. On my next visit, she showed me her ‘pet’. A little worm busily chomping the leaves.

I took a photo.

He and his friends are the culprits of the rose leaf denuding heist.  But I cannot identify him.

Do you know him or his friends?

Here is a video I found. It’s him and his friends having a ball! But nowhere does it say what type of caterpillar they are…

If you know, let me know!

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Counting friends

Occasionally I send an ecard to old friends and acquaintances that we know. It simply asks them how they are and tells them briefly how we are. I ask for an update from them.

This last year, some loving partners, unknown relatives or strangers to us, have replied with the news that whoever it was, has died. In fact, this last year was a bad year for deaths. I have had to delete old friends from my ecard address book. But I’ve left them in my email contacts, so that sometime, I can browse through it, and be reminded of their friendship again.

No one died of Covid.

But how they died was admirable. Most, simply snuffed it. They just pushed off. Quick. Easy. Efficiently, with no fuss. Sensible people.

One was found dead in his chair with the TV on by relatives. He wasn’t old.

Another noticed her hubby was dead during a conversation with him as they sat in the lounge, in the sunshine.

My fit walking friend died on the operating table during a not very serious op.

Your heart beats. And then it doesn’t. My rotund, huggy friend died as the ambulance reached the hospital. No hospital resuscitation¬† ordeal for her. She must have been pleased. She dreaded that.

On the whole, our friends have shown extreme wisdom. They just went.

Now we are waiting for another death. Our lovely considerate neighbour is dying. She is ninety. She has been absent from chats over the fence, jam and pickle, flowers, plants, and gossip swaps for two months now. Alone, in an end of life care ward, not being able to see her family, she needs to get on now and DO it.

“Best get on with it.” That’s what you would have said to me over the fence, Margaret.

Very sensible.


Scam confirmation

The other day we had a phone call from an unidentified male. He said “it’s time to check your smoke alarms. When would you like us to call?

I remember last year they called, but this year was more fun.

I said, “Sure, you can come today. Please bring your ID cards this time because I don’t actually know you are the fire department You might be scammers! “

There was a pause, “Would the fire engine be confirmation enough?”

And not long after this, an absolutely colossal red fire engine, polished and gleaming in the sunshine pulled up outside our house. The neighbours must have been stunned!

The most handsome young men came in and checked the smoke alarm and talked fire safety, as they did last year. We’ve no idea how us Furlongs got onto this scheme, but it’s to do with our age we think. Two frail old things, maybe with dementia who might set the block on fire maybe?

Next year, we will demand the ‘proof’ of identity again. But we will make it at a time when all the grandkids are here. They would love to see such a massive machine parked and stationary outside our house. They are stunning vehicles, awesome actually….in the real meaning of the word.


Tearing my hair out

Most of my posts are written on my Tablet. Recently, as I have been typing, it lags so dreadfully that I have had to face the awful thought my Tablet needs a factory reset.

So I did that yesterday.

But not without so much insanity, I could have torn my hair out.

Do you know, I once saw that?

I saw someone tearing their hair out. It’s an actual real thing people do. Under huge stress, or profound grief, or overwhelming emotion, people tear their hair out! The woman who tore her hair out had wonderful thick dark hair and she sat at our dining room table and yanked handfuls of it out. They dropped onto the table, and on the floor around her in glossy bundles. We had to restrain her with strong comforting hugging. And make a distraction. I’ve always thought ‘Tearing your hair out” was simply a daft English expression.

So this post is written without any lagging on my clean Tablet. It was worth the struggle at having to remember old forgotten passwords and eventually get my stuff off the Galaxy Cloud that ceases on 30th September 2021.

There was a lot of cussing and swearing by me, but I never actually got to tearing my hair out, as I now have very little and every strand is a treasure.


Murder most fowl!

I have written about Sunday Lunch, a massive Rock Pigeon who has fed at our bird feeder now for several years. He is a widower, having lost his wife recently.

We had a nasty shock the other day when the neighbour called Mr Furlong to assist her in removing a gruesome corpse from her garden.

It was a the decapitated and disemboweled body of a large Rock Pigeon. Mr Furlong was unsure if it was Sunday Lunch or not. But bravely he scooped up all the bits and pieces and disposed of them.

The neighbour was sure it was a crow what done it, but the other neighbour said it was a Sparrowhawk what done it! Who done it became a bit of a talking point, but I was more worried about the murdered victim.

I realised that whoever done it, it was the way Mrs Sunday Lunch had been done in. Probably.

And now it was likely that Sunday Lunch himself, was ‘done’.

But not so!

A half an hour after all the gurfuffling in the garden had ceased, there he was again. OUR bird was tranquilly eating at our feeders as he has always done.

He lives to feed another day…..


It’s that time again and the doctor still thinks he knows best! Harvest mite solution for sensitives that REALLY works…

I went to the doctor today for my annual diabetic physical. They weigh you, take blood pressure, measure height and look at your feet, poking them with little pokey things. The doctor doesn’t do it, their side kick does.

So the side kick got wound up when she observed the horrible blister I have on my ankle which is the result of an untreated Harvest Mite bite.

I have spent years battling Harvest Mites because our old garden is full of them at this time of year. I KNOW the solution to stopping my allergic reaction to them, which is a massive horrid itchy blister. But the one that bit me on my ankle, did it secretly under my ankle support that I was wearing. I didn’t notice until I took it off before bed. By then, the little bugger had pumped his lymph liquidising chemical into me and settled in comfortably to his little chimney style house whilst he enjoyed drinking my juices.

The side kick called some doctor or other to observe my blister as she feared it was the beginning of a diabetic ulcer. She would not listen when I explained it would disappear after several days because it was a Harvest Mite House. The some doctor or other appeared and took a look. I explained again about the Harvest Mite bite and that I would do nothing about it except rub it with anti-inflammatory cream. Some doctor or other said “Oh yes, one of those. We see a lot at this time of year. Nothing you can do. Just rub it with anti inflammatory cream.”

I then explained my technique against Harvest Mites.

So listen up!

At the very earliest opportunity, when you notice a bite, apply SCABIES cream. A Harvest Mite is a tick like creature that burrows into your skin. They are not unlike their scabies cousins. A SCABIES REMEDY kills them chop chop before they can burrow too deeply. A dead Harvest Mite cannot inject you with its plasma wrecking chemical that you are allergic to.

Did some doctor or other listen to anything I said? NO. So the next person he sees with a huge Harvest Mite blister will never know how to stop it happening to them again.

No wonder my blood pressure was up too!