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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 Harvard University (1)


Fingers in my ears, John Harvard's statue, a final cocktail.

On the final day of my trip I turned left out of the Lenox Hotel instead of the customary right and headed west down Boylston towards the lofty Prudential building which houses a conference centre and shopping mall.   From here I would pick up the trolley bus to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a quick look around before dipping down into the subway and taking the red line two stops to Harvard.  Going in the opposite direction to normal I passed new places, admiring the plush Mandarin Oriental Hotel as I passed and stopping now and then to gaze into shops full of beautiful, sophisticated and by now, at the end of the holiday, unaffordable things.  But I didn’t mind just looking because the sun was out, I had a free ticket for the trolley bus and I was on my way to have a look around Harvard.

The trolley bus I took is one of many tours which takes a circular route around the main highlights of downtown Boston, many of which I had already seen.  But the three stops to MIT from this point took me to parts of the city I had not visited before and I was very much looking forward to it. I had not, however, counted on Shorna.  Shorna was our bus driver and tour guide and appeared to be able to talk, non-stop, without drawing breath.  I can only surmise that she has evolved over time to breathe through her ears.  However she does it, it is very annoying.  It wasn’t as if what she was saying wasn’t interesting or informative, it was, it’s just interspersed by personal opinions and facts about her personal life which frankly I didn’t want to know.  For example, “The Fenway Baseball Stadium is now the second oldest baseball stadium in the US”. Which is great.  It’s interesting. I am glad I know that now. But did I also need to know that the “Boston Redsox are my favourite team.  But not really because I only say that because I have to”?  This is how it went on and by the time I got to MIT I was desperate to get off.  And despite her repeated requests to me and everyone else, I will not be writing in to recommend her for tour guide of the year.  She’d never won it in seven years apparently.  Funny that.

You come out off the subway station at Harvard onto a small traffic island lined on two sides by shops and cafes and newspaper booths and I had to ask to be directed to Harvard Yard.  It’s only a step away in fact, but the buildings which back onto the junction don’t look particularly impressive and so it’s easy to think they are not part of the university.  A short stroll though takes you up to one of the main entrance archways which are flanked by large wrought iron gates and then you are straight into the country’s most famous campus.  Harvard Yard is a large grassy area enclosed by fences and walls through which there are twenty-seven gates in total.  It is the oldest part of the Harvard University Campus and its historic centre.  As I pass through it I notice that the trees are still full and green and lots of students are sitting out on colourful chairs reading books or looking at their laptops or chatting.  The yard contains most of the freshman dormitories, Harvard’s most important libraries and the offices of the Dean and President of Harvard University.  The original Harvard Hall that stood here housed the college library including the 320 volumes of scholarly books donated by John Harvard but all but one was destroyed in a fire in 1764.  A statue of a seated John Harvard, clutching a book and gazing contemplatively into the distance sits outside the window of the Dean’s office.  Depending on what you read and where, the statue is allegedly not John Harvard (he died at age 30 and there was no accepted likeness of him so the sculptor used as a model a young male student who had clear lineage to the Pilgrim Fathers); he was not the founder despite what the inscription says (his name was adopted for the college when he bequeathed his library to them); and the college was not founded in the year the inscription states (though this depends at what point, legally, you classify a college as ‘founded’).  Anyway, these three myths always draw a big crowd around the statue so standing on tip toe and having had a glance, I carried on my way around the various colleges and buildings poking my head through a door here and there and generally trying to get a feel for the place.  A little suffocated by visitors and by the busy roads which cut around and across the campus I gave it half an hour and then moved on.

Harvard Business School, by contrast, is a place of peace, tranquillity and calm about a fifteen minute walk down John F. Kennedy Street away from the university, over the Charles River and thence onward to N. Harvard Street.  The campus is completely open with no walls or fences.  (  The lawns are groomed, the buildings grand and imposing and surprisingly easy just to pop into for a look around.  There was almost no one about.  I popped into Chase House and had a chat with the receptionist about the campus and she was helpful and informative.  I had exchanged an email with the senior associate dean who had passed by name and contact details onto her colleague who in turn was happy to tell me more about the school and the opportunities available there.  I took lunch in the main school refectory which was busy, where the service was quick and the food was good.  With plenty of information gathered and some handy contacts made, I took a last stroll around the school, sat for a few minutes on the steps of the library building thinking about this and that and then picked up my rucksack and headed back to the tube.

Picking up the trolley bus at MIT once more, I hoped off this time, on a whim, in a charming area north of Boston common full of antique shops and small independent retailers.  All the shops had individual hand-painted signs in classic styles which made the area feel quaint and local and not at all like it were right in the middle of a very big city.  From there I took a slow and enjoyable stroll across Boston Common, watched a Chinese musician who was playing an instrument I had never seen before, crossed the little bridge over the lake, took a moment to review the bronze statue of George Washington and then crossed the road and headed down Commonwealth Avenue.  Comm Ave as it is known locally is a small parkway divided at its centre by a long grassy mall split by a path along which tall slim trees provide welcome shelter from the heat of the afternoon sunshine. It is much like one of Georges-Eugene Haussmann’s Paris boulevards and today it was doing me the favour of keeping me away from a particular shop on Boylston that sold funky hand-embroidered suede boots. Every time I have succumbed to a purchase on this trip a little voice in my head whispered “it’s ok, it’s a 50th birthday treat”.  But as the end of the holiday began to loom and I began to tot up the total cost of the trip in my head, the voice began to sound a little bit hollow.  A bit like my wallet was beginning to feel.  In the late afternoon we ate dinner at the Jacob Wirth Beer Cellar on Stuart Street ( where the beer was good but the food was not and which did not live up to its marketing in the local where-to-go magazine.  Exiting the restaurant and shivering in the sudden coolness of the evening we walked quickly down through China Town to the harbour front to take in another recommended spot – the RumBa cocktail bar at the Intercontinental on Atlantic Avenue ( Settled at the bar, not bothered by the fact that my dress was on inside-out and wearing it only because it was the last piece of clothing in my case that didn't smell too bad, I ordered a Martini and let the fact that this was the final night of the trip slowly sink in.  My reverie and quiet contemplation was disturbed by a chap sitting next to me with a now typical question "Are you English?” he asked.  Except this time the accent wasn’t American, it was a soft and lilting Irish.  Smiling, I turned around and said, indeed, I was.