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Story and videos of ABBA

I grew up with ABBA’s songs. Their songs are wonderful and inspiring. I like most of the songs, but my favourites are ‘Chiquitita’ (it means little girl) and ‘Thank you for the music’. I would like to show my thanks to ABBA for giving me so much joy when I was a little girl. Enjoy the videos of ABBA:
ABBA - Chiquitita:
ABBA – Thank you for the music (Live):
 

ABBA Our Last Video Ever
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3LjdYJvKNw
http://www.chickengang.com , ABBA (Stockholm 1974)
This music video was released in 2004 to celebrate ABBA’s 30 years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their song Waterloo. Other songs featured: Take A Chance On Me, Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes it All.
VERY FUNNY!!
 

  

The story of ABBA (from start until today):
Look at the translation by the side before you watch the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tKOA7w3CFI

The Story Of ABBA (Part 1-5):
http://www.youtube.com/user/ABBARadio

ABBA Super Mix – Part 1-4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_VMKyVIM0

Abba Reunion (Video) July 4th-08 @ Mamma Mia Movie Premiere:
Video footage from various Swedish Tv sources: Agnetha + Frida + Meryl Streep dancing on the red carpet, interviews with various celebs (Swedish & English) and all 4 Abba members together on the balcony with the other actors… This all took place at the Stockholm movie premiere of ‘Mamma Mia’ on july 4th 2008.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAObzmHg7r0

ABBA website: ABBA’s story, pictures, etc.
http://www.abba-story.com/

ABBA megamix:
Many stage and daily photos – during pregnancy, with kids, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-hYqUeeHGI

ABBA Mania

My hubby and I went with Lisa & T to this concert on 3 Oct evening.  My hubby & I didn’t know any background about this show and just bought the tickets, thinking to have one night out to have some entertainment (that we seldom do, as we don’t like crowd and prefer to stay at home at night).

According to Lisa, the one who suggested going for this concert, the performances were scheduled on 4 and 5 Oct only.  Due to overwhelming response, the organization added another show on 3 Oct.  The one we saw is the opening performance.

 We bought the $63 tickets and we sat at the second last row, very far away and high up from the stage.  Therefore, we couldn’t see the faces of the performers clearly, only could appreciate the songs and dances from far.  We didn’t even know the actual names of ‘ABBA’ cast.

Out of curiosity, I searched the Abbamanialive website for more info about this concert after that.

Ohhh….. the performers  are Carley Broom (as Agnetha), Mark Thomas (as  Bjorn), Phil Hawkes (as  Benny) and Katy Summer(as  Anni-Frid).

The performance had good reviews:

“Even better than the originals in the live arena” - Sky News

“Close your eyes and it could have been Abba!” – Sky News

“Abbamania are one of the best on the circuit.” “Don’t miss ‘em.” – Daily mirror

“Completely infectious! For a good night out, even if you are not a die hard fan, this was good innocent fun for all the family.” – BBC-Nottingham website

The audience, carried by the seventies sounds of Voulez-vouz and The Winner Takes It All are soon singing and dancing in the aisles. A live backing band and really spectacular stage effects make this a great evening’s entertainment and well worth the money.” - The Stage

There were a lot more if you are interested to read on: http://www.abbamania.com/reviews.asp

Jakarta Post had a write-up on the performance:

“Sing, dance and party with ABBA MANIA

Performing on Oct. 4 and 5, ABBA MANIA is going to heat up Esplanade Theater with their famous tracks such as Fernando, Super Trouper, Waterloo, The Winner Takes It All, Voulez Vous, Take A Chance On Me and a lot more. Said to be the best ABBA show since ABBA, ABBA MANIA comes to conquer Singapore after a sell-out run at the Strand Theatre in London’s West End and record-breaking seasons through Europe, South America and Australia.

Expect a couple of hours of uplifting joy showered with the glitterings of stage, lights, music and memories of the band, altogether on one memorable night. “

My hubby and I are not diehard fan of ABBA.  We enjoy their songs and the songs bring us back to the time when we were pri/sec  school pupil.  I didn’t expect much from the concert.  As I know, nobody can replace the original artists, no matter how well they sing.

For the first part of the concert, I was quite disappointed with their singing.   How can Sky News gave such review:  “Close your eyes and it could have been Abba!”   Their singings were ordinary.  I find the singers in ‘American Idol’ sing much better.  The performers asked the audience to stand to clap, to raise their hands to wave and to dance.  I had no choice but to stand up as I was blocked by the audience in front of me.

After the interval, the performance was much better.  They must have made some adjustment to better the sound effect.  I could appreciate Carley Broom (as Agnetha) wonderful singing then.  She is the only one who can sing and she is the corner stone of the concert.  She can dance well too.  Like what T commented, she is a natural entertainer.

Katy Summer(as Anni-Frid) was a disappointment.  Her voice is low and not powerful at all.  I personally don’t think her voice is suitable to sing ABBA songs.

Phil Hawkes (as Benny) played piano well.   Mark Thomas (as Bjorn) played ordinary guitar and was only a carefare in the concert.

The stage was quite simple, nothing glittering and spectacular.  They placed 3 white platforms for the band and had some colour lights with patterns to create stage effect.  I have seen much better stage in other concerts (I am spoilt by the concert which has laser light, smoke, firework and very good sound effect).  The live band didn’t give me the kick and bang either.  I think this is a low production concert – just get 2 slightly famous female singers, 2 guys who can play piano and guitar, a band of 2 guitarists and one drummer, simple backdrop, etc.  Looking at the overwhelming response in Singapore, the organization must have earned $$$.

My hubby and I definitely had one memorable night, not because we had a wonderful and infectious sing and dance party, not because of the glitterings of stage, lights and music like what the review mentioned (which was not true at Esplanade Theatre); but the good memories of the original ABBA infectious singing, the good memory of the Mama Mia show at London, and of course, the good company of bubbly Lisa & cool T :) .

I saw a Dollar bird perching on a bare tree this morning.  Hi, friend, long time no see!

Dollar Bird is a plump black-greenish bird with a wide red beak.  You can see a large white circle on each wing when it flies.  I don’t know why it is named Dollar Bird. 

It is quite easy to spot a Dollar Bird.  It likes to sun itself high up on the tree in the morning or after rain.  From far away, you can see the black plump body and the red beak.  Its colour and size are different from Crow and Starling.  We will confirm by observing the white circle on the wings when it opens up the wings.  It will stay there for a long time, hence we can take our time to watch it.

During our bird-watching walk, when one of bird-watcher said ‘I earn one dollar today!’  That meant she saw a Dollar Bird.

A good site about birds in Singapore:  http://besgroup.talfrynature.com/

My dear B friends

My hubby asked me what I would like to be when I was young.  I told him I wish to be a bird flying freely in the blue blue sky.  He laughed and said to be a bird is not a job or inspiration.  Growing up in a small town, I never dreamt to be a successful career woman in certain field.  I am not ambitious, that’s why I never made it big in my previous career.

When I was young, I always woke up by birds’ singing in the coconut plantation at the back of my old house.  I would look out of the window trying to find the birds which can sing such a wonderful melody.  I wished I could sing as well as them.   Sometimes my mother will point out the birds to me but she didn’t know the names of the bird.  She could only identify the colour, so she would call them green bird, yellow bird, black bird, etc.

I started to get to know more birds when I worked in an institution.  My colleagues loved bird watching and invited me to join their trips to nature reserves/nature parks for bird watching.  I bought my first binocular and bird guide book and went with them to Pulau Ubin, Bukit Timah Hill, Sentosa, Taman Negara National Park in Pahang, Bako National Park in Sarawak, Bird Sanctuary in India, National Park in Thailand, Fraser Hill and some ulu places in Singapore to do bird-watching.

My sisters didn’t understand why I wanted to go to some ulu jungle and suffered from mosquitoes bites just to do bird watching.  Birds are such beautiful creatures with magnificent colours which only God can create.  They sing melodiously and they fly gracefully.  They are the greatest art pieces which artists, singers, dancers couldn’t imitate. 

My colleagues and I could spent hours standing with our head raised up (it’s quite tiring) at a jungle trail, or if we are lucky, sitting at a watch tower to listen to the chirping and watch out for any movement.  When we spot any bird, we would softly alert others to watch.  “You see 9 o’clock there, the second tallest tree, somewhere in the middle of the trunk…..”  Sometimes, before we spot the bird, the bird flew away.  Sometimes, we just couldn’t find the bird no matter how my colleagues tried to tell me where.  Sometimes, we were so lucky that different kinds of bird just parading in front of us one after another.  We felt so siok then.  Sometimes, we could wait for a few hours and only see crows and common mynas.  When we spotted the bird, we would try to identify the colours of the body, nape, wing, legs, so that to confirm what bird it is.  There were certain times that we search through the bird guide and still couldn’t confirm.  The reasons may be the light is too dim/bright for us to identify the colour of the bird, or the bird is too young to develop fully to the one appeared in the guide book.

Besides the joy of watching the birds, we could enjoy the nature walk and appreciate nature too.  However, we need to bear with mosquito bites and sometimes get wet because of unpredictable weather.  In Thailand National Park, we even needed to track through a jungle with leeches everywhere in order to get to the Watch Tower.  We nearly struck by thunder at the Tower while waiting for the thunder storm to stop.  A frightening experience!

My favourite birds are Collared Kingfisher, Asian Fairy-Bluebird, Common Flameback Woodpecker, Hornbills, etc.  They are like my friends greeting me when we walk into the nature.  I always had a list of birds I wanted to see before we go for bird-watching.  I could be quite lucky to see all the birds I wish to see in one trip.

Bird-watching used to be my favourite activity.  I didn’t do it for so many years due to busy work and no bird-watching kaki.  Recently I pick up this hobby again.  But I don’t do it in a jungle.  I do it at home, at the WINDOW of our bedroom.

The small patch of nature reserve beside our apartment is getting livelier recently.  At dawn, I could hear bird chirping and singing as if I am sleeping in a jungle.  Usually I could see Pacific swallow, common Mynas, pigeons and black-naped oriole.  Last month, there were some Egrets taking one of the trees as their home and stay there for about a month.  We could see them flying in and out and utter loud noise.  In the afternoons, around 4pm, a green bird with long, curved bill (I think is a female Olive-backed Sunbird) came to my small garden at the balcony.  It would jump about from one rail to another for a few minutes.  There was once a red one perching on one of my plant, I think it is Crimson Sunbird. Last week, I saw a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo flying pass the nature reserve.

Four days ago, I heard a loud noise and I thought the Egrets still have not left.  But it didn’t sound like Egrets.  I looked out from the window and saw 2 white birds perching on one of the trees about 100m away from this apartment.  Their size and the way they fly didn’t look like Egret too.  I quickly searched for the binocular hiding inside the cabinet.  I looked at the birds through the binocular.  Wahl, they have shining white feather, black beak and yellow crest.  Wahl, they are Yellow-crested Cockatoos!  The yellow crest is so beautiful when it’s open up!  I was so happy to see them.  When my hubby came back from work, they were still happily flying from one tree to another tree.  I showed them to him.  He said they might be lost.  I agreed with him.  Usually we don’t see Cockatoo by the roadside.  They might be escaped from somewhere.

The next day, while I stood at the window, the Cockatoos flew gracefully and greeted me again!   I stood there for a while and when I was about to leave, I saw something yellow and red flying and stopped at a bare trunk.  I took the binocular and looked.  So beautiful! It’s a common flameback with golden back and red skull cap.  It’s such a long time I didn’t see this bird.  It moved around the dead tree and banged its bill into the trunk.  It looked so adorable with its head moving up and down banging the tree.  That evening, some long-tailed parakeets visited this patch of nature reserve.

Last Friday, I was fortunate to spot a pair of Hill Mynas on a tree quite far away.  I was not sure what bird it is.  I remembered I saw the shiny black body, something orange or red around the eye and a prominent white dot at the wings.  I guessed it is Hill Myna and I confirmed it by surfing one of the website.

I should go with my hubby to the nearby nature reserves more often to see if I could see more of my birdie friends there.

Go with my mood

The excitement and freedom I felt when I quit to stay at home to do part-time job have seceded and life starts to become monotonous (it’s ok, monotonous is much better than stressed).  Since I have a lot of time in my hands, I do everything slowly and relaxingly.

 I would arrange only one or two things to do in one day (unlike in the past, I have umpteen things to do in one day.  When I had not even finished doing one thing, I started to worry about another thing.  There were always a lot of urgent and undone things in the list which always stressed me and sometimes even dreamt about them at night).  I don’t have a fix schedule and I do things depends on my mood.  When I feel like doing housework today, I will clean the floor, clean toilets, do laundry, ironing, tidying up the garden, etc.  When I don’t have the mood to do housework, I will just let the house be untidy (luckily my house doesn’t get dirty easily and my hubby and I can live with the untidiness).  Some days I will do window shopping or shop for groceries for a few hours, taking my time to choose and compare prices, or looking at new products.  After that I will go home to prepare dinner.  I will turn on my favourite CD and take my time to chop garlic/onion/vegetables; to season the chicken/pork; to broil the soup, etc.  Some days I just read free copy of ‘My Paper’ slowly, watch cable TV programmes or recorded programmes, and watch online TV eg. YouTube or Tudou, surf the net to look for materials regarding my part-time job……  Sometimes I will meet up with friends who had quit long time ago to do part-time job to have afternoon tea or dinner in city area.

It can be a bit bored but suit my present state of mind and stress-tolerating level.  To make my life more fulfilling, I will slowly pick up things I used to do but too busy to do.  When I have the mood to blog, I will pen down any new activities I do at home.

Sorry to disappoint you my friends for not uploading any new articles.  I find reading others’ blogs more interesting than writing my own blog.  I will write definitely when the mood comes.

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