Dispatch #3 – Architecture

A bit of a dandy, a bit of a cavalier and a lot of a charmer, rogue British official The Dippylomat. Esq. investigates…


Now, I may not be able to tell my Tadao Andos from my Sir Christopher Wrens, but I have always enjoyed being in the company of buildings. I have never really worked out why underlings have been so fascinated with so-called places of natural beauty. A large rock in the middle of the Australian outback/dust bowl is just that, a large rock – it is just there, it required no effort. My theory here is these places are, more often than not, free of any admission charge. I want to go where The Great Unwashed are not invited.

Lots of Poor People staring at the Niagara Falls:

Prague Castle – you are NOT invited:

So you can picture my aghast face as I was first chauffeured through the streets of Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö. One can only imagine that the town planners were a class of six year olds who were each given a pencil and a ruler and asked to draw a building using “as little imagination as possible”.

At first I was frustrated that I had not been assigned to this somewhat drab and dreary metropolis, but just weeks into my Assessment something dawned on me – what appeared to be Soviet-style blocks on the exterior were actually the shells for some of the most luxurious and impeccably designed apartments I had ever bore witness to. Once this seed had been implanted in my Cambridge-University trained brain I started to spot it everywhere I went; the train station, the hospital, the municipal offices, the secluded private members clubs and so on.

The outside of a block of luxurious flats:

The inside of a breeze block:

No sooner had I begun to quiz myself about this paradox than the answer came to me in a gust of wind so cold that it almost made the end of my Jewishly inherited nose crack and shatter – Malmö is a dastardly windy city, and it is a cold wind to boot.

It was the very same gust which blew the metaphorical dust off my thinking cap; the grey, concrete exteriors combined with the chic and elegant interiors combined with the Siberian wind?

My Conclusion:

Back in the mists of time (or pre-yore, as I was taught) the first settlers must have plodded up through Europe from their African roots and eventually discovered the plot of land which is now referred to as Malmö. Imagine, if you will, the incessant nagging of a shivering Mrs Pre-Yore, as she discovered there were no caves for her to bed down and hang her array of fitted animal skins – MOST OF WHICH SHE NEVER WORE ANYWAY. “Build me a shelter,” she presumably crowed in a language even less civilised than all the modern day languages which are not English. So off Mr Pre-Yore went to gather materials for their new home. Did he give a fig what it looked like on the outside? No, of course not, he was also cold and he just wanted to shelter – it had been a long day and he still had to track down and kill a woolly mammoth. He promised, in due course, to work on the outside of the property. But endless long winter after endless long winter – with an ice age thrown in for good measure – meant this work never transpired. Here lieth the root of much Nordic architecture styles, why bother with the outside when it is so cold you never really want to go outside anyway?

Gives you a little food for thought, doesn’t it? If Sweden’s colder climes can have such an impact, then…

In all honesty, do we really know that what lies behind this window here…

is not this?

My driver awaits, I am not off for Swan meatballs at the Embassy.

Toodle pip

ATTENTION BOTH FELLOW COUNTRYMEN & NATIVES: If you would like to receive my dispatches at precisely the same moment as the Foreign Office don’t, then tick the box requesting email notification of any missives on the right of this VERY page – please don’t forget to confirm the electronic mail you will be sent. It’ll be like Wikileaks, but not quite as savage….’Weakileaks’©

About The Dippylomat, Esq.

A connoisseur, a charmer and a bit of a cad.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Ex pats, Hodge Podge, Prague, Sweden, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Dispatch #3 – Architecture

  1. Helen M says:

    Sir, as ever you have cut to the essence of the matter. Huzzah! (or however they spell a rousing cheer in your part of the world!)

  2. Tanya says:

    Excellent points! I shall, heretofore, never be judgie about exteriors again.

  3. Carrie says:

    My good Sir, one found this dispatch very interesting and very funny! I laughed my corset off!

  4. Patrick says:


  5. Gristybeasty says:

    Load of bollocks and crap as per usual. Back to kindergarten you go my lad and start to learn all about exteriors.
    You may progress to interiors if you show quite clearly how you managed to get the answer to the Square root of a daft fart prancing around Sweden.
    This post is by a future crazed World Dictator who is related to Our Dear ancestor Benjamin Disraeli and the son of a secret agent.

    • Sometimes my own genes petrify me.

      • Gristybeasty says:

        Have you any? Genes I refer to not jeans as in blue trous with metal thingmebobs and not as Jean my once beloved who had smashing legs and………. …never mind that bit or, should I add bits.
        Why I inquire do persons have so much time on their hands to spend a minute or two writing stupid daft things on this site?
        As for Moi, I have a messed up world to run and once I get the hang of all that, the bloody universe so watch your step as i will be really horrible and thoroughly ghastly if anyone upsets me.

  6. CC Champagne says:

    Hilarious! I have neither language or wit to pen in a manner that would be suitable as a response, but this dispatch is quite simply a divine read!

  7. How charming of you to say so, anyone who enjoys the finer things in life, such as Champagne, is of course, always welcome on this page.

  8. Pingback: Dispatch #4. | The Northern Plights

  9. Nkosazana says:

    Hah so true! Very funny!

  10. Gristybeasty says:

    I exit planet QZXY in Star ship SS “Slums” ( “Stop Looking Up My Skirt ) in order to give my daughter away. What a foul and dastardly expression that be. What Father not out of his stark staring idiotic mind would GIVE his daughter away? Anyway, for a few million quid, I may reconsider. Everyman, even moi has a price.
    I waffle, this is exactly what I accuse that wretched illiterate nephew of mine of!

  11. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  12. ladyfi says:

    Jolly hockey sticks, sir! Hilarious stuff.

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