You may not be familiar with the term lagom, which translates to ‘not too little, not too much’, but the need to slow down and find the right work-life balance has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Swedish philosophy, lagom is about finding balance and establishing a lifestyle based on social awareness, moderation and sustainability. It includes creating more time for family and finding solutions to work stress.
At home, lagom is reflected in eco-friendly practices such as the installation of solar power and taking advantage of natural light. Furniture and furnishing are made of sustainable materials, and there is less clutter to help create a relaxing environment. Add a few plants and you’ve introduced lagom into your life.
Long plagued in Australia by the phrase “bloody Volvo driver”, which insinuated that Volvo owners had no regard for other drivers on the road, Volvo launched a satirical advertising campaign in 2003 to address the image problem. It worked, and Australians now see the Volvo as a stylish alternative to German prestige cars.
As a pioneer in safety, Volvo was the first car manufacturer to install airbags in 1987. Now out of lockdown and free to hit the open road once more, new car buyers are embracing Volvo. According to industry sales figures, Volvo experienced a 32.3 per cent sales increase in 2021 (to the end of October) compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Volvo’s first ever fully electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, has had its 2021 allocation sold out prior to launch in Australia.
Swede Stieg Larsson’s novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo kickstarted the Nordic crime fiction trend in 2005, and interest in the genre shows no signs of abating. During COVID-19 lockdowns, there were more than a dozen Nordic Noir series on Netflix alone, including the acclaimed new series The Chestnut Man (although that series is produced in Denmark). The hallmarks of Nordic Noir are bleak settings, violent crimes, complex plots, and deeply troubled detectives.
If you’re looking for a gripping beach read these Christmas holidays, try Camilla Läckberg’s new novel, Silver Tears, about a businesswoman who flees her home after her violent husband gets out of prison. For a good crime series, consider Sjöwal & Wahlöö’s Martin Beck series or Asa Larsson’s books about lawyer Rebecka Martinsson.