The Story Behind Abbagirl

As far as to what exactly “abbagirl” indicates, anyway – in case you are unaware, ABBA (with the first “B” written backwards) is the name of a Swedish pop supergroup from the 70’s and early 80’s frequently remembered most for their uber-cheesy disco outfits, platforms and all. My obsession/love for the group is fairly recent; it began maybe around 1993 or 1994 in early high school when I was exposed to them through the Australian film “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” and subsequently bought a copy of ‘ABBA Gold’ on CD, their popular greatest hits album. Their music, a captivating melange of disco and pop, had me entranced, and I was incredibly impressed with the vocal talents of vixen lead singers, Agnetha Faltskog & Frida Lyngstad.My status as an abbagirl was affirmed when I purchased more albums, video collections, and saw the hilarious & touching Australian flick “Muriel’s Wedding” in the theatre. I truly identified with lead character Muriel Heslop (played by the fantastic Toni Collette), a geeky outcast addicted to ABBA, and found the film to be brilliant and heartfelt, capturing the friendship between Muriel and the spunky Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths) and their rejection of the snobby girls who snubbed them both in high school. I especially loved that MW was unique in being an “ugly duckling transformed” story that ended up having Muriel realize that she didn’t need the approval of the girls who hadn’t been able to appreciate her until she had found a man and conformed, and that Muriel learns that the storybook wedding she’d been pining after and the gorgeous guy she marries aren’t what she really *wants*, because she didn’t love him. And of course, MW introduced me to such fantastic ABBA tunes as “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen,” my anthem. 🙂 (I now have a page up on MW and my other favorite Australian films!)

So, I figured that “Abbagirl” would be a good nick as not only is it short and easy to remember, but it owns up to my devotion to those 4 wacky Swedes. Some people also figure it’s a reference to the 2 women of ABBA, that I’m emulating them, which is fine, I suppose. I feel a sort of kinship to Agnetha & Frida, I admit, being at least one-fourth Swedish (Dutch, too), a soprano singer who can do a fairly accurate Agnetha vocal imitation, and a tall, assertive gal to boot. (My height – 5’9″ or so – is largely a product of my Scandinavian ancestry; almost everyone in my family is super-tall.) And yes, I have blue eyes and long, blonde hair, although I’m not claiming to be any Agnetha twin or anything.

So, I figured that “Abbagirl” would be a good nick as not only is it short and easy to remember, but it owns up to my devotion to those 4 wacky Swedes. Some people also figure it’s a reference to the 2 women of ABBA, that I’m emulating them, which is fine, I suppose. I feel a sort of kinship to Agnetha & Frida, I admit, being at least one-fourth Swedish (Dutch, too), a soprano singer who can do a fairly accurate Agnetha vocal imitation, and a tall, assertive gal to boot. (My height – 5’9″ or so – is largely a product of my Scandinavian ancestry; almost everyone in my family is super-tall.) And yes, I have blue eyes and long, blonde hair, although I’m not claiming to be any Agnetha twin or anything

Even Pop Stars get the blues

Being a world famous musician or pop star comes at a price. Life is not as rosy all the time as most would think. Sure, pop stars make loads of money, are adored by their fans and live luxury lifestyles but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not afflicted by the some day to day pressures and worries like the rest of us. In fact you would be surprised to know just how many famous people suffer from issues like anxiety and low self esteem. ABBA were not exempt from this either and there are numerous reports that Agnetha suffered from depression over the years. Most people suffer from depression in one form or another at some point in their lives. Pop stars are no exception, and they are often subject to far more intense pressure than the ordinary person. Will my next album be a success, or will the critics slam it in the press ? All I want to do is just go for a nice walk in the forest but I cant because I have a pack of paparazzi chasing after me all the time. Depression and anxiety can often lead to the sufferer seeking solace in the form of alcohol or drugs, whether illegal street drugs or prescription medication. Think about how often we read in the newspapers about famous actors and musicians struggling with drinking and drug problems. Most end up in the famous Betty Ford Clinic or some other expensive rehabilitation centre. Cleaning up your act is easier said than done, after a 28 day stint in a rehabilitation facility, the hard work starts.

sober house in Cape Town

A sober house is a facility offered to people on leaving a treatment centre. Obviously the rich and famous don’t require this because they can afford to pay an entourage of experts to follow them around and keep tabs on them. However, for the ordinary person like you and me, having a safe environment that is free of the temptation to drink or use drugs, that ensures that you keep working on your recovery from whatever addictive habit you may have suffered from, a sober living house is essential. Scotswood Sober House Cape Town is this type of sober house establishment situated in Cape Town, South Africa. Scotswood was established to meet the need of those leaving a rehab centre that are serious about progressing in their recovery from addiction. This sober living house in Cape Town offers a safe and nurturing environment for people that want to maintain their recovery momentum. The sober house offers cooked meals, resident counsellors, beautiful gardens and a swimming pool. Most importantly Scotswood provides a sober living house in Cape Town, where people in recovery are insulated from their previous behaviours and are allowed an opportunity to forge new friendships in a healthy and sober community. So, sure, Agnetha or Frida of ABBA would probably not have ever booked themselves into anything like this, because they would have had the finances to afford personal attention. For the ordinary person though, establishments like Scotswood Retreat which provide sober living in Cape Town are an amazing opportunity to strengthen a foundation for a new way of life. Being abstinent from substances doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and listen to ABBA or any of the other great bands out there today. Life is a journey, enjoy the ride 🙂