The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

Leave a comment

The bog people

Not only are we troglodytes living in our electrically lit cave, because it’s been so gloomy lately, but we are turning into bog people too.

I have to take my walks on pavements and tarred areas because the wood and the old ice rink field where Bass, the dog, can run free, have turned into mud traps.

Yesterday was a bright, dry day. I thought today we might try a wood walk. But no. It’s thumping rain again in the night.

Many years ago, when the UK renamed this area “Cumbria”, I happened to be in England, though I lived in Africa. The press was full of “Cumbria” this and “Cumbria” that. I asked a man “Where is this place “Cumbria””?

He said, “Well, if you just drive around and you see a big layer of clouds, go underneath them, and you have arrived in Cumbria!”

Joking? No! This is not the Lake District for nothing.

Rain makes lakes.

But first it makes bogs…..

Leave a comment

Fresh air

Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth on steep slopes and hills to keep the old legs moving and the energy peaking.

It increases the intake of oxygen,

they say.

Depends on the exhaust emissions, I say.

Away from the main road, I breathe as suggested.

But when you consider we are breathing in

  • Nitrogen — 78 percent.
  • Oxygen — 21 percent.
  • Argon — 0.93 percent.
  • Carbon dioxide — 0.04 percent.
  • Trace amounts of neon, helium, methane, krypton and hydrogen, as well as water vapor.

its amazing we are alive at all. Where does all the nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, krypton and hydrogen, go inside our lungs? How do we use these gasses?

I’m sure they can’t be good for you!

Especially when they are mixed with carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene and soot…….from the main road I walk along every day.

1 Comment

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…..

1 Comment

Fairy stories for dogs

A while back, Bass-the-dog and I met The Pie Piper.

Today, we met him again. Only this time, the man was throwing the pie packaging into the bin and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

The Pie Piper is a scary looking fellow. He had a checked lumberjack shirt on and the same big boots. Bass loves him. But obviously we met at the end of his meal and there were no crumbs for Bass.

But wait!

All the way along the path home Bass was eating flakes of pastry, crusts and tidbits that had fallen on the Pie Piper’s walk to the bin.

The Pie Piper is a messy eater, obviously.

I think today he’d swapped fairy tales and was Hansel from Hansel and Gretel.


Once upon a time

Once upon a time I used to write a post every day on this blog.

Once upon a time.

There is an old lady who may,

Walk a mile and a half every day.

With her dog she completes

Such amazing feats,

Yet she can’t write a post every day.

It’s blackberry season. I’m loving all the free fruit. Wild blackberries are so much more delicious than the large frozen kind you buy in a bag in a supermarket don’t you think?

Leave a comment

Bunnies, pheasants and geriatrics

I met a frail old lady on my forest walk. She clipped her very ancient loose West Highland White on a lead as I approached with Bass. Bass is mostly on an extension lead.

She said “Oh, I always let my dog off the lead in this wood. There are no rabbits or other wildlife here he can chase.” We had a nice chat.

So, as we parted, I let Bass off his lead with some trepidation in case he disappeared into the great unknown. But knowing there were no rabbits nor wildlife in the wood, made me brave. Bass just trotted along beside me as normal. So after a while, I put him back on the lead.

Thank goodness I did.

Very shortly thereafter, a bunny hopped across our path followed by a pheasant. Bass went into overdrive and I had to yell “Leave!” and get him under control. It was somewhat stressful for us all.

It occurred to me that the frail old dog belonging to the frail old lady might not have had the energy to notice any wildlife. And that maybe the frail old lady should have gone to spec savers….


Pedometer math

I bought a pedometer.

It has taken me quite a while to figure out how to set it up. But I have done it.


today I walked Bass-the-dog through the wood from my front door. I walked EXACTLY half a mile.

Then I turned around and walked home to the very same spot we started from.

My math-brain tells me a half a mile and a half a mile equals one mile. Well it did in my youth.

But my pedometer said I had walked only 0.95 of a mile.

I think it lies.

1 Comment

Feeling good about yourself

I wake up every day planning the walk I’m going to do with our dog Bass. In my old age, I have finally come to realise that excercise is indeed essential to keeping away nasties like general decomposition found in old age. I really do feel better. I sleep better. I have a more comfortable body in many ways when I’ve done my mile and a bit (ish) every day.

So I’ve recovered from my fall. I’m upping my walk to a bit longer daily if I can. I plan our walks with Google maps so I know where I’m going and how to get home. But now I have a pedometer to encourage me.

Other than that, the walk, I’m not planning anything much for my day. I house work when something looks grubby. I eat when I’m hungry. I stay in bed till eleven daily, but wake up early and meditate for a while. My bed is also my office. I garden sometimes when the spirit moves me. I rarely bath, but shower. And I hardly ever ‘go out’.

The only things I absolutely do daily after my little contemplation-time, is to put on my makeup, dress and walk the dog. That makes me feel gratefully good.

Today, I found someone else’s suggestions as to what to do to make yourself feel good. Here is the list – for some rather more inspiring ideas….

  1. Meditate
  2. Practice Yoga
  3. Declutter your closet
  4. Write a list of things you love about yourself. 
  5. Practice Gratitude
  6. Watch the sunrise/sunset
  7. Practice positive affirmations 
  8. Walk in nature 
  9. Stargaze
  10. Exfoliate and moisture your skin
  11. Visit a cafe (alone or with a friend)
  12. Go to the movies
  13. Make a smoothie or juice
  14. Go to the gym or a fitness class
  15. Bake a cake
  16. Write poetry
  17. Do a digital detox
  18. Visit a Spa
  19. Read a Book
  20. Make a positive playlist
  21. Create Art
  22. Have a bath
  23. Do a face mask
  24. Create a pinterest board of self love quotes
  25. Try on outfits that make you feel good about yourself
  26. Create a self care habit tracker


Courage to do something new

This is the beginning of the educational year in the UK. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Dog alarm dammit

The Furlong dog is mighty intelligent. I know everyone says that about their dogs and if they do, I believe them. We have experience. Continue reading