The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


Better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick

The internet tells me that “Better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick” is an Australian saying. How it got into use by the Furlong family, I have no idea. The Furlongs only ever had a vague connection with Australia.

But we used it nevertheless. Any complaint by the kids and here it would come. “Well it’s better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick”

Kids seem to understand that quickly don’t you think?

Other sayings which mean the same thing are –

“It’s better than a slap in the face with a wet fish.”


“It’s better than a kick up the arse with a frozen foot.”


” It’s better than a slap on the belly with a wet lettuce.”


“Its better than sleeping with a dead policeman.”

Wet fishes, frozen feet, lettuces and dead policemen were not part of our children’s life experiences, but poking was something warned about regularly. Poking is dangerous. Poking happens when you run around holding a sharp thing, or you run INTO your brother or sister holding a sharp thing, or you simply jab yourself with a sharp thing.

The idea that a burnt stick might leave a crumble of ash stuck in your eye after the event is clear too. All our kids got something in the eye at one time or another. So they knew how it felt.

Everyone nowadays seems to be complaining about something or other. Covid has brought out whiners and moaners. They are everywhere. If you said to them “it’s better than getting Covid”, they would still complain.


If you said “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick”, they might understand. Even a kid can understand that!

Just about everything is better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick – everything.


We never talk about this thing – missing children

When our children were the perfect age for kidnapping, and blonde and light eyed too, these Furlongs never let them out of our sight!  Continue reading

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A new old word for modern parents

I have thought of a solution to reduce the stress that modern parents do NOT show when their small children are trashing the shop, shrieking around tables in a restaurant, hurtling down the street like uncivilised savages. Continue reading

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Trouble in Bethlehem

There was trouble in Bethlehem when a sheep suddenly kidnapped Baby Jesus and Joseph and a Shepherd had to use some force on the kidnapper…. Continue reading

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The carcass, skin, bones and giblets of chicken could be good food as our ancestors knew. Good food that we throw away. Continue reading

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Toy story three

Oh. I’m exhausted with the stress of watching Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends escape being crushed, run over, burned in a furnace and otherwise survive till the moment of death overcomes them. And then miraculously rescued. Continue reading

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For parents and grandparents.

This is an Australian video – a spoof on the TV stories that used to be read to children on National Television – from the parent perspective. It is NOT for children, it’s about children.  Continue reading

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This world is such a fascinating place

This morning, I picked up a video off Reddit that intrigued me. I wandered down the puppet path, interested to find out who Barnaby Dixon was, who made it.

Well, turns out he’s British and? living at home with his parents, like so many young people today.  Continue reading


What the hell is THIS – Education?

I know I’m old-fashioned. I was a teacher all my life. A TEACHER, NOT A ‘FACILITATOR’! 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