The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

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Life saving dog

Yesterday, Bass and I went for a long walk through the wood.

He was lucky enough to hunt a group of more than three (that I could see) beautiful floppy eared bunny rabbits trying to cross our path. And one small grey squirrel which disappeared up a tree.

He was in a hunting mood when we returned.

I flopped into my chair to prepare to eat my lunch and watch TV, when all of a sudden, Bass leapt on me. Hunting, hunting, scrabbling at my clothes and shoulder. Pouncing and jumping, alert, determined.

I was unnerved.

Had the dog gone mad?

He was especially hunting my shoulder, arm and sleeve. So as soon as I could restrain him, I looked down my sleeve. I got a heck of a fright. Something large and orange was running up my arm and it spilled itself out of my cuff onto my lap.

I screamed, Bass went into attack mode and Mr Furlong came running. I was convinced I had somehow got a massive spider in my clothes, and that when it had stopped running around my lap, it would spread it’s legs to become something from a horror movie.

But it remained furry, orange and round and turned out to be a very distressed bumble bee.

Mr Furlong decanted it in the garden much to Bass’s disappointment and my relief.

So the question remains, how did Bass know I had a bumble bee deep inside my clothes?

I think the answer is he heard it bumbling on a frequency range that we could not.

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We washed the car

In our area of England there has been a drought. My friend who lives in a house getting water from the stream, has ended up with no water yet again, and my farmer friend has a dry river to offer her cows and horses. The river through the town has wide white beaches now and wonderful pebble crossings.

It’s been hot and dry.

We need rain.


don’t worry everybody.

We washed the car this morning. It’s drizzling this afternoon.

Perhaps we should charge a fee.


We had a bird….

I’m pretty peeved.

We have had few birds in our garden this Spring, even though we have provided huite cuisine and five star restaurants.

But I noticed the other day, that we’ve had one in our front garden.

You always get some one who will not enjoy our high class facilities at the back. Whoever it was, I didn’t see it, but he is now persona non gratia.

He must have spent a fun time eating all the buds on our rose bushes!


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Tulip petals and dogs

On our walk today, I was on a poo watch.

The reasons were twofold.

We have changed Bass’s food and (two) he’s been wanting to eat grass.

So I thought to check how he was going on the poo front.

I am pleased to report, his poo looks good and healthy, (and so does he) except for the two tulip petals I found in it.

Outside our back door, a few days ago, I placed a vase of tulips that I’ve been meaning to chuck into our green garden waste bin. They are a very unique colour. And I found two petals in the poo.

Did you know dogs eat tulips?

Well, they do!

In fact, I have discovered that almost every flower on THIS LIST of toxic flowers, grows in OUR garden…..

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Bitten by the post box

I’ve been delivering local council election leaflets.

Peoples’ post boxes and front doors are fascinating. There are friendly ones, relaxed ones, magical ones, humorous ones, scruffy ones, neatly painted ones. There are things often placed next to or on the doorstep.

I have met dragons, fairies, crystals, rocks, flower pots, Teddy bear statues, dogs, cats, giraffes and of course Gnomes!

The post boxes on the doors have similar characteristics to the vibes you pick up from the front doors.

Beware the front door that’s clinically clean, who’s front doorstep has no friendly indication except, possibly, a thorny, cosmetic palm, newly placed there in an expensive blue glazed Ikea pot.

Beware the cosmetic door in the analy neat grounds, of a Garden and Home house. Those doors have vicious gold plated post boxes. They are specially designed to be tight, mean and impossible to put mail through.

And if you do, they BITE!



Oh the sunshine!

Busy, busy basking.



Excursions on the bus.

Home along the river.

Swans and ducks, and even birds in our garden.

Walks through the wood and working in the garden with new dog Bass sunning himself on the garden table. He loves the sun. And his coat gleams.

We’ve all been basking in the sunshine.

But tomorrow the rain is coming back.

I believe.

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Feeling good about yourself

I wake up every day planning the walk I’m going to do with our dog Bass. In my old age, I have finally come to realise that excercise is indeed essential to keeping away nasties like general decomposition found in old age. I really do feel better. I sleep better. I have a more comfortable body in many ways when I’ve done my mile and a bit (ish) every day.

So I’ve recovered from my fall. I’m upping my walk to a bit longer daily if I can. I plan our walks with Google maps so I know where I’m going and how to get home. But now I have a pedometer to encourage me.

Other than that, the walk, I’m not planning anything much for my day. I house work when something looks grubby. I eat when I’m hungry. I stay in bed till eleven daily, but wake up early and meditate for a while. My bed is also my office. I garden sometimes when the spirit moves me. I rarely bath, but shower. And I hardly ever ‘go out’.

The only things I absolutely do daily after my little contemplation-time, is to put on my makeup, dress and walk the dog. That makes me feel gratefully good.

Today, I found someone else’s suggestions as to what to do to make yourself feel good. Here is the list – for some rather more inspiring ideas….

  1. Meditate
  2. Practice Yoga
  3. Declutter your closet
  4. Write a list of things you love about yourself. 
  5. Practice Gratitude
  6. Watch the sunrise/sunset
  7. Practice positive affirmations 
  8. Walk in nature 
  9. Stargaze
  10. Exfoliate and moisture your skin
  11. Visit a cafe (alone or with a friend)
  12. Go to the movies
  13. Make a smoothie or juice
  14. Go to the gym or a fitness class
  15. Bake a cake
  16. Write poetry
  17. Do a digital detox
  18. Visit a Spa
  19. Read a Book
  20. Make a positive playlist
  21. Create Art
  22. Have a bath
  23. Do a face mask
  24. Create a pinterest board of self love quotes
  25. Try on outfits that make you feel good about yourself
  26. Create a self care habit tracker

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My new medal! Dog poo

Mr Furlong has awarded me a medal.

It’s a picking up dog poo medal.

My recent disadvantaged condition of having a sprained left ankle and a sprained right knee has cut my dog poo picking up activities to a minimum.

I have picked up dog poo from our various gardens for forty three years. I’ve been the ONLY poo picker in the Furlong family. I must have picked up thousands of kilos of dog poo in forty three years for we have always had dogs, or several at one time.

Recently Mr Furlong has had to take my place. He has suddenly realised what a soul destroying activity poo picking is. How the beauty of the flowers, dissipate from view as one’s eyes pivot around searching for a pile of something that is not floral; how ideas of dog starving come to mind; or training dogs like Racoons do, to use the actual loo.

Anyway, I am very pleased to announce that in recognition of forty three years of poo picking, Mr Furlong thanked me very sweetly the other day, and promised to award me a Poo Picker Supreme Medal.


Enlightenment – dogs

The new dog Bass’s uncle, Bobby-the-now-dead-dog, was enlightened in many ways. He would sit outside and meditate in the garden daily, contemplating deep and serious subjects. He was SHARP.

He was a serious dog. He learned all his tricks almost in the first session. “Sleep” meant he lay down with his face against the carpet. I think I only pushed his head down twice to indicate what I wanted him to do. The same applied to all his other tricks. He learned quickly. He got it. Sharp, sharp!

He rarely barked so if he barked, we paid attention.

What made him so unpleasant was the way he habitually attacked any other dog he met. I hated the walks.

Then with Bass, we have had a reversed situation. Walks are a dream, people coming to our house, a nightmare and it’s taken four months of daily training to get him to lie down on the carpet on “down!”


I think enlightenment is occurring!

All of a sudden, he is barking less, he’s not leaping on visitors and yesterday, he wasn’t even on his training lead! He was free. And sweet!

What has happened?

I think Bass is a superficial dog, no meditative moments; not keen on the garden; he’s not a serious fella. He’s a party, party, people loving chap, and learning and training is a drag. I recognise the symptoms that I saw in some boys in my classes. But even they managed to pass their exams at the end of a year of just mucking about.

Bass has had some kind of penny-drop. He’s realised something in that little brain. He’s on his way to enlightenment.

I think our lives are going to improve. Well done Bass. What a good boy!


Sickness from Ivy

The posts on my blog that have had the most traffic and even appeared on other people’s blogs, are the ones about becoming sick when working with Ivy.

So I am summarising them here – by date order in the hope they will continue to be useful.

Sore throat and ENGLISH Ivy pruning

English Ivy – bit amazing really

English Ivy allergy – burning throat

Am I right or am I wrong – burning throat ivy?

Ivy science – burning throat after pruning English Ivy

Taking down ivy