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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 Nevertoolate girl (19)


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.


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. 


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.