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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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Entries in ben fogle (2)


A life of it's own; I may be some time; it all sounds so easy.

The abstract thoughts which led to an idea which led to the Everest plan have, now they are committed to paper, taken on a life of their own.  It’s interesting how in only a week or so of re-establishing old contacts and making new ones, the objective, to summit Everest for a British record, has begun to develop a critical mass. Despite  some of the ambivalent qualities of the internet and the world-wide-web, it is a resource like no other for supplying one with the knowledge, information and resources with which to make things happen.

Contacts I made at an Everest event at the Royal Geographical Society nearly three years ago recollect the conversations we had, the company who will take me up Everest, Dream Guides (, are still in business and Kenton Cool who I met for coffee a couple of years ago to chat about the attempt is still alive and kicking and summitted Everest recently for the eleventh time.  The dedicated Facebook site is almost done, the charities who will benefit from the fund raising are decided and I have found the list of suggested fund-raising activities which was given to me when I was short-listed for the Cracknell/Fogle team for their race to the south pole in July 2008 (see photo above).  The fundraising prospect is daunting; there is no point in pretending otherwise.  The trip to Everest for the attempt itself is sixty thousand dollars.  I calculate the total will be somewhere in the region of seventy thousand pounds, plus what I can raise for charity.    

 I have devised a provisional training plan in conjunction with Dream Guides. Mont Blanc next June which will give me a 4800m introduction level to snow and ice and mixed climbing to build on the winter mountaineering course I took on Ben Nevis a few years ago.  I recollect that trip took place on a bleak weekend in January. At the base of the hill where the Land rover dropped us, driving rain soaked our small group despite layers of waterproofs and we trudged miserably upwards for two hours to the first of the mountain huts in which we could take shelter.  The rain turned to thick damp snow on the way and the wind, rising as we rose, slammed into us. I lost the feeling in my fingers before we were half way up, despite twice exchanging wet gloves for dry.  At the hut the combination on the lock had been changed and in the absence of any other shelter we huddled despondently in the lea of a wall, waiting for the snow to stop.  Increasingly desperate for the loo I had struck out from the moderate shelter we had found, feeling, as the snow closed around me, a bit like Captain Lawrence Oates in Scott’s ill-fated South Pole quest.  Except I didn’t leave my shoes behind.  It’s sobering to remember how battered and dominated by the weather we were.  And that was only about two and a half thousand feet up.   

After Mont Blanc will be the Chamonix Classics or a similar technical course in the Alps which provides an intermediate level snow/ice and mixed climbing opportunity.  Then the Matterhorn or Eiger or similar which offers a more technical alpine terrain to an AD level of competence.  Mera/Kilimanjaro or similar takes me into high altitude trekking and climbing in a remote area to around 6000m. Then, Manaslu or similar in the Himalaya is a suitable high altitude expedition to over 8000m as a final testing point before Everest.  And before, during and after these training climbs over the next two and a half years will be lots of climbing and trekking work up in the Lakes and the Scottish Highlands.

It all sounds so very straight forward as I sit at my computer and write....... 


Have a spa weekend - chapter 7

My trump card, post breakfast, was knowing the Veranda Bar at Ragdale Hall sold some rather naughty-but-nice treats to which I full intended to introduce myself once my holier-than-thou detox-breakfast had worn off. Which wasn't, I decided, going to take long.  My second treatment of the stay at Ragdale was a Balinese massage.  Four years previously on my last visit I had just returned from a weekend at Friday Island in the Cotsolds.  I'd been at Friday Island because I had been shortlisted for the third team member to join James Cracknell and Ben Fogle in their efforts to win a race going out to the South Pole.  A documentary of the race, called On Thin Ice, had been shown on BBC2 in June and July 2009.  Having been short-listed I had spent 48 hours being put through my paces by the Marines. I did not get selected, a brill young medic called Ed did, but I had survived, and my body was suffering the consequences of almost no sleep and serious physical and mental stress.  I had selected the sports massage then, had been administered to by a very professional and effective young male masseur whose name I now don't recollect, but who had used his body weight at various points to get some serious deep stretches in.  I had been single for quite some time at that point, and so the proximity of such a nice young man was doubly welcome.  Just so you know, I am not single now, and so would not enjoy it anywhere near as much.  Honestly.

This time I could not get a sports massage, it was all booked out, so I opted for the Balinese on the basis that in terms of sado-masochistic enjoyment, it was probably next down the line.  One thing you learn when you have played sport at a reasonable level, is that all this strokey, playing-at-massage stuff just doesn't hit the spot.  In my experience, too many masseurs go through a set routine which they have been taught without really understanding what they are doing.  And I wasn't going to pay eight-two quid for that.  I wanted some serious umph.

One of the lovely things about Ragdale Hall is that the whole environment is conducive to relaxing.  You wander down to the treatment area five or ten minutes before your due time and settle into some cosy armchair or sofa and wait for your name to be called.  Most inclusive treatments last about 25 minutes and so on the hour or half hour there is this this gentle stream of therapists who appear, all gorgeous and well-turned out, and who quietly call your name (Mrs this, Miss that, Mr the other - so nice to have some old-fashioned curteousy), shake your hand and take you off to some beautifully scented room.  My masseuse was a little older than the others, had the most amazing white blond hair held back in a pony tail (not natural, but hey, I'm nearly 49, not everything is natural anymore) and.....could talk for England.  One good thing about getting to middle-middle age, is that you know how to switch off. Which I did.

My masseuse had never been to Bali, which I was rather disappointed by, and she did rather front-load her sales pitch. In fact the whole first ten minutes could have been cut down to two or three, easily.  But she was quite right in observing that my road to relaxation was still yet to be completely travelled.  My mistake was in confiding the fact that at the European Masters Swim Championships in Ukraine last September I had opted for a session with the Russian team masseur, on the basis that the British one was too busy, and had had perhaps the most excruciating 30 minutes of my life.  I like to think it was a language problem perhaps or maybe the cultural barrier but looking back, the Russian woman (Russian man? It was difficult to judge) masseur had seemed to enjoy every moment.  At one point I had resorted to biting my towel and was convinved she was about to rip out my shoulder blade at another. But that steely British resolve kicked in and kept me there, nodding mutely each time she asked me if I was OK. At least that's what I think she was saying. She may have mistaken me for a member of British Intelligence and was just doing her job, that is, attempting to put me out of action.  Whatever her motivations, the memories had not yet faded and my Ragdale masseuse looked just a little bit too much like her.