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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 nevertoolatel list (2)


A bear of little brain, throwing in the towel, making a plan

Being a bear of little brain, I had this naïve sense that I would be able to do a PhD, run a business, swim competitively, have some semblance of life AND plan and train for an Everest attempt in 2014. I realise now how pathetically ambitious that was.  Especially as all the other things, even without the Everest plan, almost conspired to send me quite around the bend.  In the last twelve months of my PhD I did little else than write, work, consume junk food, drink too much wine and cry.  There were more than a few moments where, late at night, my hand hovered over the keyboard ready to write one mere line of narrative to my PhD supervisor….” I’ve had enough”.  Now, the other side of thesis submission, waiting for my viva, surprised and pleased with the interest in my research and experience, I look back on that time as a place that existed somewhere between a nightmare and a reality. 

The month in the US post thesis submission was supposed to be a time of rest and calm in which to consider and establish the plan for the next decade of my life.  Fifty, on paper seems impossibly old but here I was, essentially at the beginning of something, rather than the end.  Between flights and car journeys and one new hotel after another, between new places to see and new experiences to have, I’d felt that there was not much time to sit and consider both practically or philosophically the years ahead.  But on the final flight, with home in sight, surprised by how much I was looking forward to being back, things began to take form in my mind.  Opting out of the in-flight entertainment and laying aside the novel I was reading, I set about making a plan.


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.