The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.



This is just my personal opinion, but I’ve always found it strange that someone would arrange their own funeral.

I was under the impression that a funeral was something your friends and relatives put on for themselves, to remenber you with. Or a wake to have a party.

Why plan your own funeral?

It puts a huge responsibility on other people to organise the readings, the music, the vicar, the venue, the guests, the seating, the tea party, or whatever YOU thought appropriate for yourself.

It’s something the family and friends ( if you have any) give to you, not something you give to them.

Someone in our family has planned their own funeral down to the last tiny detail. I hope to snuff it first so I don’t have to follow all the instructions!

The Furlongs in general follow no religion. There were never any instructions to us from those who have gone before. As our predecesors passed over to the next dimension, we had a good party after their cremations, and played the music that reminded US of THEM. We scattered their ashes in natural places we thought befitting, like the sea, or a mountain. And thanked them for sharing their lives with us.

I have ‘planned’ my own funeral in the same traditional way. The instructions say ” Have a party. My favourite music is in my library on Spottify. Do not grieve. We had the best adventure! We shall meet again.”

There is no death, only transition of consciousness. The idea that death is the end is the biggest hoax of all time.

Attending your own funeral as you might, then, would be far more delightful if you watched what other people were offering you spontaneously with love, than watching what you offered them under instruction from yourself bound by your own ego!


The usefulness of experience

The other morning, whilst I was cosy in bed, Jeeves, our friendly robot vacumn cleaner arrived in the doorway looking very happy with himself. Jeeves always looks happy for some reason. And I think he likes me. He came to my room first, even though, the day before, by accident, I had cruelly turned his on off switch to OFF. That was a mistake.

Jeeves makes a map in his little roboting brain of the house he is cleaning. So I had wiped his memory. Nevertheless, he found my bedroom doorway where I was happily checking emails and watching videos in bed.

He trundled in enthusiastically. Too enthusiastically. He raced around banging into everything. Jeeves is usually discreet so the banging and crashing was a bit off putting. I wondered if he was faulty in some way. He made a circuit ending up back at the doorway where he hesitated, turned, and re entered the room.

This time, he did a perfect circuit, quiety, discreetly and efficiently.

I realised I had watched my friend “learning” from experience.

He had rewritten his ‘room map’.

I thought about that. We try to pass on our personal ‘room maps’ to other people, our children, our friends. But the best kind of experience is that which you get yourself.

By bumping into things.


Sahara memory

The Furlongs watched Michael Palin’s Sahara last night on TV. I have a Sahara memory of my own….

I have loved every cigarette I ever smoked. But one comes to mind that was so memorable.

I was on a plane when smoking had just been banned on long haul flights but they were still using fresh air on planes. In the middle of the night, on a quiet plane, I woke to find I could smell the faint whiff of cigarette smoke. So I got up and followed it to the back of the plane where staff were sitting chatting in a curtained off section, a small staff room, smoking.

One of them offered me a cigarette and I smoked it. But that is not what made the situation magical, although I felt hugely blessed as smokers do when they have a cigarette after hours of denial. What was stunning is that we were flying very low to conserve fuel and take advantage of air currents over the Saharan desert.

Down in the dark, were not electric lights, but little fires sparkling in clusters where people were camped, or where there were small settlements. It was stunningly beautiful to my eyes.

Lonely, secret, and beautiful while everyone else was sleeping through it on the plane. I felt hugely priviledged.

And the cigarette tasted great too!


Contemplation on a tricky situation in football

The Furlongs have been to Goa. It’s a fascinating part of India. There are many cow situations in India because cows are sacred animals, never to be harmed. They have precedence everywhere you go.

Goa is colourful, vibrant and loud. And dirty. There you feel pulled into real life without cosmetic artiface.

This video gave me a thoughtful moment about diplomacy. How do you deal with soccer practice when the sacred cow is in charge of the game?

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Beauty is in the eyes

I’ve noticed a lot of TV people, and celebrities have dead eyes. To me, a person can be perfect face-wise, but they are not “beautiful” unless there is light in their eyes.

Conversely a person can be plain, or even ugly, but beautiful by the light in their eyes.

I am often struck by the beauty of the light in Mr Furlong’s eyes, and our new grandchild is going to slay many hearts by the light in his eyes. I hope nothing takes the light away.

Children often carry the light, but lose it later. I don’t know what curtain falls over people’s eyes, but somehow it covers the light or the light withdraws…

What do I mean by the light?

Here is June Brown. She is ninety two and she’s beautiful to me.

June Brown


Meditation for today – maybe

This Furlong has always loved Alan Watts. I was astonished recently when the BBC broadcast a radio discussion and the people on the panel had never heard of Alan Watts! Which shows how superficial and ignorant the BBC cultural offerings are. Continue reading

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Wipe out mystery

The day we left for our hols, the heatwave started. It’s not over yet.

No rain.



Day after day ….

Continue reading

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My potpourri

I make potpourri from the flowers in my garden.

I never waste a flower. If it will dry.  Continue reading

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Thoughts on Alfie Evans

There is no grey matter in most of Alfie’s skull the doctors say. He cannot be ‘alive’, cannot function without it. They do not know the cause of his condition, and there is no cure. Continue reading

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Forgetting Easter

I think The Furlongs forgot what Easter is about – or did we ever know? Continue reading