The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.



Mr Furlong and I brought up five children.

I don’t know how we did it.

They all turned out OK.

Our grandchildren range from thirty something to three something.

I know the older ones are alive because we occasionally chat on WhatsApp.

I know the young grandchildren are alive because they physically come to visit us.

Everytime they do, I realise how amazing Mr Furlong and I are. We brought up five children altogether all at once!

We cannot fathom how we managed.

But if there is something perculiar about us, that’s what did it.

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Conversation stopper

Oh, there was a question in the Primary school English exams that we dreaded and yet practiced regularly.

“Write a letter to your Aunt (friend/uncle/grandmother/grandfather etc etc) telling them about your recent holiday.”

Kids learned to write a letter and talk shit 🤐. edit (make conversation)

Nowadays, there is no art of conversation. Ive got it. And I see the art of conversation in plenty of other people, but its missing in some young people I hear. And texting is not making it better.

I should think fewer children in school have been taught to talk shit🤐. edit (make conversation). I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. The art of making conversation with another person, even if its pointless, seems to have morphed in smiley faces, hearts, and emoticons of all kinds.

Emoticons let you off the hook from talking shit.🤐 edit (make conversation)

Emoticons are nice. I like them. I use them a lot myself. They are quicker and better than any essay.

But for grandparents trying to extract a piece of information from a grandchild, sometimes the  “Dear Aunt Sally” method it better.


Message. (On WhatsApp)

Well done Bradley!  I heard the news!  You passed! (Bells, lucky clover, clapping, smiley face etc)


Now you have finished your exams, what are you thinking of doing? 

I dunno.

Are you having a gap year?

I might.

I see you got good marks for (history/geography/ math/whatever). That’s  great, yes?


Where are you going now on your holiday?

I dunno.

Do you ever think of going overseas? Travel maybe? Visit another country?

No money.

How is Serena? (the girlfriend)


Are you still riding your buzzbike?


Why not? (explanation HAS to follow of more than one word)

It broke

Oh dear, sorry. (Sad face emoticon)

What happenned?

I crashed.

Oh no! (Crying face, shocked face, worried face)

Are you all right?


So glad you are OK. Have you any news? (Big red question mark)

No, not really.

Well, keep in touch…..(big red pulsating heart)

Bye (Waving hand emoticon…..)

People can be terrifying, laborious and exhausting conversationalists if they never learned to talk shit. (edit)🤐 (make conversation sorry, )


So much of a good thing, grandchildren

We’ve just had two of our grandchildren for a stay over.

It was good.

Bass LOVES it. He was so exhausted, he went to bed early.

This time, having complained before about the business of grandchildren being consumed by their tablets, computers and self focus, we had a good time doing more old fashioned things.

Their great granny and great great granny, were authors. So we dug out all their books and made a pile in the passage. And talked stories. We laughed at funny photos. We learned a song. We read a book. They read to me. We practised best manners at meals.

And no one was allowed to shout. Or romp.

“Romping always ends in tears.” Well that’s what MY granny used to say.

My granny had a huge influence on me. I spent many wonderful times with her. And we lived with my grandparents for quite a few years.

Often, after the grandchildren have stayed over, I feel we’re not very important. We’ve not done anything memorable. We’ve not transmitted anything useful.

But this time, it was good.

Singing, reading, not shouting, eating with good manners and knowing where you came from, and how to behave well, are important things that Grandparents can do better sometimes, than parents!


Skinny Marinky I LOVE you, no time!

We recently had a sleepover for three girl grandchildren.

It was busy. Busy, busy, busy.

There seemed to be no time to play with my shell collection. Nor my rocks and stone collection. Or look at things through my special geological microscope. Or colour in, or draw. Or just sit and talk. Or listen to stories about past times, memories or family history.

Our grandchildren are nurtured by the TV and computer games. Busy, busy, busy.


You’ve got to be joking…

This is a feelgood song – especially for YOU.


The baby Furlong

The baby Furlong is doing something. Not sure what.

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Like White

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