Here at the Café, you will have observed, except when deeply exercised, we generally steer clear of things political. When those matters are of local concern, that seems to me only a combination of sensitivity to local feeling and common sense. Still, I can't help calling attention to a story highlighted by sterling local blogger Muscat Confidential, although not really for the reason he's picked up on it.
It appears, you see, that some perfectly dreadful-sounding jumped-up member of Parliament has, over the years, occasionally visited our quiet little corner of Arabia, which the deeply trashy Daily Mail has seized upon to include in his catalogue of otherwise quite dull transgressions. Like all official visitors, he has departed with a trinket or two, which is apparently Not Allowed, or at least the cause for some holier-than-thou finger-wagging.
But all of that, some fascinating personal details (which do cast the local travel industry in a more than usually interesting light) aside, that's all rather dull. The real interest of the story comes in the illustrations, which show for no evident reason the Sultanate's remarkable sovereign at various stages in his life, most thrillingly here posed between two of our favorite people. Look carefully and you'll note the wild-eyed creature in the background, who was also, for a while, you may remember, of some note. This was 1983, and HM is still fetchingly salt-and-pepper, and between his gold braid and his orders, almost able to challenge these merry wives of Windsor in terms of bling.
Even in such formidable company, I think he more than holds his own.