The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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The convergence of laziness

Yes, I am physically lazy.

Always have been.

I hate excercise.

My main focus at school was to avoid sport. It was fortunate that during my very first tennis lesson, the server slammed the ball into my eye so I could feign terror of tennis to the gym teacher, so she let me off tennis. Someone bombed me in a swimming lesson and the teacher rescued me from the bottom of the pool. I feigned pool terror. The teacher let me off swimming.

My motto has been – never run if you can walk, never walk if you can sit, and never sit if you can lie down. It has worked all my life so far.

But now there is a convergence occurring that needs attention.

The neighbour walks the dog, so I don’t anymore. He gets much better walks from her – goes miles, in fact.

The weather is crummy, rain, ice, snow – always something to do with water. They don’t have lakes all over the place here for nothing. So I’m not walking to see my sister twice a week. I drive.

I never go out otherwise.

Gardening is out. Everything is dead. The ground is iced solid.

Swimming on Thursdays has been cancelled because of Covid-19.

And the final situation is that we now have a robot vacumn cleaner. He’s wonderful! I never have to do a thing except empty his tummy when he has finished his duties. If I change his tummy for a water tank, he even mops the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Whats there to do?

I know!

Eat!

Mr Furlong is a kitchen creature. He produces great food.

Food plus laziness equals fat.

It’s simple Math.


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Waste not want not

For ten days, I have eaten everything I’ve wanted to. Mr Furlong, who is the chef in the Furlong household, has made some pretty yummy food, including Fudge and Coconut Ice. Our cupboards have been groaning with food.

The wrong kind of food.

It’s been wonderful!

But the last delivery that Mr Furlong ordered, arrived with NO stollen, top iced Christmas cake, shortbread, mince pies, chocolate, or Marzipan. He is not making Fudge or Coconut Ice.

I don’t know what I’m going to do. The end is nigh!

2021 is going to be a year of want.

But it will only begin for me when I’ve finished eating the last of the delicious things that are still left over from Christmas.

I hate waste!

I will check my blood sugar and weight when I’ve scoffed what’s left.

Happy New Year again and again, till it’s not.


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Fragrances

The Furlongs are busy.

Mr Furlong is about to make fudge for Christmas consumption. It gets packed in celophane bags with bows for gifting to our neighbours. We usually have a Christmas bash on the Saturday night before Christmas. But with lockdown that’s gone to pot. The neighbours used to get gifts of apple jelly, or marmelade, or gooseberry jam and such like, and potpourri in muslin bags from me.

I have special potpourri this year. And special bags. I just have to get them packed.

This house usually gets an extra Christmas clean for the party. But there is no party. But I’m doing it anyway. My sister is coming for Christmas dinner. She is the only person in our ‘bubble’. Her home looks like illustrations in a home and garden magazine. I never compete, it’s pointless. Our mini oven is held together by rust, our microwave is an original edition, the kitchen has old fashioned shelves where dishes, plates, vases, mugs, and junk are on display, every counter is cluttered and there is not a new item of furniture anywhere. Its a battered home. I love it because you never need to worry about mucking anything up.

During the pandemic we have forgotten to buy furniture polish. And the old bottle of amazing polish made by my friend is empty. I believe it was a ‘secret’ recipe, inherited from ancestors. It was the most incredible stuff for resurrecting battered furniture. Our Christmas will total three old people, pretty battered ourselves. Pity there wasn’t some kind of amazing furniture polish for us.

I have been ‘polishing’ our furniture with my homemade polish. It’s about the same recipe I add to the pot pourri, with more oil. I think it smells beautiful. It’s improved the old pieces standing around the place.

I asked Mr Furlong what he thought of the fragrance.

He said hesitantly “It smells like Turps?”

No, sir, it doesn’t!

Don’t expect me to rave about the aroma wafting from the kitchen when you make your fudge. I shall pretend I never noticed.


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Traffic flow on my dog walk and people helping people

I went for my usual one mile dog walk where Bass can run free.

I noticed a different flow of traffic.

People were all there. Bass met all his old friends. But everyone passing, moved to the far side of the path. The path is about three metres wide, or maybe wider.

So we all passed each other more widely, but everyone was just as friendly, just as nice.

We are in deep shit actually. We personally are just getting out of a two week quarantine because of our Furlong daughter’s Covid-19, and now we go into three months isolation because we are old.

The spirit here is amazing! We have had so many offers of others doing our shopping, helping, phoning for chats, bringing food etc, it is quite extraordinary.

Community Help Groups seem to be assembling all over the country.

We’ve had emails from banks, financial advisors etc to assist with our mortgage ( we don’t have one fortunately), the AA for free car assistance, free licences of various kinds, Heritage sites opening for free so people can exercise in wide open spaces and on and on.

Strange, fascinating, interesting and scary times! But the biggest astonishment is what people are doing for other people!


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The fat ball visitors

Shssssss! Don’t tell the dog.

On the premise that if you build it, they will come, and we want bird visitors to really like our garden and nest here in the Spring, we have put out bird seed and fat balls.

We have had visitors! But we haven’t seen them.

There is bird seed scattered on the ground in the usual bird-like fashion. But it’s the fat balls that are being demolished fastest.

Trouble is, I suspect the fat balls are being consumed, not by sweet little birdies, but by something with clever hands and bigger mouths.

I hope the dog, Bass, doesn’t discover that. He’ll be sitting outside in all weather waiting to catch the squirrel who’s trashing our fat balls.

We’ll have to dig out the anti squirrel fat ball feeder.

That seams really mean, don’t you think?


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Well trained humans

The Furlong dog has been with us for over a year now.

He is far the best dog we have ever had as regards human-training.

He is an absolutely dedicated human-trainer.

If it’s food time, it has to be the same time daily. But now we have changed the clocks, it’s still Summer time for him.

Walking time used to be eleven in the morning.

Lunch used to be at noon.

Supper used to be at four-o’clock, but now it’s at three.

Bedtime is used to be at ten, but now it’s at nine.

He gets a Kong with a bit of peanut butter in it after the last wee. He is insisting he gets it at nine now, instead of the old ten o’ clock.

And when he is in his nest (Chihuahua’s sleep in nests, did you know?) before lights out, he insists on having his teeth cleaned before the rest of us have cleaned ours or even got into our jimjams.

His servants are rebelling without much success. We are attempting to keep to new time. Winter time. But when it’s getting dark and gloomy at three, you cannot convince a dedicated human-trainer that it is not four o’clock already. We have started watching late movies on the telly to flummox our master. And going to bed/walking/ having luncheon at a different time.

Thank God Bass-the-dog is a very late sleeper, so his servants are allowed long lie-ins in the mornings…..


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What lies!

At the end of April, I wrote a sign for myself and taped it on the goodie cupboard door in the kitchen.

In that cupboard are things like peanut butter, biscuits, lemon curd and Nuttella. Also the cupboard is in the middle of that wall. Obvious. Plain to see. Noticeable.

The sign says ” Liz is on diet”.

Liz said that to herself because she has put on a few kilos and her blood sugar readings have increased this year. Mr Furlong didn’t need a sign. He is maintaining everything perfectly. And the sign was supposed to be read by the two of us, so that the thin one could emotionally support the overweight one.

The sign was supposed to be read everyday, but we don’t notice it at all. Mr Furlong still brings me treats, or suggests fiendish foods.

I’ve just weighed myself.

My weight is UP.

Since I’ve been “on diet” it’s always up, never down.

That sign is a lie!

I’m taking it down.


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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!

Drat!


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Gem Squashes

Why are Gem Squashes like jewels to find up here in Cumbria in the UK?

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Curried eggs

Today, Mr Furlong made delicious curried eggs.

Many years ago, when our children were little, I used to have a ‘special’ time alone with each one of our five children by taking them out somewhere alone with me. Continue reading