The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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!

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Fairy stories for humans

We live in an age of fairy stories. Mostly, they are versions of “Chicken Likken”


characters called Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Hen-Len, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Ducky Daddles, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Goosey Poosey, Gander Lander, Turkey Lurkey


all run about squawking and spreading fear.

It’s all the same stuff. “The sky will fall after Brexit” “The sky will fall if we don’t get Brexit” “The sky will fall according to Extinction Rebellion” “The sky will fall if you breathe one molecule of second hand smoke” “Trump is making the sky fall” “The sky will fall if you eat bacon or fat or sugar” “Boris Johnson is making the sky fall” “The sky will fall…..” “The sky will fall…..”

Many of the real fairy tales have different endings, so people can choose which one they want. I like the one where the silly hysterical creatures are ALL eaten by the Fox!

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More Emoji stuff – smoking

In the early days of emojis there was no emoji representing a cigarette. I know because I smoked! 🚬

But now, probably because smoking will never be eradicated by the anti smoking totalitarians, we have Smoking Emojis.

How nice!

And plenty more!

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Vaping Science

I have been vaping since 2011.

Before that I smoked for fifty years. Continue reading


On the stupidity of man – a thought

The same wealthy friend of my mother’s – the one that gave me the Balmain dress, and in whose house I stole and lit up my first cigarette, ended up lonely and sick. Continue reading

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Fires in the Sahara

We have just finished watching Michael Palin’s SaharaContinue reading

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I forgot to mention Poppies

I should have added

  • Poppies

To my list.

I forgot. Continue reading


A different place, a different time

These old Furlongs grew up and lived, loved, and worked in a different place, at a different time.

I write several blogs because

But today, I will write, here, about why the old Furlongs are made of different stuff.

We are not ‘victims’ – never have been. We grew up in Africa, where there are REAL victims.

We experienced real stuff. Ugly stuff. Our ideas about life are different from most other people’s.

In the UK, people have it really good, whatever their colour, religion, gender, political leanings. OK, some things could and should be improved, but compared to real stuff in other countries – life is good here.

The west is going soft in the head. Victimhood is the IN. Every day someone finds another injustice to whine about.

Now, we’ve REALLY gone potty.

Robert Mugabe has been made the All-Africa Representative for the World Health Organisation’s ‘Smokefree’ initiative.

For God’s sake! What ARE people thinking! Robert Mugabe!

On his rise to power, he had a little trick to get voters.

Unless you voted FOR him, you’d get a hot coal pushed down your throat.



Imagine having a burning coal from your own fire/village fire,  shoved down your throat, as you were pinned down by Mugabe thugs, because you were not a supporter.

Mugabe mustered up thousands and thousands of recanted supporters that way. You just have to do that once in one village, and the whole village is converted. But there are many, many villages in Africa, as you go about on your political campaign.

The deaths must have been terrible. Savage.

Do you think Mugabe gives a fuck about ‘Smokefree’ or ‘healthy’ Africa?

Mugabe’s role will be to encourage policies aimed at reducing peoples’ exposure to the main risk factors – tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.

Mugabe: WHO Role Model Of The Month



I have just finished my last bottle of Hazelnut flavouring for vaping with. Continue reading


Why I like men/cigarettes/pipes/cigars and snooker

My mother told us stories about my father and her going to America for a year in 1946 aboard a war time troop carrier. It was an uncomfortable experience, evidently. And coming back was equally entertaining. Continue reading