On Sunday night my husband was away and I was in charge of the remote for the telly.
This doesn’t happen often as I simply can’t be trusted, having a penchant for sc-fi movies and time travel (expressly forbidden for being too complex) or ballroom/ice skating shows (also dismissed for being too sparkly).
It’s not that my husband objects by sitting there grumbling and ruining the show for me. Instead he leaves the room with a long sigh – and then I feel uber guilty as the rest of the house is like a fridge.
It’s passive aggressive guilt. I feel bad as no-one should be made to feel unwelcome in the warmest room.
So that’s how it goes. We watch CIA torture show after CIA torture show with no guilt involved.
Imagine my joy, then, to be sat down with a glass full of my favourite Fireball whisky and discover that an ABBA documentary was on.
It was a glorious mixture of sparkle, glitter and time travel as it went back to the 1970s and I saw how it all began, progressed, fell apart, got revived etc etc etc in glorious spandex.
It was actually splendid to hear some of the music again as, after Mamma Mia went massive and spectacular, I stopped appreciating ABBA.
It’s the ‘too much of the same thing’ syndrome – like many things, you can get put off if you become too over-familiar.
But the years have passed and once again I was sucked straight back into the joy of ABBA’s tunes.
And you know what? They are amazing tunes – catchy, singable and still going strong.
I was quite surprised to learn, however, of the pedigree of Dancing Queen. An end-of-evening disco staple through the aeons, it turns out that the DQ vocals are complex, requiring a two-octave vocal range.
So not only was I thanking ABBA for the music, I was also quite proud of the fact that I can belt out such a demanding tune with enthusiasm if not skill.
Thank goodness these super Swedes chose to sing in English to gain success at the Eurovision song contest in the early 1970s. Otherwise we’d still be wondering what on earth they were saying.