Day 5, Hello Stuart, Florida.

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So, in the middle of the night post hotel room saga and local bar fun times, Pom and Clarey ran out of our wee room to get some water from reception, a little walk away. They were then mistaken for either waitresses or ‘pros’ (hilarious) and were on the receiving end of some serious curb crawling. This, added to the weird knocking on our door in the middle of the night did not, surprisingly, stir us from our deep slumbers and we awoke to the land of sunshine and palm tress and more van time, off we trot to Stuart, Florida.

This is our first gig of the tour and we are very excited, the pastel coloured rows of shops and theatre were a beautiful sight to behold on this boiling hot sunny Winters day. The palm trees are adorned in Christmas ivy wreaths and the whole thing is a little too weird, like we have been plucked out of normality and into a whole other dimension of time. THIS is NOT Christmas. I’m just going to have to get over it.

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Stuart has a thrift store with silver haired ladies who don’t seem to know the purpose of many items in their store but nonetheless were helpful and everyone seems to be continuously on Prozac. It is confusing and disconcerting that all the people are so happy. Maybe it is the sunshine, but I tend to think it is the aforementioned prescription drug.

We were fed and watered, to within an inch of our lives, this is to become the norm. We have riders and huge crews of extremely helpful technicians. God bless you America. Our cathedral tour is like a one man wagon in comparison.

Florida is amazing, as Emily and I sit on the wall outside a very Muswell Hill-esque clothes shop waiting for Clarey to purchase something gold and heart shaped, we witness many extraordinary people. These people are generally ladies who seem to have discovered their own ‘Coccoon’/key to eternal life (but only after they’d hit 70). A beautiful blonde in a just-long-enough pink tee-shirt/nightie, with pink cowboy boots, pink Stetson and bleach blonde waist length hair, and the face of Zelda from the Terrahawks (google it, you can imagine our horror), walked past us, and thus we swiftly realised, THIS is where you come to be that woman you always wanted to be, age 90. Ultimately she was very happy, stepping out late afternoon with a man much younger than her. Then as we gathered our wits, a very boxy 80’s Mustang pulled in to the nearest parking space, a very cool car, and, once again to our surprise the most be-glittered and sparkled ‘to-the-max’ lady, aged approximately 97 hauled herself out of the driver seat (there were a couple of attempts) and donned her sunglasses and said ‘well hello there ladies’. Immediately we loved her very much and told her how awesome she looked, ‘we’ll I’m going to the Lyric theatre tonight’ she said. ‘Oh, you’re coming to see us’ Emily and I exclaimed in unison. At this point in the day I was wearing my finest dungarees and Emily was swathed in something equally as unglamorous and alas our new best friend/awesome grandma, looked very unimpressed. Oh how we chuckled, all she needs to do is wait and see, we scrub up well.

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We love Stuart and we had a fabulous gig, a very full house and we were so happy to be singing at this lovely crowd of Floridians. Afterwards we went out to the signing table to much applause and a lot of love and a lot of amazingly sequinned ladies. Girls you are DOING it for the sisterhood big time. We are loving on these women. And we got to meet the aforementioned new best friend Mustang glitter lady, she was Over the moon to have discovered us and we had a wonderful moment of pure loveliness. Then we had to go and leave our fabulous team of theatre crew, and move off the pavement of stars – maybe we’ll get to grace the floor gallery of bronze star plaques one day, and off to the hotel. At the Clarion we have the correct amount of rooms and all POOLSIDE! This is almost a little too exciting for me to comprehend, but it was real, we had poolside rooms with a double bed each and enough Blue Moons to celebrate the fact.

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We sat with the boys in their poolside room, after discovering that Sophie and Clareys room was easily accessible through a secret door behind the table. Then I found Pom sat alone on a strange patch of sticky floor – which later became attacked by many biting insects. We found an enclave amongst the palm tress under a gazebo surrounded by the sound of the cicadas (happiness is the sound of cicadas) and for the first time I really felt far far away for home in the late night heat, as well as inside a scene from Breaking Bad. Then the jigsaw puzzle of who was staying in what room was jumbled about and we dropped where we were and snoozed, with once again, the air con off. So bad, air co is SO bad.

Little did I know how many of the same bite-y insects had nibbled happily away at my legs. That was to be discovered almost 24 hours later.

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