The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.




Dog watching me watching him.

At night now we have a new situation. The dog is not allowed on my bed while I’m sleeping. So, he watches me and should I get up in the night to go to the loo, he becomes very small and a unnoticeable in his little warm bed.

But I know he’s watching me.

He is watching me watching him.

He waits for me to settle back in bed, to get comfortable, to snuggle under the duvet.

As soon as he sees that I’m not looking at him he slithers out of his bed and jumps onto mine, burrowing under the small top blanket. Of course now I am comfortable and I’m not going to disturb myself to get the dog back into its own bed.

Last night I was reduced to using a torch instead of turning on my bedside light. I thought I would creep quietly out of the room do my business and creep back into bed without him noticing. But that doesn’t work.

I know it’s cold at night and it really is comfortable having a small dog nestling into to the back of your knees.

I pretend I haven’t noticed the dog on the bed by not looking at him. He doesn’t look at me. We both pretend it’s quite ordinary; that it’s allowed.

Bass though small , is quite a clumpy dog. You can feel it when he jumps on you, except in the night when he is light as a feather and quiet as a mouse.

And wiley too.


Video call virgin

An old friend and I connected on WhatsApp recently. One day, at the most inconvenient time, she videocalled me. She couldn’t hear me. That led to me ditching my phone as I realised the microphone was broken. So I transferred to another phone, an old phone, the reason for which I’d ditched in the past turned out to be that the microphone was broken. I bought a new phone. I promised to video call her, something I’d never done.

Yesterday we talked. I sent her a message first that I was going to call, in case she was in the bath. But within seconds she videocalled me. But I was prepared. I know from making hundreds of videos for YouTube, you mustn’t talk to the screen with your knickers on a washline behind you, nor should you wildly adjust the screen so that the viewer gets vertigo trying to orientate themselves whilst glimpses of the kitchen, bathroom, or spouse in his vest come into view.

I was sitting in front of my little phone, where I had arranged myself neatly. With lipstick on!

I have felt truly downcast about the indignity of getting old. And my videocall has convinced me that even in old age, you have to try to do things right.

The opening shot were two bony feet crossed wearing beach thongs. That surprised me as it was -1 deg here yesterday, but hey, maybe she has underfloor heating. Then an unmadeup eyeball came into view. Then two. They rolled upwards to a phone carried over the head. There was a sound delay so we talked over each other until one of us shut up. When I talked, the eyeball lids sqeezed together as I have seen many a deaf person doing when I was teaching old people, and the phone swung down to an earhole passing a large old age blemish on a wrinkled cheek.

My friend’s hair, once thick and curly, was thin and lank. White.

She waved her phone all over the place in her excitement. Face, door, foot, boob, cheek, ear, window, chair, partner silhouetted in a doorway waving to me, ceiling, floor, right eyeball, left earhole. And then she took me on a tour of her house. Ceiling, dishwasher, sink, skirting, outside shed door, lounge carpet, ceiling light fixture, and seasick tossing and turning.

Us oldies are loving the new technology which once we thought of as science fiction. Who would ever believe in our lifetime we could see the person on a phone – FREE!?

I have talked many times on Skype on a computer and got used to my girls preparing a meal, feeding the dog, cleaning the oven in the frame which doesn’t move, simply catching the scene; a stable screen recording somebody in action while we chat.

I have not ‘done’ a phone video call before with someone so unaware of what the viewer is seeing.

At the end, we said goodbye, but she didn’t stop the sound. I tried to end the call, but failed. I heard her say to her partner, “I must stop now, I could go on forever!” And there were sounds, thumps, scraping.

In desperation, I turned my phone off.

I need more practise. I will practise saying “I don’t do video calls, let’s just talk on the phone”

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An art page

I added an art page today.

Cate van Alphen’s art


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One of us is wrong

Yesterday, my friend died.

I don’t know what she died of. The doctors never seemed to find a name for why she simply got sick in April and died in December.  But it wasn’t vaccine injury because she never took a vaccination.

Asking someone if they’ve been vaccinated is fine if they have been. People seem even proud. But if you ask an ‘other’ who is anti, you might get your head chopped off and immediately dismembered.

My friend was an ‘other’. But I never realised until I suggested vaccine injury as a cause of her illness. She was always gracious with our differences.

She and I had many a good conversation about dying.

I believe death is an alteration of consciousness. I have had clear memories of other lives. I believe in reincarnation. We continue after death until we choose to return in a different costume to learn and grow. Life has a point.

She believed all that stuff was woo woo. When we die, there is nothing. We came from nothing and we go back to nothing. There is no point. We are simply a product of generations of fertilisation.

Some people get aggro if you disagree. We never did. We simply accepted that in all things of opinion one of us was right and the other was wrong.

She’s wrong. I hope she settles in OK. It must be a big surprise!


Must be a first!

This post is written on the smallest smart phone you could imagine.

On WordPress mobile.

I have another tiny phone. It’s my emergency phone that I used to take walking – when I walked. Tiny and light and a clamshell. With BIG buttons.

So I bought the new “smart” from the same company. It’s for OLD people.

It’s tiny, but everything works!


This post is the proof!

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The fall of The White House

Mrs Furlong’s (that’s me) bedroom is cold at night because that’s the way I like it. In winter, unless it is minus 5, the window is open a crack to let fresh air in.

The dog sleeps in my room. No matter how I cover him, he will climb out of his bed on the floor in the corner and lie ON TOP of the covers. So, in the middle of the night, I have to phaff around covering the dog.

I had an inspiration at three am a week ago. I ordered a foldable, washable, cosy, indoor dog house thinking if there was a roof, it would protect Bass, the dog, from the window draught. It’s a beautiful dog house! We call it The White House because the frontage is white.

The dog hated it from the very first second he saw it.

Does it smell? Is it too dark inside? Is it too big? Is it too tall? Is it a threatening colour, shape, length, breadth, or what?


It’s the roof. He hates the roof.

The roof, of course is the reason I bought it.

So we now have come to a compromise.

The old dog bed is jammed into The White House bottom which stops floor draught as it has sides. The roof stands folded at the back behind the peak of the back wall. And every night, I drape Bass’s favourite smelly, white blanket over it all forming a roof for the night. 

That has taken a week of diplomatic negotiation.

The present briefing is that the President of The White House is installed, despite The White House roof having now been dismantled. Sir has slept brilliantly under the old white blanket for three nights now.

And the staff are relieved.