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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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Hitting the snooze button; making contacts at Cambridge; rowing into the future. 

I am reminded what normal life is like for many people as I’m reluctantly awoken to the sound of the alarm at 05:45 on a Monday morning.  I lie there in the dark, cocooned in the warmth of the duvet, calculating to the minute how long I can stay there ignoring the repetitive trilling of my iphone as I repeatedly hit the snooze button.  I need to make the shower, wash and dry my hair and stuff a piece of toast into my face and be away by 06:30.  The drive down to the West Country is long but uneventful and it’s a long time since I’ve been on the road early enough to see the sunrise. I arrive for my meeting in Bristol at 10:15 and during introductions hope the desire for a caffeine hit isn’t written too obviously across my face.  Back home at 21:20 having detoured via the TSB HQ in Swindon to meet some of the innovation team I make a sandwich and sink into the sofa.  The house, without Monty the cat who died last week, feels even more silent than usual.

Another busy and productive week has passed.  A lecture run by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge Judge Business School is interesting and at the networking event afterwards busy and fun.  I talk to a variety of people both in the capacity of entrepreneur and research associate. I am asked if I would consider mentoring start-up companies set up by students at the business school. Two people ask for my resumé.  I seem to be spending more time in Cambridge both professionally and socially and later, as I walk down Trumpington Street after a glass of wine at the Hotel du Vin, I feel more and more drawn to make the move there. 

I am waiting to hear from the card company following the submission of my photographs (it’s only been two days) but it doesn’t trouble me too much as the NeverTooLate brand is starting to take firmer shape in my mind.  I am rewriting some of the blog into chapters that are suitable for book publication and today between projects I spent a little while browsing the web for agents who were looking for submissions and who might be interested in my kind of writing.  Companies like Random House won’t accept manuscripts directly so an agent (unless one wants to self-publish) is a prerequisite.  The idea to link the images in the greeting card range to the NeverTooLate Adventures on the website and then to a series of books which provide details, guidance and advice for people to replicate the experience themselves is, I think, unique in the market place.    

On the Everest side things have been slower this week and I still haven’t finished drafting a proposal to Loughborough University School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science.  I begin a rowing course this Saturday which will get me properly fit again.  I checked the weather report and Saturday weather isn’t forecast to be quite as grim as it has been in the last couple of weeks.  All the same, I intend to swathe myself in waterproof layers. I am already imagining freezing cold water trickling down my neck.


Photos, film, and food in the fridge

Sometimes in life things can move very quickly.  Sunday evening only a week ago after chatting to a photographer in Wells in Norfolk, I decided that some of my photographs, taken over the last four years, were every bit as good as those he was selling.  I’d stepped into the shop which I remembered from a previous visit to Wells to escape the driving rain and found myself sifting through his work, lifting up a shot now and then, and finally falling into conversation with him about the settings he has used to take the shots and how he had adjusted the images to give them extra impact.  Like every photographer who meets a fellow enthusiast, he was pleased to be able to talk about contrast and colour saturation and definition and stops.  I had left, with a couple of postcards in my hand and an idea in my head.  Now, seven days on, I have the proofs of my own edited range of photos ready to send to the UK’s largest greeting card producer.  You can find the shortlist on the gallery tab.

Life is progressing and all the hard work over the last few years is beginning to pay off.  I have a contract with a government agency as an innovation consultant.  There is a project at Cambridge Judge Business School which it has been suggested I apply for.  If I win the work it will mean I can make the long awaited house move to Cambridge.  There is also a very interesting knowledge transfer role at CERN which I am debating about applying for too.  CERN is a very handy hour or so from Chamonix which is where the company that will take me up Everest is based.  On the Everest attempt front I have been put in touch with a filmmaker who is happy to chat about how to record on film a record of my training and the record attempt itself.  Another contact has told me who to speak to at Loughborough University School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science about being used as a research subject.    On the down side WBS said no to being a sponsor.  Oh well.  It’s one small set back in a very large plan.


And the postcard and greeting card shortlist.....

A shortlist of the images to be used in the first print run of the postcard and greeting card range is on the gallery.  All proceeds will go towards the Everest expedition.


And a Norfolk weekend....

See the gallery for the images taken on a long weekend in Norfolk, England in October 2013.


A study in tenacity; too many zeros.

I saw the PhD as a measure of one’s intellectual pain threshold.  And, as I sat with my pal (Dr.) Ruthie in Zizzi recently, we both agreed it was a study in tenacity.  It takes bloody-minded stubbornness and strength of character to sit at one’s desk day after day, hour after hour, writing and rewriting.  I see Everest as a similar test of endurance. Except with Everest it is a measure of one’s physical pain threshold.  Both of them, though, are a test of one’s psychological determination and individuality.

People ask me why I am bothered about climbing Everest and I can give them any number of answers.  It provides a focus for life so that the months and years do not drift by without any tangible evidence of achievement or success.  A great plan like Everest or a PhD has to be carefully thought through and so creates purpose and structure and meaning to one’s existence.  The challenge and excitement and the personal satisfaction that comes from succeeding in something that, relatively, so few other people have done builds personal confidence and pushes one on to even better and greater things.

In some ways Everest already seems harder.  With the PhD my MBA research was noticed and the funding for three more years study established in a reasonably straight forward manner.  As such, there was no need for me to raise study funds of my own and I thank Warwick Business School, Aston Business School and NESTA for all their contributions.  But for Everest the fund-raising needs to be done from scratch.  £70,000 has more zeros than I would like.