Just because we're running around the capitals of Europe discovering how many different ways there are to eat foie gras (answer: many, and they're all delicious) doesn't mean that I'm not doing my best to keep an eye on the critically important developments in this troubled world of ours. Fortunately, I'm also still able to gloss over those and focus on what really matters.
Yes, it's that time again already - the annual festival of Royal-watching that is race week at Ascot.
The older folks are looking well this year, although the Duke is starting to get that tell-tale old man expression that may just be bemused absence or may in fact be a genuine lack of any idea at all where he is.
Personally, I always like Her Majesty better in bright colors, as here in fuschia. That is, by the way, a single stone there in the middle of that brooch - I believe it may be a piece of the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
The York princesses remain wholly regrettable, the Countess of Wessex gives every indication that she's well aware she's in the midst of an only middling bargain, and the Duchess of Cornwall is looking well. The real news, though, is that the Princess Royal is, after a long era of rather disastrous appearances (all too many of them in uniform drag), making an effort.
She looks jaunty in orange, and certainly seems pleased with herself...
...and while I think we may have seen this yellow-and-blue number before, it has a classic appeal.
She saved the real fireworks, though, for day three, with this pleated crêpe jacket, gorgeous black gloves, and a hat that must have added almost a foot to her height. Already the hardest working woman in royal business, she may have an eye on finally dressing the part. Brava!
All in all, it seems to have been a thoroughly satisfactory week all around, although at times...
I do suspect the Queen must wonder how it happens that she has to spend time with some of the people thrown her way. Yes, that is indeed Sheikh Mo of Dubai in top hat and morning coat. Oh, dear...