The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

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Hey Women and men!

The Furlongs grew up and lived in a dangerous place – Africa. We were aware. We took precautions. Life balanced on the edge of our own awareness to stay safe from wild life and violence. Even so, some of us had horrible experiences that people here in the UK have never faced.

Since then, the whole world now has become a dangerous place – and gets more dangerous as we move into the future.

No one else can really protect us. We need to protect ourselves.

I want my grandchildren to know about online grooming so they do not get pulled in to such a situation. I want them to avoid online porn, or at least know that porn is not sex. I want them to know how to stay safe when they go out. I want them to grow up wise, knowing the way to be safe starts with them.

I believe the days when women and men could swan through life expecting always to be safe, is a myth, a fairy-tale. It never happened in the past – and never will!

Take care of YOURSELVES.


Why you can’t be anything you want.

In the old days, very old days, people knew their place.

Dick Whittington might have gone off to seek his fortune and become a mayor, but that was a rare thing – very rare – so rare that it became a legend.

We do a cruel thing nowadays to my mind. We tell our children they can do, and be anything they want – to dream the impossible dream.

We lie.

Let me tell you, that as a disabled person (though I have never thought of myself as such), I know there are things I cannot do. Tough shit for me. I don’t expect the rest of the world to accomodate me because it is my ‘right’.

Many years ago, I taught in Africa. I taught adults in factories, high school kids trying to get matriculation, and also a group of teenagers from the township nearby who wanted to improve their matriculation English.

They were a mottley bunch of boys, those kids. One Saturday morning, as we all sat around the table, we were discussing dreams of the future. Most of the boys had modest, achievable dreams. They wanted to be soccer stars, or train in IT, or become teachers.

In that group, there was one boy who stood out. He was very slow, mentally. He had no humour when there were jokes. He wore the thickest coke bottle bottom glasses I have ever seen and was sight disabled. But he was neatly dressed and wore an expensive watch so he must have presumably come from a good home.

When the question came round to him of what he wanted to be when he left school, he said

“I am going to become a surgeon.”

No ifs or buts, no limitations.

“I am going to become a surgeon”

“Why are you inspired to become a surgeon?” I asked noticing the boys were not sniggering, but looking at him with serious attention. The chap was deadly serious.

“My parents say I can do it. I can be anything I want. I’m going to medical school, university, to become a surgeon”

At that moment, I realised what parental cruelty is. It is telling your child that they can achieve something impossible.

What happened to that lad? I don’t know.

But I fear he was wounded emotionally by deep disappointment.

You can be anything you want to become in life, according to your life circumstances. Assessing those things is a really important step in discovering happiness.

I think.



Some years ago, on a different blog to this, I wrote a lot about abusive marriage. I did that because I watched someone gradually fade into psychosis from the effects of gas lighting by their partner. Unless you know that you are being manipulated, you have no chance. Knowledge is strength.

While I have been absent as a blogger, or halfhearted as one, I have been studying. Mr Furlong and I have been studying. We have been studying narcissism.

Turns out, we live in an age of narcissism.

Our culture is producing such people by the thousands!


We do it by teaching our children and young folk that they are special, unique, wonderful creatures who can be anything they want to be, do anything they desire.

Narcissists make very difficult relationships that abuse other people. Somewhere, in all our lives, we have been the victim of one.

10 Signs That You’re in a Relationship with a Narcissist

Be on the lookout for these, before you get manipulated.

“That’s enough of me talking about myself; let’s hear you talk about me”

― Anonymous

“It’s not easy being superior to everyone I know.”

― Anonymous

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that the narcissist is someone who has “buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.” This alternate persona to the real self often comes across as grandiose, “above others,” self-absorbed, and highly conceited. In our highly individualistic and externally driven society, mild to severe forms of narcissism are not only pervasive but often encouraged.

Read here

And explore Sam Vaknin, a real live Narcissist, whose material is fascinating.


The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

There are no birds in our garden. Einstein, the rat that cracked the code for the rat trap, is not here. The bumblebees for whom I built a nest, now ocupied by woodmice, are nesting in some other garden.

The neighbour down the road has an obsession about rats and mice and poisons them. The other day, I came upon her pruning her hedge (thank god we have no hedge) and there, on the pavement outside her garden, lay two dead, perfect, woodmice. I stopped.

“My God,” I exclaimed loudly to Mr Furlong, “these poor lovely woodmice, no, I think I said harvest mice (but they are the same thing), have obviously been POISONED by some unscrupulous person! Fancy doing that! Who here in England would poison harvest mice?”

The poisoner in question, climbed down from her ladder and loped up the road to see what my fuss was about.

“Look”, I say, “can you believe that someone around here is killing these beautiful things?” She looks.

I say, “Aren’t they lovely?” She looks again, dubiously. “We have them at our house. You can tame them, you know. And they never come into a house, they are not house mice.”

She says, animated, “But there are RATS!!!!!!along the canal!!!!! (exclamation marks continue…..)

“Oh, yes, I see them often, but they are wild creatures. By choice, they do not wish to live with US.” Our eyes meet. I can see her disbelief.

Her killings will continue. I know about her, because I am friends with her neighbours and hear about her poisons and bone snapping traps and boasts about how many creatures she killed in one night in her garden.

There are no birds in our garden. Einstein, the rat that cracked the code for the rat trap,  is not here.

I hope they are only off in the country reaping seeds and berries in this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

I hope they are not visiting the bleak garden with the neat hedge at number thirty five!


My first outing

When I was teaching in a primary school, a popular topic for writing letters was “Write to your aunt/grandma/uncle/grandpa telling them about…….”

“Dear Aunt Emily RIP,

My first outing after lockdown was pretty disappointing. I lost it.

In public.

And I was very rude to a stranger, which I regret.

What happened was this.

Mr Furlong drove me and the dog, (sorry, the dog and I) up to Asda so that I could choose a few plants for our garden which is now mostly weeds. (or should which be that?)

The dog was on a retractible lead.

I chose a trolley which (or possibly that) I spritzed well with my isopropyl alcohol 70% spray, and started off to the outdoor plant section. Somewhere deep inside the Trolley Bank, the dog found a large dried out (or dried-out) chop bone with spiky points that people call T bones. The dog was delighted, but I was horrified. It’s exactly the very bone we would never ever feed him. (Or should I have written, the very bone, rather than exactly the very bone?)

I yelled “NO”.

He dropped the bone. I kicked it out of the way. He ran after it. And I ran after it too for I’m not a good kicker at 75 (or should that be seventy five) and don’t kick that far. So I kicked the bone around for awhile, yelling all the time. Eventually the dog won the match and chomped the bone up while (or maybe whilst) I stood over him beating him over the head and yelling some more.

During this dignified performance, a man took advantage of my mental health problem, by snitching my meticulously cleaned trolley.

I’m afraid, Aunt Emily, I did not behave well.

I do not wish to tell you about it. But the man looked surprised.

Anyway, I did actually walk the dog home, and fortunately, half way home, it absolutely bucketed down with rain. (Not sure if bucketed is a word). It was fortunate, because it took my mind off things as (or should that be because) I had no raincoat or brolly with me. ( or should that be nor?)

That is all I have to say Aunt Emily RIP,

Hope to see you soon,

Your niece,



(Or perhaps the XXXX is wrong)

With love might be better?

Hope to see you soon,

With love,


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On comments to my blogs

In reply to a suggestion that comments on my Last Furlong blog are blocked, I checked all my settings.

Actually, I have checked all my blogs. All comments are allowed without being held for moderation on all of them. To stop spam, though, names and email addresses are requested.

No comments are blocked. No comments need my approval first.

In ten years of having my YouTube channel on vaping, I got one bad comment.

It said “Fuck you”.

Those were the days when someone was allowed to type the word Fuck on YouTube without it turning into **** you. Indeed, it was the days when people were actually allowed to comment!

I went onto the channel that posted that comment to see what the person was like. Turned out it was a snot nosed kid. I asked him why did he post such an uplifting comment. He was quite friendly and blamed it on his brother. But his videos’ main communication method was simply “Fuck this”and “Fuck that”.

“Fuck you” actually means nothing. “Fuck me!” Is an expression of amazement and surprise. But it’s a lazy way of expressing emotion when better words are avaliable to a person who might know any.

So please feel free to comment on my blogs. All comments are welcome.

But “Fuck you” will be challenged…


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The shithole countries or shithole people Mr Trump?


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Cowardly perpetrators

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Katie Hopkins latest speech…..

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