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Expat reporter nominated for travel blogger award

A reporter turned blogger, who once needed a double organ transplant to save his life, is on the verge of becoming an award-winning travel writer.

Adrian Grist, left, who is formerly a reporter with the Herts and Essex Observer but now lives in Sweden, has reached the final of the FITUR Travel Blogger of the Year award.

While convalescing from kidney and pancreas surgery in 2009, Adrian began dating a Swedish woman and he later emigrated to Malmo.

The 40-year-old started to write about Sweden as a means of getting back into the habit of writing after his enforced career break.

“It came as quite a surprise to be asked to participate. This all started as just a bit of fun,” he told the Herts and Essex Observer.

“I’ve been left with many disabilities after my illness. I cannot work as a reporter any more, the only thing I can really do is sit and write, so that’s what I do.”

Adrian, who got married in the summer, writes under the pseudonym The Dippylomat and the blog is a lighthearted look at the culture and history of Sweden seen through the eyes of an exaggerated British stereotype.

“The blog may look like I’m just poking fun, but I do research everything thoroughly,” he added.

“I’m not pretending I’m an expert on the country, I just write about the things which strike me as unusual or interesting.

“The final round is all about the public vote. I’m currently in second place, but am going to need all the support I can get.”

You can vote for Adrian’s blog, The Northern Plights, via Twitter or Facebook at