There is a curious word in Bible, ἀββά abba, which is an Aramaic word for father. It is used only three times in the New Testament, by Jesus and the Apostle Paul (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6). In each of these instances, the word abba is used to address God in a manner indicating a personal relationship. Whilst it is intimate, it is also carries the weight of obedience. What Abba does not translate to is ‘daddy’.
I thought of this as Mr Gochugaru and I surveyed the merchandise for the ABBA Voyage concert we attended to celebrate his birthday last week *. The souvenirs were lacking, but the concert was spectacular. It is one experience I would have put in my Bucket List if I had one. It is a really great feeling when you get to adulthood and find that you can still fulfil a wish from your childhood. This time, part of the fascination came from the technology behind the concert.
The purpose built ABBA Arena has a seating capacity of 1,650 and space for a standing audience of 1,350. Upon entering the vast hall Mr Gochugaru and I said simultaneously: I am glad I am not the oldest person here.
The concert, on a cold January night, was what we really needed to counter the sadness of my father-in-law’s passing. The funeral is in a week’s time. Due to the planning and logistics, I have not been able to do much more than basic cooking. I could not enthuse much over the lemon and blueberry cake, served with vanilla custard, that I made this evening. Life will sparkle again, but for now we need to keep things simple. Just trying to ‘hang in there’ as the saying goes.
The children got together to make a birthday tea, consisting of cakes (carrot and coffee + walnut), scones and sandwiches. The courgette, feta and olive muffins were from the Honey and Co baking book and a version of it is here.
We have two family dinners this week where I hope to slow-roast a shoulder of lamb and a shoulder of pork. Separate meals, of course. Mr Gochugaru and I head to Devon for the weekend to prepare for the larger extended family gathering. More food and drink, and a timely reminder that we must meet up more often. We never know what is around the corner.
*In fact the tickets were a gift for Christmas 2022 from one of the children, rather than a birthday gift. It has taken us over a year to use the tickets. I don’t have a Bucket List but maybe I need a Use It Now List.