During our stay in Santa Monica, I’ve struggled to tick the Huevos Rancheros box satisfactorily. Our favourite old breakfast spot, ‘M Street Kitchen’ has sadly disappeared, gone the way of many restaurants on Main Street as rate increases force everyone but the most successful business out. We ate at ‘Cora’s’, another ancient Mexican cafe on Ocean drive that has managed to stay in business simply by charging the earth for everything. Their Huevos Rancheros was sadly lacking and hideously overpriced. We’ll never go there again I fear, but good luck to them anyway.

Each run we make to the airport in LA is a tense affair as traffic can be quite insane, but management’s decision not to use Van Nuys as we have in the past seems to be paying off. Today’s trip to Lax, accompanied by what I call ‘Brake Wah-wah’, where the driver is incapable of braking smoothly instead, was pretty quick. Once at the Signature aviation terminal, we decided to pass on ramp access as it involved too much paperwork, and with the band’s legs being fully functional, we simply walked the 30 yards to the jet.

Sushi was waiting on board and our journey across the Southwestern part of the US was long enough for Natalie to take her time. I gazed out across the vast, super-heated plains of the Sonoran Desert and as so often on these American adventures, wondered about the early settlers and how they navigated these great distances in such treacherous circumstances. The heat down there is clearly intense, as it was in downtown Phoenix itself, today the high was a moderate 95 degrees. Naturally I chose to wear shorts. This was my big mistake.

Every building in Phoenix has air conditioning. It’s a necessary requirement here and when we pulled up and got out of the cars, the outside temperature was lovely. Inside the building was a shock however. Apparently, when the crew loaded in this morning, it was 61 degrees. Our production boys requested it be raised as it’s simply unnecessary. By the time we got there it was 64. It felt freezing on stage and not being used to these drastic changes, I got quite a chill which lasted the whole evening. My nose eventually started running during the encores. Shit, not a cold. Not now! As we all know, being sick on the road is no fun at all. As soon as I was back at the hotel, I was in bed and under the covers. As I write this, thankfully it didn’t develop. Massive relief.

Running through the show, we really relished the lovely audience who were intent on listening to every nuance we offered, they were polite but extremely generous in their appreciation. We had such a lovely gig and the sound on stage was perfect. It’s hard to imagine we’ve done this show 85 times now and only have 2 more left. We’re tired but not tired enough to stop. We love this too much.

There were two things I’d never seen before that occurred today. The first was on the way to LAX, I saw a bus shelter advertisement sign that stated in large letters ‘Mass Shooting Insurance’. Everything about that message is depressing. On a lighter note, on the way to Phoenix airport after the show, during what was officially our final ‘runner’, Glenn spotted a restaurant called ‘Welcome Chicken and Donuts’. Chicken inside a Donut, as our driver explained is an acquired taste. My thoughts were ‘for a Chicken, things are never going to end well, but I’d still hate to end up inside a Donut’.