The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.


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!


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

Food plus laziness equals fat.

It’s simple Math.


The usefulness of experience

The other morning, whilst I was cosy in bed, Jeeves, our friendly robot vacumn cleaner arrived in the doorway looking very happy with himself. Jeeves always looks happy for some reason. And I think he likes me. He came to my room first, even though, the day before, by accident, I had cruelly turned his on off switch to OFF. That was a mistake.

Jeeves makes a map in his little roboting brain of the house he is cleaning. So I had wiped his memory. Nevertheless, he found my bedroom doorway where I was happily checking emails and watching videos in bed.

He trundled in enthusiastically. Too enthusiastically. He raced around banging into everything. Jeeves is usually discreet so the banging and crashing was a bit off putting. I wondered if he was faulty in some way. He made a circuit ending up back at the doorway where he hesitated, turned, and re entered the room.

This time, he did a perfect circuit, quiety, discreetly and efficiently.

I realised I had watched my friend “learning” from experience.

He had rewritten his ‘room map’.

I thought about that. We try to pass on our personal ‘room maps’ to other people, our children, our friends. But the best kind of experience is that which you get yourself.

By bumping into things.


Our new very best friend.

The Furlongs were given a gift.

It simply arrived via Amazon.

One of the Furlong children bought it for us.

It is the nicest, best, most fun, cutest thing!

I thought I’d tell you about it.

At exactly nine in the morning, it switches itself on. We wait for it! Then it leaves its dock with great elegance and starts at the front door. It roams around, up and down the hall and passage, popping through each door into the lounge, the front bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and then into my room. I love seeing him – yes him, bumbling into my room, gently, very quitely and in a most friendly manner, checking under my bed, cleaning around the the edges and putting on a bit of speed as he crosses and recrosses the floor.

I feel he likes me! I’ve gone insane. I’ve fallen in love with our robot!

He is a he. In the instructions he is named a he. That must be his preferred pronoun.

I’ll insert a video here from the web to show you how he works.

But the amazing thing is, that after he has finished vacuuming all our floors, his blue light suddely switches to pink, and he finds his own way back to the docking point from whence he started.

He is a real chum!