Last Friday, Antonio, our friendly security guard at work, phoned up to say there was someone with a package for me? Package? I wasn't expecting a package - hmmm a satisfied client sending a token of their esteem which I cannot accept? A dissatisfied client with another type of gift that I don't wish to accept?
It turned out to be neither. It was a colleague of my darling Bev's bearing a gift from her. Back in February when she was in Torino she had brought a carpet with her from Islamabad, which she, Kev, Sobie and Silver currently call home. She had given it to a colleague to bring back to Roma; our friends at Alitalia had lost his luggage - between Torino and Roma???? - and I had all but given up hope that it would ever show up. But no, there it was.
Within minutes of unrolling it in the office I received three offers to buy it. But there is no way! First it comes from Bev! Second I love it! And third for some reason it reminds me of the first oriental rug that Laurent and I ever bought.
Back in 1982 one of my friends and co-workers was engaged to a chap in Ottawa who had a carpet store; out of curiosity - to see what he had and also, as we hadn't met him yet, to see what she had - we dropped in to his place on Bank St one Saturday morning. He showed us some lovely if highly priced carpets which were well beyond our budget. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw this small, but to my mind exquisite, carpet amongst a pile of other smaller rugs.
It was a Baluchi prayer rug with a Tree of Life design. It had been added to at some point in time, those borders with the coloured tufts weren't part of the original, nor was the tufted edging. As I recall it wasn't exactly inexpensive but they had a very good installment plan - so it ended up in our apartment. The first of what was to be a considerable number of purchases of oriental rugs.
At last count (that's as of Friday and not including several that have been sold in the past two years) we have twelve in all sizes and styles. Some are expensive, some less so; some are unique - one in particular, a Saumur, makes the local carpet seller get all glassy eyed with desire - others are fairly common though most are hand woven so I suppose each on is unique. Some were bought in Cairo, quite a few in Damascus, two others in Kurdasi, several in Warsaw of all places and at least two were received as gifts. And if I recall both of the gifts are from Bev.
I guess its the colours more than anything as the design is completely different. Nicky and Nora found it very much to their liking with much sniffing and rolling - one little problem our Nora loves rug fringes. In the same way she has learned to open the doggie gate (smart girl that) she also managed to unravel the fringe on one of our more expensive carpets. Its currently out being repaired and I'm trying to explain to Nora that the cost is coming out of her doggie chow allowance!
So until the hounds from hell are a bit better trained our newest carpet will join several of the smaller carpets in storage but it will soon be gracing the floor - I think in the bedroom with that first much loved carpet. My two magic carpets!
10 maggio - San Cataldo