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Welcome to the blog of the NeverTooLate Girl.

With the aim to try out, write about and rate the things that people say they'd like to do but haven't quite gotten around to, this website gives you the real and often humourous inside gen on whether it's really worth it.

Read about it,think about it, do it.

 The Top 20 Never Too Late List

  1. Learn to fly - RATED 4/5.
  2. Learn to shoot - RATED 4/5.
  3. Have a personal shopper day.
  4. Attend carols at Kings College Chapel on Christmas Eve - RATED 2.5/5.
  5. Have a date with a toy boy.
  6. Do a sky dive.
  7. Eat at The Ivy - RATED 4/5.
  8. Drive a Lamborgini.
  9. Climb a mountain - CURRENT CHALLENGE.
  10. Have a spa break - RATED 4.5/5.
  11. See the Northern Lights.
  12. Get a detox RATED 4/5.
  13. Read War & Peace - RATED 1/5.
  14. Go on a demonstration for something you believe in.
  15. Attend a Premier in Leicester Square.
  16. Go to Royal Ascot.
  17. Buy a Harley Davidson - RATED 5/5
  18. Study for a PhD - RATED 4/5.
  19. Visit Cuba - RATED 4/5.
  20. Be a medical volunteer overseas - RATED 3/5. 



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« Making headway; maintaining a line; dashing off. | Main | Hitting the snooze button; making contacts at Cambridge; rowing into the future. »

Worst case scenario; my bottoms too big; is this body mine?  

It looked, and felt, like I was intending to be away for week whereas, in reality, it was only going to be one night.  But being new to rowing I had planned for the worst case scenario and was packing for a capsized scull on a cold November day and an associated loss of feeling in all extremities.  So, the bags I saw before me were 1. A change of clothes for an anticipated soaking ; 2. Clothing suitable for a later foray into town to buy…..  3: A new outfit for a dinner party out in the evening.  And I had pushed the boat out (pun intended) by booking a room in a nice hotel so that I could pamper myself (aka picking bits of duck weed out of my hair and having a long hot bath to get some feeling back into my fingers) before I slipped into the new dress and high heels I fully expected to purchase. Then I would be heading out for pre-dinner drinks and supper.    

I had left the house, having loaded up the overnight bags plus my greeting card samples, proofs and laptop, plus my camera which these days goes everywhere with me, pulling out of the drive and starting the forty minute or so journey to the rowing club.  Turning up the heater in the car to try and dispel the early morning chill, I thought about the next few hours.  I’d signed up to the rowing course partly to try a sport I had been interested in for some time and also as something to motivate me to greater levels of fitness.  I’d never been in a scull before and had no idea what to expect. What I did know is that my friend had tried a similar course and, once the stabilisers were taken off the boat, had spent most of her time upside down in the water.  By week four she had given up.  I mused on this as I pulled into the car park at the rowing club.  It was just beginning to rain.   

Dodging the pointy ends of the boats I made my way through the boathouse and into the members lounge where a group of ten or so other would-be rowers were seated in a vague circle around a low table at which Pete, our coach for the next ten weeks was sat.  Introductions over, he took us into the gym and talked through his session plan for the next couple of hours.    Warmed up on the rowing machines, with a theoretical understanding of how to scull and with some on –land practice we were let loose on the water.  I was hopeless.

Sculling (because that is what it’s called when you are in a very narrow boat which is only just big enough for your bottom to fit into, have two blades, and you are all by yourself) for the first time is a bit like regressing back to the point where, as a baby, you are learning what your arms and legs are meant for. You are kind of aware that you have them, you instinctively know that they are meant to be useful, but, for the love of God, you can’t get them to do what you want. 

Lessons from the rowing course week 1:

a. Your bottom only just fits in the boat.

b. If the stabilisers were not on, you know, beyond doubt, you would be upside down with your head gently grazing the bottom of the rowing lake and a somewhat surprised look on your face.

c. You are somehow magnetically drawn to every other novice boat on the water and you all end up clustered together in a little group which none of you then can escape from.

d. If you don’t hit the other boats then you hit the shoreline and can’t get away from that either.

e. The stroke you think will take you forward takes you backwards.

f. The stroke you think will take your backwards takes you forward.  

g. Going around corners is hard.

h. Getting out of the scull without falling in the water involves crawling on your hands and knees and is even more undignified than getting into it.

i. The coaches try their best not to laugh.

The next morning, with the effects of the dinner-party wine beginning to wear off, my body creaks in protest as I throw back the covers and lever myself out of bed.  I sigh deeply.

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