Lagom

Allen and Unwin Birthday

Allen and Unwin Birthday

Lagom is a Swedish word which, roughly translate means “in the right balance”.

It’s a commonly used word, and one which many have said sums up the Swedes as a whole, everything being “in the right balance”.

But it’s also a word I’d use to describe the evening’s activities.

After an interesting and varied day at work I came home briefly before heading off to the Allen and Unwin twentieth birthday party.

Allen and Unwin is an Australian-owned, independant publisher, though with UK origins.

Generally speaking, they publish good books, and along the way they’ve had a hit or two with thinks like Harry Potter and the Chris Masters biography of Alan Jones.

I saw Chris Masters as the function, along with a range of other “journalism celebrities”.

In the midst of drinks and canapes there were some speeches celebrating twenty years of independant ownership.

And guess what? They didn’t go too long. They were about the right length, were well thought out, and hit the mark absolutely.

Thirty minutes for a speech in the middle of a party seems like a lot, but when those making the speeches have thought them through, have a point to make, and use the old adage of “get on, say what you have to say, and then get off” you know you’re in luck.

I met some interesting people through the night including a woman writing a series of books about teenage sexuality.

I also met a freelance journalist who moved from Melbourne a few years ago because there “wasn’t much work in Melbourne”, and who has no regrets about the move.

There were others too, all with an interesting story to tell, and of course I ran into a few people I knew already.

Overall, a lovely way to spend Friday night. Lots of balance.

  1. Allen and Unwin only twenty years in Australia? They seem to have been around forever. Perhaps I am remembering the English company.

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