Dispatch #8 – Climate

I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.

The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is not considering.

DISPATCH 8: Climate.

“You’re moving to Sweden, you say? Oh, how wonderful,” she cooed as she patted down the freshly-starched linen antimacassar on the back of a reading chair. I wasn’t in one of the Home Office’s private member’s bars chatting to the dear old tea lady as she brought me my afternoon crumpets and a refreshing Earl Grey.

 She wasn’t the first person to comment in such a manner on my impending fact-finding tour of the Nordic peninsula, however, she will be the last to say it without a firm correcting rebuke from my good self.

I haven’t been reliably informed by a spy chum that mind reading technology isn’t in the final testing stages, but until it is launched let me try and paint a picture of what I would guess was spinning around tea lady’s minimum-wage sponsored brain:

So gushing was she in her praise of the country that I suspected she must have been there; “Oh no,” she said, “on my wage? Don’t be daft,” she playfully swiped my lacquered hair with her feather duster then mused, “I bet it’s gorgeous though, all those houses with funny rooves covered in snow, it always looks so lovely on the telly. And wolves, don’t they have wolves there? I love wolves….and dolphins.”

In fairness, to the uninitiated, Sweden probably will conjure up images of mountains, lakes, snow drifting across plains with migrating moose trekking across the landscape and wooden cabins (probably from IKEA). Or, to the VERY uninitiated, it conjures up images of cuckoo clocks, bulging bank accounts, Nazi gold and Lake Geneva; if you are in this latter category, then what you are actually picturing is SWITZERLAND and you are an imbecile. You probably found this Dispatch by repeatedly banging your head on the keyboard – the nurse will be with you soon, I am sure.

Either way, the image in your imagination probably includes snow. It is no secret in the United Kingdom that one day the world seems like it is has been given a clean, fresh layer of correction fluid only for the next day to find all you loathe has been exposed with a greyish, mucky hue – and now it is slippery to boot. But have you ever considered how that works on an industrial level in a city in a country which overlaps the Arctic Circle?

A tree after fresh snowfall:

How a tree looked TWO MONTHS after fresh snowfall:

Imagine that disappointment you feel when white turns to grey, now times that by four gazillion. Grey is an ugly colour to have draped over your life, but black is worse and black is the colour Sweden becomes. What was, for one day, a dream-like fantasy world now has a passing resemblance to a Marilyn Manson stage set.

So why am I talking about snow now? It’s the middle of July, right? The truth is snow and cold are never far from the nation’s collective psyche. Here is why:


How the Swedes see it.

Duration (in percentage of year)













Swedish natives spend most of the year complaining about the cold weather and promising that THIS is the year they will emigrate to warmer climes. Come Midsummer however, they all get so drunk on schnapps they completely forget what they had planned – year in, year out.

Must dash, the Embassy is having a fancy dress party; I am emptying my wallet and going as a viking’s pillage victim.

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 British Government, climate, Ex pats, Gothenburg, Hodge Podge, Humour, Nature, Stockholm, Sweden, Tea, Travel, United Kingdom, Wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Dispatch #8 – Climate

  1. Peter D says:

    Good sir
    My sincerest praises for your latest missive. I would merely wish to observe that, apart from having QWERTYUIOP[] embossed backwards on my forehead, I’ve found being an imbecile to be pretty good fun.

    • Ignorance can indeed be bliss, dear uncle, but knowledge is power…unless you get your knowledge from the News of the World!

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

      • A Dutch Savage says:

        My dearest Dipplyomat,

        It seems that you are out of touch with recent news, what with being snow bound in a wooden cabin in the Arctic, surrounded by wolverines and dolphins and surviving off nothing but Abbas on toast, but no one gets their knowledge from the News of the World anymore, as it no longer publishes any.

        I hope this news finds you in good health, tucking into a monstrously large reindeer burger whilst throwing another log on the fire.

        Dutch Savage

      • Dear Ms Savage,

        Let me assure you that my dear ol’ uncles knowledge is probably equivalent to the content of NEXT week’s edition of the News of the World ,-)

        Fond regards,

        ~The Dippylomat esq.

  2. CC Champagne says:

    Dear Sir,

    You are, as always, most entertaining in your dispatches. Allow me, however, with the patriotic eye of the native to point out the difference between Swedish snaps and German Schnapps… Apart from the spelling, the first is a liquid Swedish delicacy, usually flavoured with herbs (fennel, aniseed, wormwood, dill etc, etc) which allows limitless consumption in a rapid pace without nausea catching up with you until the following day, whereas the second is a vile German concoction, usually flavoured with fruits or berries, which you cannot possibly consume in larger quantities unless you have already imbibed large quantities of Swedish snaps!

    Apart from this, rather minor, factual error I always enjoy your weekly dispatches enormously.

    By the way, if one may be allowed to enquire, why is your hair laquered?

    • Charmed, as ever, I am that you read these Dispatches, I must argue your somewhat contentious claim that Swedish snaps is easy to drink! I supped a thimble full for about an hour and it felt like my throat was being ripped raw by a cheese grater!

      To address your second point: my Jewish genes have left me with dark flowing hair, in fear of being a scruffpot I keep it tamed with laquer..essential for the hurricaine winds of Malmö!

      Your dear chum,

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

  3. Gristybeasty says:

    By the way, if one may be allowed to enquire, why is your hair laquered?
    Because it is stuck to his bonk, n’est pas?

  4. tony swede says:

    Spot on dear chap!

  5. Carrie says:

    My dear Mr Dippylomat

    How I love reading your blog, and I thought this particular dispatch was very amusing…..one was certainly ‘Laughing Out Loud’. Haha! 🙂

    One would love to visit Sweden. It look gorgeous in photos and on TV. However, when one hear the word ‘snow’ one’s lame legs goes all spasticity. One was snowed in last December and at first, it was rather nice sitting by the Christmas tree, drinking Baileys. However, by day five the ‘cabin fever’ feeling was getting a bit too much! 😦

    Keep warm, my dear friend.

    • Aw Carrie, the true Duchess of Charmingeshire!
      You do know that there is always a wing of this spacious embassy palace fully equipped with handrails if ever your travels take you in a Nordic direction 🙂

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

  6. Lord Alasdair says:

    The snow around my house is always yellow. Ghastly locals….Must resist urge to eat it…

  7. google says:

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  9. Karl Drobnic says:

    Wouldn’t a bowler be more appropriate than a top-hat in Sweden given the long winters? It seems to me that the sandwiches at the upper side of the top-hat would be frozen whereas a bowler would do a decent job of keeping your lunch warm.

  10. Calle Bergström says:

    you know that the black thing on top of that snow is salt, right? its not all exhaust..

  11. travelerdude says:

    Ha ha Yes Swedes do talk a lot about the weather and they can not drink! But I would like some snow.

  12. Rebekah says:

    I think they talk more about the weather here, in North America, than they did back home in Sweden. Here they have all kinds of warnings up for — what we would consider a normal snowfall.
    Anyway … I love our snow — the white, fluffy stuff, but I loathe the dirty yukk we get in April.

    I’ve never understood why people confuse Sweden with Switzerland?! Is it because both begin with SW?! Can’t be … then Swaziland would be in the mix too..

    Anyway .. there’s a reason I’ve entitled my blog ColderWeather 🙂

  13. artisalexchristopher says:

    Reblogged this on Artis – photo art passion and commented:
    “Swedish natives spend most of the year complaining about the cold weather and promising that THIS is the year they will emigrate to warmer climes. Come Midsummer however, they all get so drunk on schnapps they completely forget what they had planned – year in, year out.”

    True, very true…

  14. Lucile says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out
    a lot. I hope to give something back and help others
    like you helped me.


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