A Gold Medal for Awesome - moments from London 2012

Good morning, blog.

I am happily jet-lagged and laying in my comfy bed in Cambridge with a cup of American Joe and a bowl of Irish Steel cut oats. The comfort of home is truly sublime.

Last night I arrived at Logan Airport from London at about 10pm. The line at customs was ridiculous and it took about 1 hour to get out to the road with my bag. They were fingerprinting random people with this futuristic green screen thing. It looked cool, but I was not amused.

I've never been able to sleep on planes, and I've been flying around the world since I was 5 years old. I think I am too excited when I fly. My head always races forward to the destination between obsessing about where I just left, how I can get over the sleeping guy to go to the bathroom, and when they're going to come by with the food cart again. Last night, I literally had so much buzzing energy that I doodled for about 2 hours. I couldn't keep my hands still! And both Indian guys beside me were in a deep, deep, meditative sleep. Jerks.

I had a fabulous trip to London 2012! I was quite the jet-setter in my 20s and haven't been on a trip like this, overseas, for about 4 years. That is too long! I love to travel. I love what happens to my senses when I'm taking in new sights - everything is heightened. It's like the world's frequency gets turned up a bit and I feel more alive, more alert, more observant then I ever am in my real life. And I'm learning some harsh truths about how observant I actually am in my real life. Not. Very.

Although my trip fell upon the time of the 2012 Summer Olympics (which was awesome and fun and totally well done, London), the reason I went was to visit and reconnect with some of my dearest friends from across the pond, girls I have loved and traveled and partied and laughed with for over 10 years. We share a lot of memories - and after sitting around many a table and pub booth with them this week with a cup of tea or a red bull, I'm realizing that my memory is SHIT. There are entire trips I don't recall! Events, outings, hilarious inside jokes, love affairs, you name it -- I've forgotten it!

Upon digesting the event of my 31st birthday a few days ago, this epiphany may be taking on an exaggerated meaning. AM I OLD? What the hell happened to my brain? Did I smoke so much weed and drink so many vodka redbulls in my youth that literally months and months have been forgotten? Did I kill certain brain cells that are precious memories that are now dead and gone, gone forever? Did my youth literally go up in smoke? OR do I just have a horrible brain? One of those that doesn't remember things except for song lyrics.

The gang actually discussed this over dinner one night near London Bridge. Since people learn things differently - auditory, sensory, visual - maybe they remember things differently too. Maybe I process things in a way that is not very detail oriented. It makes sense. I'm not much into the details of life anyway - I've always been more interested in the...Soul. I often remember the feeling of a day - the romance or magic of a moment or place. I remember dramatic moments in life and other subtle moments that seem to sparkle with a spiritual dew or something. But ask me about details from the past 10 years, and I come off looking like someone with Alzheimer's!

Maybe each memory and brain style is completely necessary for human kind. Maybe there is nothing wrong with my way at all. Maybe we need people who look at a sunrise and notice the time of day and people standing next to them and season and the year and the location. And maybe we need people who look at a sunrise and just feel God all around them. That's me, I guess. I'm always looking for the magic in life - the spiritual experience - the moment when synchronicity and love seem to match up and make for something you will never forget.

I had a few moments like that on my trip to London this week. Moments that I hope I never forget.

 We found out my little brother, Mack, was in London the first day I arrived. He was on an internship and had run out of money! We found him skinny and shaken in a cheesy American Pub under his flat. Fed him some beers and chicken wings and gave him a hug and some support. He said "That's the first one I've had in 3 weeks." I said, "What?" He said "Hug." :)
Mack and Big Sis

On a day trip up to Bunbury, which is a tiny village in Tarporley, which is a tiny town in Cheshire, we met up with my friend Emma's sister and her little baby, Elsy Mae, at a spa in the country. We all got our suits on and piled into the pool. This one year old baby turned into a swimming machine! I have never seen a baby take so well to water. She had the widest grin on her face and kept laughing, swimming, and JUMPING off the ledge in the water towards her mommy. It was pure, unadulterated JOY. A born swimmer. And maybe a future Team GB Olympian!
Elsy Mae, future Olympian for Team GB

Later that night we gathered around the Rowley's table for a 7 course homemade meal! Remember, that food can be a very spiritual experience, and I will never forget this one. Prawns, olives and spread with chips, avocado salad, beef stew with fried potatoes, cabbage, carrots and green beans, marange and berry whipped cream type dessert, a cheese plate to die for, and tea. Always tea. We listened to music and told rousing stories and ate and ate and ate. When we woke up the next morning, the Rowleys made us a full on English breakfast fry up with Black pudding. These people are LEGEND.

Sandra Rowley and Tanya enjoy wine and prawns

English Breakfast!!!!!



One night after an intense sweaty dancing session, we came home buzzing with energy. Tanya and her fiance, Duncan, and I sat up and drank tea and talked. They asked if I would play a few tunes on my uke for them. I sang a few and we all had a musical moment together. There was something about the echo of the room and the sound of my voice and the songs I sang that rang true in that moment. Tanya had tears in her eyes, and we all felt like we had shared something special. They asked me to write a song for their wedding day. And I said yes!

Fran & Tan
Team GB

Another day, my friend Mark and I were aimlessly walking around the Waterloo station in search of the Tate Modern. We stumbled across a whole little world of festivals and family fun down on the South bank of London. Although it was stunningly beautiful around there, the crowds were thickening and we were getting tired of walking and searching for the museum. When we finally found it, we spotted the grassy knoll outside first. We crossed over a little barrier of magic trees into the 'meadow' and immediately collapsed onto the grass. Staring at the clouds and discussing life in front of the Tate. Magic. I won't remember the art. But I'll remember that.

The night of Birthday, we went down to the amazing carnival that has been set up along the southbank of the Thames. Cath and I spotted a high swing ride and squealed with delight! We have to ride that!!!!!! We all did, in the rain. You could see all of London. And as the wind and rain caressed my face as we spiraled through the air, I felt totally, unequivocally. happy.


I have already forgotten some of the details from the last week. But the memory of the love and laughter and magic I experience with my dear friends will stay with me forever. There is nothing like having a home away from home. Home is where the heart is, and a bit of my heart is in England with my Team GB.


  1. I love you and I loved this. That holiday was truly special and the girls and Dunc and I are so happy we got to share it with you. Dunc and I are sitting on our roof in the sun and listening to your music. It was SO good seeing you and we can't wait until the next time. xxx


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