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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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The Boston Freedom Trail 

The trip to Boston had three main objectives.  The priority was to visit Harvard Business School which is situated just across the river in Cambridge, the second was to walk the Freedom Trail – a brick-lined route of approximately two and a half miles which visits sixteen significant sites which were the catalyst for the American Revolution - and thirdly to visit the J F Kennedy Library and Museum which is housed in a purpose-built and modern looking complex at Columbia Point, four stops south on the red line from the down-town crossing.  Keen to do some walking and still enlivened by the fact that we were in an American city that didn’t appear to be populated by the type of creature which frequented the famous Cantina bar in the Star Wars Universe (, we headed for Boston Common, a ten-minute walk north-east from the hotel and the beginning of the Freedom Trail.  There are lots of formal and organised tours of the Freedom Trail available which cost differing amount of money but, with a clear route outlined by a brick or painted red line and the whole day ahead of us we decided to explore it for ourselves with the help of a free map from Boston Common visitor centre (

Though the trail is not long – only two and a half miles – it takes quite a long time, partly because the sites are interesting and give one pause for thought, but also because it is a ‘must do’ part of visiting Boston and on a sunny Saturday morning there is a steady flow of people, maps outstretched and who stop (us included) to studiously read the various information given at regular points along the way.    The route includes meeting houses where the revolution was discussed and planned, and the church where lantern signals were left which were the code to begin a sequence of events that began the American journey to independence. Paul (national hero) Revere (presumably dragged out of bed) began his fabled 30-mile midnight ride to Lexington, thirty miles north of Boston, to tell everyone along the way “the English are coming” and to rise to arms.  History, as they say, was made.   Like our own earlier revolution in England in the middle of the seventeen century (though we call ours the ‘Civil War’) it began because of the perceived misuse of power, of increasing taxes and a lack of political representation for those who were required to pay them.  The trail ends, across the water in Charlestown on Bunker Hill (which isn’t actually Bunker Hill, that’s the name of a hill about a quarter of a mile NW but somehow the name got transferred and stuck). On this small hill, only about half a mile from the river, the American revolutionaries (patriots or rebels, depending on which side you were on) hunkered down and fought valiantly but were eventually pummelled by the British forces. I don’t believe one American was left standing.  The British won the battle, but the sheer number of British fatalities needed to overcome a relatively small number of revolutionaries gave confidence and succour to those invested in the drive for independence.  The battle for Bunker Hill was recognised not as a physical win for the new Americans, but was seen as a significant psychological win and proof that, with enough determination and self-belief, the British could be beat. The weird thing is, despite a clear desire on the part of the new Americans to sever British rule, nearly everywhere you go in the States people love you if you are British.  So square that peculiarity.

The photographs from the US trip are on the gallery.


A proper hotel, the giddiness of freedom, free food.

The high-speed catamaran out of Boston ejected a sorry-looking bunch of customers, their pallor pale from a rough crossing. As we boarded past the notice which predicted further inclement weather we noticed the crew had liberally strewn new sick bags across the tables and chairs.  Janet bought a beer.  I was impressed.

It’s a 90-minute crossing from Provincetown to Boston by sea and the boat passes very close to the location the paid trips take you to view whales.  I strapped myself to the handrail to counteract the pitching and yawing that hit beyond the harbour wall and stood at the window scanning the sea, hoping to save myself the forty bucks it would cost to do the official trip.  But I saw none, so maybe the whales picked up on the fact I was being a cheapskate.  The skyscrapers of Boston, though, appeared after about an hour as tiny pale blue notches on the distant horizon and then slowly took form.  Small craggy islands lined the way into the bay and aircraft made their final descent low over the water before dropping into Logan airport.  We hauled our kit off the boat and into a taxi and then arrived a few minutes later at the first and last proper hotel of the trip. By proper I mean there were liveried doormen, a grand reception tiled with marble and scattered with jewel coloured Persian rugs.  Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling.  A bellboy swiftly transported our bags to the room and I pushed a big tip into his hand before dropping my rucksack and falling headfirst onto the bed, drawing the smell of posh hotel sheets deep into my lungs.  I stretched out my hand and plucked the complimentary chocolate from the pillow.

The Lenox ( a smart boutique hotel in a smart part of Boston – Back Bay – full of smart looking people (I know, I know, I liked it a lot) and furnished with all the necessary touches to smooth away the pressures and stresses of travel.  There are sumptuous white towelling bathrobes with a showy golden monogram, grapefruit body lotion in the bathroom and for each night you stay, an increase in the amount of chocolates they leave when they turn down the bed (yes, they turn down the bed.  I haven’t been in a hotel that does that, well, for ages). The curtains are heavy and expensively trimmed and the air-con, when you turn it on, doesn’t sound like someone’s running a mower up and down the bedroom.  There is a cocktail bar that is so dimly lit the regulars-in-the- know bring a little torch with them to read the cocktail menu and there is a restaurant that does eggs any way you want them, with a smile.  As I said, it is a proper hotel.

And it is from this proper hotel, freshly showered and followed by a gentle waft of grapefruit scent, that we stepped out into a warm Boston evening.  Boston is how in my imagination American cities should be.  The streets are clean and wide, the restaurants full of folk looking happy and solvent, many of the buildings are modern and tall, but not overwhelmingly so.  One can see sky between the concrete.  The pedestrian crossings emit a gentle cuckoo-like sound letting you know when it is safe to cross.  The young people don’t look like they are about to draw a knife on you and I’d not felt the need to strap my bag to four separate parts of my body.  This all combines to make a lovely city in which you can stroll down wide leafy avenues lined with large solid-looking houses designed with an enthusiasm for longevity and where you can stop now and then to recline on a graffiti free bench or just to stand and admire the many public statues of eminent past Bostonians.  And that Friday evening, fresh to the city and giddy with the sense of freedom, we found a tapas bar where we could order tapas at $5 a plate.  After the cash we were required to haemorrage every time we ate on Martha’s Vineyard, it felt like free food.


We spoke too soon.....

We go back to the Red Inn for dinner after looking at a restaurant in downtown which has been recommended and which, after checking, is no competition.  The bar and most of the dinner tables at the Red Inn are full when we return and the view out across the bay has changed. The sea, a deep mulberry purple as the light fades changes to the darkest blue and then eventually disappears into the darkness.  The lights of the town can be seen arching across the horizon.  We are on the final leg of the trip and Janet and I are reflecting on how smoothly everything has gone.  Other than our delay in the sky over NY the transportation has been slick, the hotels mostly good, the weather apart from a day or two, impeccable.  The places we have visited have been diverse and interesting.  Some won't draw me back but it has been an good exercise in deciding if the US is somewhere I might like to come and teach for a bit.  We comment on the fact that, other than Janet's blisters, there have been no major issues of illness.  Thirty minutes later I am standing in the middle of the street vomiting my guts up.  

It could have been the chicken we had boxed up from our last meal in Martha's Vineyard or the oysters and shrimp we had as a late lunch.  Whatever the origin it was now gracing Bradford Street. I am mortified that I have been sick in the street (how de trop!) so I ask Janet to knock on the door of the house whose driveway has been unfortunately graced with the output.  The elderly lady who answers is remarkably equanimous and good humoured about it.  She finds us a hose which we use to flush the debris away while she stands there in her gateway, devoid of trousers or shoes, telling us about her wild younger years.  I now include Provincetown in my 'top places of the trip' list. 

In the morning I am back to normal and having packed up our bags we leave them with the girls at the guesthouse ( and venture out to get a proper look at the town, this time heading east rather than west along Commercial Street.  Once past the main part of downtown and the wharf area with shops catering for the the kind of visitor that never ventures beyond the obvious the street changes, becomes quieter and largely made up of well kept residential homes amongst which small art galleries and nice restaurants are dotted.  As if often the case, the further you get from town the nicer a place becomes.  People are friendly and pass the time of day. There are many gay couples strolling along the street arm-in-arm and, in common with what we have found before, sporting massively pampered pooches.  We pass a couple of yard sales, which, given we have time on our side, we stop and browse.

It's sunny but the wind is up so the late afternoon crossing to Boston isn't expected to be smooth. There are four more nights to go and lots to see and do in Boston including whale watching and a visit to Harvard Business School.  It's been a great trip so far but even so, I am looking forward to coming home.  


Trying not to contract Scurvy, free drinks at the Offshore Ale Co.,and Captain Jay and his 70 foot yacht.

I skip breakfast at the new guesthouse and head to Linda Jeans on the high street instead.  I need more fruit and vegetables in an effort to stave off the Type II diabetes that this American diet is likely to give me. And possible scurvy.  Linda Jeans is a small family restaurant, was doing a brisk breakfast trade, and was favoured by Bill Clinton when he popped into the island a couple of years ago. 

Later at the Offshore Ale House we are told at the door that food has stopped early due to a private party.  We  hang out at the bar anyway where the barman offers us a menu.  We tell him we've been told we are too late but he says he will slip in an order for us on the quiet.  He then tells us that the manager has told him to give us a free round of drinks as well.  No idea why.  At the bar we get chatting to Captain Jay and his first mate Chris who are sailing a 70 foot schooner from Nantucket to New York for overwintering and maintenance.  They invite us onto the boat for drinks.  It's an appealing prospect but erring on the side of caution we politely decline. In hindsight, I think we should have gone for it.

In Edgartown Janet finds a ring she likes and I in turn discover a beautiful fox fur hooded cape. Both are expensive and so we force ourselves to a take 24 hour cooling period before we buy.  Janet decides early the next morning and makes her purchase while I sit on the harbourside continuing to agonise.  In the end I capitulate too.  I am wondering why I am buying fur in 75 degree sunshine but the next morning when we get up the temperature has plummeted.  I seriously consider whether I will, in fact, need to wear it on the ferry to Cape Cod.

In the Atlantic Bar in Edgartown on our last afternoon on Martha's Vineyard we sit in the bar and watch the final race of the America's Cup.  We've seen the early heats during our stay in San Francisco and New Zealand had taken an impressive lead.  The Americans have roped in Ben Ainslie as a tactician and it pays off when they take and hold an impressive lead and go on to retain the cup.  A huge roar goes up from the clientele and staff.  We clap politely but really we were gunning for the Kiwis.

It's windy and cold as we wait for the ferry to take us to Hyannis where we will pick up a bus connection to Provincetown and then tomorrow the fast hydrofoil to Boston.  After unloading our stuff at the hotel we wander off to look around the town and discover, away from the town centre which is bustling with tourists and full of tourist tat, a lovely bar and restaurant called the Red Inn ( which at that moment is offering happy hour cocktails and special price seafood.  It's quiet as we walk into the bar but the barman seems pleased to see us. The views of the harbour and sandbanks stretching out into the distance are breathtaking. 


Sitting with knickers on my head, back door donuts.

I think, after nearly a week, that I have got a handle on Oak Bluffs and then by accident wander off the beaten track and find myself at the heart of the Camp Association Meeting Ground. As I wander, jaw slack with the quaintness of the little avenues of tiny wooden gingerbread-style houses and the open air church (the Tabernacle) at the centre I miss the traffic calming bump across the path and sprawl headfirst across the tarmac. It is the first proper outing of my first aid kit. The camp association was a small gathering of Methodists who used to meet every summer just outside Edgartown starting in the early 1800s. The  summer retreats grew, the tents got bigger, then became permanent, highly decorated and elaborate.  The occupants cultivated small gardens.  In the end the canvases were torn down and replaced with tongue and groove. Each year there would be a secret meeting-come-gathering where guests and visitors were invited.  At the height of these gatherings, known as the illumination, ten thousand people attended. Cottage city as it was then known formed a break-away group, split with Edgartown and became Oak Bluffs.  Because the Camp Assocation meeting ground is tucked away behind the row of shops which make up Main Street, it is quite possible to come to Oak Bluffs and completely miss what is really the whole spirit of the place.  

As we sat in the Lookout Tavern on Saturday having lunch the place became a veritable frenzy of day trippers and weekenders who stream off the ferries coming from the mainland.  There were folks from New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine and Philadelphia and most of them looked like they had made careful consideration to pump up a couple of car inner tubes and stuff them up their sweater before they came.  Couldn't manage the steps to the Lookout Tavern?  Had to have a special chair on the ferry?  Have a triple heart by-pass scheduled for the week after next? What the hell, lets have the double cheeseburger lunch special and follow it up with an ice-cream the size of a small child's head.  But who am I to  criticise?  I ordered deep-fried coconut shrimp and nearly fell off my chair after having two Long Island Iced Teas, which incidently, I found, contain no tea.   

We walk to Vineyard Haven which is all of three miles but which invokes the usual degree of disbelief as had our decision to walk to Edgartown, especially as we do it in the rain.  About half way there a police patrol car passes us and as it makes its slow way past, two heads swivel and take a long hard look at us. It does a u-turn at the next corner and make the same long slow pass on then other side of the road.  I wonder if we are breaking some obscure local law that dictates that any distances over one hundred meters have to be made in some kind of motorised vehicle.  In Vineyard Haven we make a detour into Carly Simon's shop Midnight Farm  ( which is filled with beautiful homeware and clothing.  It might be sale time but even with 50% off I can't afford anything.  In an effort to slow the steady slide into bankruptcy which this holiday is sending me toward (average price of an entree on Martha's Vineyard is $35, glass of wine $12), we get a tub of coleslaw and an apple from the supermarket and sit and eat it, looking out at the  harbour and waiting for the bus back to Oak Bluffs.  In the evening we stumble upon Back Door Donuts, a uniquely Martha's Vineyard phenomenon. Whilst the bakery store are cooking the next day's stock of cakes and donuts you can line up at the back door between 9pm and 1am and get a donut, or two, fresh from the fryer.  We eat them, washed down with tea, and watch the Emmys.

We take the bus to South Beach, a long beautiful quiet golden stretch of sand backed by sand dunes spiked through with long grasses, about a mile beyond Edgartown. We pass houses the size of 'Southfork'. In moving guest house I have left my sunhat behind and the sun is so strong I am forced to sit on the beach with knickers on my head instead.  My farmer's tan is highly developed and I am keen to keep the sun off my face and focus it instead on the insipid white parts that remain.   On the bus on the way to the beach, clad in shorts and t-shirt I look at the guy opposite clad  in a ski-jacket and jeans.  I think we were both wondering who had got it wrong.