The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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Tonight is a big event

Every year, except last year, we watch Eurovision on the telly. Us oldies gather with some grandkids and their Mom and Dad to watch the show in the comfort of our lounge. We endulge in a meal first of yummy roast something with roast potatoes, veg and delicious gravy prepared by Mr Furlong, followed by bowls of crisps or popcorn passed around as we discuss the merits or demerits of each entry.

This year we are having roast leg of mutton – yes mutton, not lamb.

This year is doubly special. It is the first time for many months that anyone has entered our home! We are breaking out of lockdown. At last. It’s an ‘event’, a memorable event.

Mr Furlong is a magnificent cook. This year, a leg of mutton is most unusual. It’s hard to get here in the UK. Everyone goes for lamb for some reason. But mutton has a special rich flavour and Mr Furlong is making his home made mint sauce. The meal is going to be grand.

Not sure if the same can be said for Eurovision.

We watched the tail end of the third selection event. It is getting more garish by the year.

It seems that nowaday, all you need is to yell as loudly as possible on a stage of flashing lights that induce epilepsy in the audience and judges, so that all sanity and taste is obliterated.

Thank god we are eating BEFORE the show.


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Siberian wind

My last post mentioned visitors in the garden.

We are having a busy weekend. Yesterday we had visitors. Mr Furlong makes a brilliant coffee.

Yesterday would have been smashing if we hadn’t frozen in the Arctic wind. 

After the visitors had left, I raced in and made two hot water bottles, one for the front and one for the back of me. One was for Mr Furlong actually, but he sacrificed it to me.

Now today, we are doing this madness all over again. We are visiting other people in THEIR garden, in the country. 

The sun will be shining. The Spring flowers will be lovely. The birds will be singing. It will be a beautiful day.

And I am going in my big fake fur coat, with my fake fur hat and my fake leather gloves and my fake wool scarf and my winter socks and big boots. 

Sitting for two hours in the freezing wind will be better today. Less stressful I think.

And our hosts will be amused at the madness of their visitor looking like a Siberian Cossack sipping coffee in their very English garden.


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Troglodites arising

The Furlong’s have had visitors!

We entertain them on our back patio with real delicious coffee brewed by Mr Furlong.

There is sun. And that’s a problem. Mr Furlong is allergic to sunshine. He sneezes. No joke. There are discussions on the internet about people who sneeze as a response to sunshine.

Mrs Furlong, (me) has since childhood been very sensitive to light. In full sun, my eyes simply close and stream with discomfort. I’m a heavy hat and dark glasses user.

So visitors arrive delighted by the sunshine, while their hosts sit with boxes of tissues, dark glasses, caps, hats, sunshades and other paraphernalia around them as a defence against the sun.

People seem astonished that we lived in Africa. But of course in Africa people don’t actually SIT in the sun. They sit in the shade under trees, or on verandas.

Its been so dark and dreary here in the UK, for so long, all the troglodites are coming out into the light. They are basking.

But not us. I can’t wait until we can invite visitors inside where we are protected from wasps, bumblebees, flies and sunshine.

And where our neighbours can’t hear every word we say!


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Rich feeding grounds

Everyday Mr Furlong and I watch TV. There’s something tedious about the TV nowadays we’ve watched so much. Apart from the occasional interesting program, there are stories and dramas built on the template of woke. You can tick it off.

One frenetic strong female breaking the bonds of repression.

One struggling disabled person.

One black person breaking the bonds of repression, or trapped in them.

One trans person or gay person (any gender is fine) hurting from the situation or persecution thereof.

Quick guiltless copulation.

Divorce.

Violence.

Oh man, it gets boring after awhile.

So this is the deal. If you want to escape it all and be educated, informed, intriqued, inspired, excited, and escape the ‘formula’, visit YouTube. Into the search bar, type in DOCUMENTARIES ( no it doesn’t have to be capslock. caps is only to make the word stand out in this post).

But ‘DOCUMENTARIES’ isn’t enough. Type in ‘crime’ or ‘history’ or ‘engineering’ or ‘politics’ or ‘philosophy’ or ‘food’ or ‘pets’ or ‘nature’ or ‘cosmos’ or ‘spiritual’ or ‘celebrity ‘ or ‘gardens’ or ‘fashion’ or ‘culture’ or ‘education’ or, or, or. (Pick and choose)

Oh man!

You will be set free from the formula and enter the largest fishing grounds of knowledge in all of History.

Well, that’s the deal.


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Covid entertainment

Doing nothing much?

I’m not doing anything much either.

I have been entertaining myself watching THIS PLAYLIST. You might like it too if you enjoy educating yourself.

I have been learning. I have no idea the name of this lecturer but I think he is Dr. Aizaz. I like his voice, his diagrams, his “vibe” and I can actually follow the simple stuff.

Here are three of his videos I found most illuminating.

In order – March 2020, December 2020 and the last one was uploaded in January 2021

March 2020

December 2020

January 2021


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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…..

https://youtu.be/r4_UReBfOMQ

https://youtu.be/z3U0udLH974

LIVE


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LIVE!

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!

Fish https://youtu.be/F109TZt3nRc

SA birds https://youtu.be/mHbuRAhCqtA

Pandas https://youtu.be/Gm3bQVANtVo

Sheep https://youtu.be/tPdKmQyh6W8

Pigs https://youtu.be/LX3-YLM2fwg

Animals and birds Germany https://youtu.be/f7AJwlVzd1c

Critter cam, USA https://youtu.be/kLLdLn9Lpok

Bears, Transylvania https://youtu.be/2BDnAMR3GLg

Bears Alaska https://youtu.be/IcWTPFnqOLo

Polar Bears https://youtu.be/4t1xGfgDPi8

Trains Crewe https://youtu.be/pQKhS4F9sSM

Train Norway https://youtu.be/f0cGgOv3l4c

Times Sqare  https://youtu.be/eJ7ZkQ5TC08

Amsterdam https://youtu.be/m6wk49_EtPc

Nice https://youtu.be/4raY1thzIsU

Aurora (northern) https://youtu.be/CwriDd8STdI

Planet Earth https://youtu.be/EEIk7gwjgIM

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.


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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.


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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!