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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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Some observations about America.

No matter how nice the restaurant is that one chooses to eat in, there will always be a big screen TV tuned into the sports channel. Americans appear to be a lot less self-conscious than we are. I have lost the ability to order a light lunch.  These are three observations from my trip so far.  I have got used to the constant drip feed of sport and was there, along with everyone else in the bar last night, rooting for the Boston Redsocks.  But I still can't quite settle with having to be party to the ongoing narratives of one or more parties who happen to be in not-even-close proximity to my breakfast/lunch/dinner table.  Some Americans sure do have voices that CARRY.  Another observation - in the US even grannies eat burgers.  

We have found ourselves feeling very settled on the vineyard and so have decided to extend our stay by three days.  Just as we agree to do this, the sun goes in and rain clouds begin to build.  I don't mind, as after a short spell on the beach I was developing a similar patina to the lobster that Janet had for supper the day before yesterday.  I had been surprisingly sentimental, as we stood looking at the tank of creatures, about sending something knowingly to it's death and had an oatmeal biscuit instead. 

I did the five mile walk into Edgartown for the second time, this time dragging Janet along with me.  She now has even less skin on her feet. The catamaran we'd hired, although of a similar size to the boats we watched in the America's Cup in San Francisco was altogether more sluggish.  We warmed up with French Onion Soup at Kelleys pub and restaurant.  Seeing my reflection in the mirror after two hours on the boat I decided, my hair wild and unkempt from the wind, that I looked much like Mr Rochester's wife must have done the night she appeared to Jane Eyre. At the Atlantic bar in Edgartown, where there is dancing, a guy called Patrick buys us a drink and gets Janet up on the dance floor.  He is a player if ever there was one and failing to get very far with either of us, he moves on to a new prospect.  As we leave at Midnight he is in the corner, his tongue down someone's throat.  On the night bus the driver cuts all the lights and all I can see are the dark silhouettes of the other passengers, mostly young, their faces softly illuminated by the lights of their mobile phones. It's the weekend on Martha's Vineyard and as we head towards Oak Bluffs a steady stream of cars arrives from the ferry. 


Martha's Vineyard- three days in....

Three days into my stay on Martha's Vineyard I am at last into island time and beginning to feel like I am on holiday. As I write, I am sitting on the veranda of the guest house and looking out at the ocean only a few steps away.  The sea is calm today, the horizon a stark white contrast to the water and on the left, perhaps two miles or so away, I can make out a string of small islands which are the end of Cape Cod.

We arrived to stormy weather which rattled the windows and doors and threw the sea into a fury.  I listened late into the night to the sounds of the squall and it drew me, not to settle and hide myself in the warmth and comfort of my bed, but outside onto the small balcony where I sat, both part of, and apart from the storm. Folding myself into the chair and pulling the eiderdown from the bed around me, I sat and thought.  

It's relatively quiet on the Vineyard at this time of year.  There is a resident population of just fifteen thousand but in peak season this swells to over a hundred thousand. The affluent crowd that it attracts has pushed up the cost of living to 60 percent higher than the national average.  Housing prices are ninety six per cent higher and 56% of owned homes are seasonally occupied.  Some of the most popular places to eat and drink are still very busy though so its hard to imagine what they might be like in the height of summer.  Everything is very informal, especially in Oak Bluffs where we are staying and in Vineyard Haven which is the more industrial part of the island.  In Vineyard Haven the small fishing fleet resides and most of the ferries for the mainland depart. While waiting for the bus back from Edgartown to OB one time, I got talking to a guy who was a professional caddy.  "That's the great thing about the Vineyard" he said, "you never know who you're talking to. Most people look like they don't have a dime, but..." (he leans closer) "they probably got here on their own plane".  On Nantucket, I understand, people wear their wealth a little more obviously.

Oak Bluffs takes about a half hour to walk around, an hour if you look in the shops.  It has a small harbour from which you can hire boats for fishing trips, and bicycles which seem a good way to tour the island.  Most of Oak Bluffs is very quaint, with a large sweep of common green which flanks the sea view boulevard in the middle of which a large and imposing band stand takes pride of place.  Cute 'ginger bread' style houses, small by American standards but large by ours, form a long half-moon sweep along the front.  Cutting into the streets behind the sea front, small roads meander into the trees where more cottages sit among them, each one with a veranda on which are Adirondack and rocking chairs. Several verandas fly the American flag. It feels homely and safe and quiet and a blessed respite after the frantic and chaotic pace of NYC.  We discover a nice Thai restaurant which is also a blessing after two weeks of American-scale dinners and not enough vegetables and find a busy bar which hosts a micro-brewery ( The Offshore Ale Company, it's floor strewn with discarded peanut shells like sawdust and hosting free live music becomes our go-to choice for the week.

The easiest and cheapest way to get around the island is by local bus though there are some organised sight-seeing tours available and it is easy to hire a car (soft tops minis seem to be a favourite) or a bicycle. It is proving difficult to get Janet on a bike again after her San Francisco experience.  There are also more expensive and upscale private tours such as those run by  For me though, the local buses do just fine and you can get a day-pass for just seven dollars (about five pounds) which you can use as many times are you like.  The local buses also do request stops so all I have to do is hang around outside the guest house and stick out my hand when I see a bus coming.   The bus down to Edgartown from Oak Bluffs takes about 12 or thirteen minutes and runs along the picturesque east coast beach road. On the left is the long sweep of sand which extends all the way from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown and on the right a series of small lagoons dotted with smart houses with private launches and where people are windsurfing or parapenting.  Just before you get into Edgartown you cross the bridge that was one of the set locations for the Jaws movie back in 1975.  It has become an island tradition to jump off the bridge into the tidal lagoon beyond it.  I am assured that in real life there are no sharks here.  Another location used in the film was Menemsha which is classed as 'up island' but is on the bottom SW corner. It's a good spot for catching the sunset and so this evening Janet and I are going with a bottle of wine, will pick up a lobster roll from Larsens  ( and with lobster roll-in-hand will sit on the beach with others to watch the sun gently drop into the sea. Martha's Vineyard was also the setting for the 2007 political thriller The Ghost

Where Oak Bluffs is the quaint town on the island, Edgartown is the grand, patrician and stylish cousin. Here, stately upscale homes and mansions have long gardens running down to the waterfront in which large and expensive yachts and sailing boats are moored.  The wealth which built the houses originally comes from the whaling industry in which Martha's Vineyard played a significant part during the eighteen century.  Then petroleum was found in Pennsylvania and the whaling industry collapsed.  Today the homes continue to be mostly privately owned, are in pristine condition and look like something out of the lifestyle pages of Harper magazine. The Edgartown shops lure me in for the second retail purchase of the holiday.  My eyes water at the price of the shirt I select but I buy it anyway.  At lunch we sit outside on the roof-top bar of the Seafood Shanty bar and restaurant ( looking out over the waterfront and chatting through the rest of our stay on the vineyard and what we will do with the four days we have spare between the end of our stay here and our first night in Boston. I am thinking much further ahead than that. 

We are indecisive about whether to stay and eat at the Shanty or to jump on the bus and head down to the Gayhead lighthouse and the coloured cliffs at Aquinnah.  Making the most of our day pass seems to be sensible and we dash for and just make the number six bus which will take us to West Tisbury which is more or less the centre of the island and which if we stay on it becomes the number five bus which will take us to Acquinnah.  At Acquinnah we will have travelled the length of the island from east to west.  It only takes about 25 or thirty minutes. The island is dense with small trees, mostly scotch pines and other  evergreens and with small shrubs. The roads are narrow and wind through the trees before popping out close enough to the coast to give a view of the sea and coastline.  The bus drivers are friendly and provide updates at each stop as to which bus you should take and at what time. Acquinnah is a tiny cluster of houses (Jackie Kennedy Onassis kept a house at Acquinnah until her death in 1994) before you come to the most southern most point of the island known for its natural beauty and tranquility.  It is also home to the islands only naturist beach (and I was thinking I couldn't swim because I had left my costume behind....).  There are a few huts selling food- most fried fish and lobster rolls - and a small restaurant with a cliff top terrace.  With better planning this would be a great place to come for a beach day away from even the minor hustle and bustle of the island towns and to relax and enjoy the long wide beaches and the views of Elizabeth Islands in the distance.  Back on the bus we complete most of the circuit of the island taking the number five which becomes the number three bus to Vineyard Haven and then the number thirteen back to Oaks Bluff.  It been a very easy and relaxed day and I consider, instead of moving to Cape Code for a few days, whether we should just stay here.


A short hop to Martha's Vineyard, a week off being roomies.

The flight to Martha's Vineyard from JFK takes only about 40 minutes and I have hardly just finished my sandwich before we are banking sharply and coming into land.  The airport is tiny but is the second busiest in New England after Boston. The volume of traffic is not so much from scheduled flights but from the many private flights which come in each day at the peak of the season. Our weeks stay is just off-peak and so whilst the island is quieter most of the businesses are still open. We make the short walk across the tarmac and into the grey clapperboard building which is both the arrival and departure lounge.  I am asking Janet where she thinks the baggage collection point is when we realise it is so small we walked right past it. Heading into Oak Bluffs by taxi we pass clapperboard houses nestled in the trees and then as we reach town we pass the quaint 'gingerbread' houses which are an architectural feature of the island.  Think Southwold, Suffolk meeting upper east coast USA and you've got a good idea of what Oak Bluffs is like, both in size and stature.

We are staying at Isabelle's Beach House ( on Sea View avenue and as we pass by the tiny downtown district and turn along the beach side road I feel the tension in my shoulders reduce and the pressures of New York begin to recede.  Janet and I are slightly demob happy as until now in an effort to keep costs down we have been sharing a room.  This week in Martha's Vineyard we get to have our own space.


Downtown, midtown, uptown, leaving town.

On our final day in New York we walk eleven miles.  Not entirely out of choice.  This time I successfully get us to the Highline ( without having to double-back and we take an easy saunter down its length, beginning at west 30th and finishing at Gansevoort Street.  The highline seems to be a very popular Sunday morning walk and so we go with the flow, stopping from time to time to look at the sights we pass, taking photographs and chatting about our plans for the rest of the trip.  Our destination for brunch today is the Bakehouse Bistro and Cafe (, another recommendation and which sits on a boulevard close to the water on the west side of the meat packing district.  After a hearty lunch - croque madame for me, house burger for Janet, we hit the street again planning to walk a couple of blocks east to union square, pick up a cab and to spend the afternoon exploring the upper east side - what's known as 'museum mile' - and to take in the Met museum, the Guggenheim and then to walk up to the top end of Central Park. In short, we want to get a sense of Woody Allen's Manhattan and visit some of the places that have featured in his films such as Annie Hall and Mighty Aphrodite.  We cannot, however, get a cab for love nor money.  So we walk, all the way up 5th avenue, through the shopping district, past the Rockefeller Center, past the horse drawn carriages at the SE corner of Central Park which, if they had not been so ridiculously expensive we may well have availed ourselves of. And we soldier on, past the zoo, taking in the expensive real estate to our right and noticing as we go that the heels on the shoes of the women we are passing are getting higher and the dogs they are carrying are getting smaller.  By this time Janet is limping and it is five o'clock.  Beyond the Met we divert into Central Park and sit down for a rest. Then onward we continue, across the park heading west, turning left on Central Park Road, past the New York Historical Society which is sadly closed by this point and then, at last find ourselves back at Columbus Circle named for Christopher Columbus and at the centre of which sits a statue dedicated to the great explorer.  I turn around and check on Janet.  The look on her face tells me she is in pain.  "Not far now" I say.  We are back on eighth avenue which is where our hotel is situated and this gives us both fresh motivation. We are desperate to get back to the relative tranquility and air conditioning of our hotel room.  Eighth avenue never seems to end as block after block we push our way through the crowds.  Thinking Janet desires a glass of wine for her stalwart and uncomplaining dedication to our day's objectives and knowing she will need something to numb the pain from her blisters I slip into a liquor store and tell her I will catch her up. Back on the street I walk quickly and then suddenly stop, not convinced, once again, I am going in the right direction. I start walking again hoping I will catch her up but still can't see her.  I think, for a moment, I might be lost and wonder whether to change direction and worry that Janet has thought the same thing.  As a stream of people push their way past me I look around and every direction seems to look the same.  I also remember that Janet has not been carrying her phone with her and wonder, if she gets lost, how I will find her.  I check my map and confirm to myself that I am on the right street.  Walking up to the next block I check that the street numbers that cross eighth are increasing and they are so I know that I am going in the right direction.  It's an awful lot further than I remember.  As I continue walking I spot Janet ahead of me and eventually catch her up.  "I thought for a minute I was on the wrong road" she says.  I nod.  "Me too".

We don't make it out on our last night. Back in the hotel we are both content to stay in and watch TV.  Janet shows me her blisters which are impressive. The first two weeks of our trip - LA, San Francisco, New York, has been less of a holiday and more of an endurance test.  We are both looking forward to the slower pace on Martha's Vineyard.


Ground zero, the best brunch, Cafe Wha?

Feeling like we are beginning to get a grip on Manhattan I take us confidently out of the hotel to find the start of the high line (, a one mile long linear park built on a section of the former elevated New York Central railway and now a designated (very small) national park.  It's only a couple of blocks from our hotel and the aim is to stroll down it, enjoying the views of the city and river from the 10m vantage point it offers and then to head to the 9/11 memorial (9/ in the financial district.  After that we will have brunch before heading back to the hotel for a rest before heading out once more, this time to Greenwich village, to a famous NY nightspot called Cafe Wha? We pick up a juice and a muffin on the way and it is only after half an hour and several checks of the map "it's just on the next block" that I realise I am taking us in completely the wrong direction. Along the right road - W30th - but east rather than west.  It will not be the last time during our stay in NY that I do this.  I find it really difficult to work out which direction is uptown and which direction is downtown.  The vertical roads are fine - those that run up and down the island, such as eighth where our hotel is and fifth where all the shops are, but on the horizontal street are much more difficult to navigate, not least because in the middle of a city of highrise buildings, every direction kinds of looks the same.  But anyway, I get us going again and this time heading west and realise that now we are pushed for time.  So, we take plan B and the subway.  Standing at the kiosk trying to buy a one-way ticket to the nearest station to ground zero I am listening to the women explaining how it all works, but I don't understand a word she is saying.  She, in turn, is getting impatient with the fact that I don't grasp what she is trying to tell me. But Janet doesn't either so I don't feel so bad.   A few minutes later we are on what I hope is the correct platform with a single ticket that gives you two subway rides.  Now is that confusing or what?  Two people get to share one ticket.....? 

To get to ground zero you exit the subway at Fulton Street and then follow a long (and surprise, surprise confusing) convoluted route to the entrance to the memorial.  The arduous twist and turns and minimal signage seems to be due to the major construction that is going on which will add a large visitor centre and museum to the current site.  Security is as high as going through an airport and there is multi-stage checking of your ticket.  After the waiting and the checking and the anticipation, the memorial itself is curiously underwhelming. 

From the 9/11 memorial we walk down to Battery Park and stroll along the waterside. We can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island just across the water but don't feel compelled to join the throngs of tourists packed into the ferries as they make their way over to get a closer look.  The Battery is choc-a-block with fast food carts all selling the same thing - gyros; hot dogs; pretzels and expensive bottles of water.  Ticket touts are placed every few feet and on-off open-topped buses doing the rounds of the city are grinding slowly along the busy roads.  What we thought was a water taxi system is just another tourist boat doing a 90-minute trip which doesn't match our plans so we retrace our steps, keen to get away from the pressure of the crowds and decide instead to walk to our lunch spot.   

We eat brunch at Jane ( which has been recommended as one of the best cafe/restaurants for brunch and sits between Greenwich village and Soho.  It's a lively local neighbourhood bistro and when we arrive at 2pm it is already very busy so we sit at the bar for a while until a table comes free. Like many popular restaurants in New Yorks the tables are so close it almost feels like you are sharing with the couples next to you. This can have its upside because you can casually glance across and see what other people are eating.  Many of our meals while we are in New York are chosen this way.  We walk the mile and half back to the hotel and sit for a while, gathering our strength for the late evening ahead at Cafe Wha?         

All the taxi drivers in New York are self-employed and so pick and chose the fares they want to take. Though we have been the longest in the queue the driver won't take us because we are only going a few blocks and so the old guy behind us who has already tried to push ahead of us once gets to go before we do.  His $60 fare to JFK is much more attractive than our $13 fare to Greenwich Village.  I speak to the hotel doorman who is indifferent. So I take the matter into my own hands and flag down the next taxi myself, not taking no for an answer.  Greenwich village is a lot like the better parts of Soho in London, the bars and restaurants are busy, the shops are still open at 8pm.  Cafe Wha? ( is a famous night spot in New York and resembles Ronnie Scotts in terms of its size and feel except it is a lot less formal.  Tonight the show begins with a comedian called Tony Woods ( who is on a world tour with his show and whose topics and observations about life are irreverent, controversial and very, very funny.  The house band follows playing covers of well-known songs which gets people dancing in the aisles, on the stairs and on their chairs.  The place really rocks.