Today I took a little day trip to Presteigne – a very pretty little town, almost on the Wales-England border. One of the nice places to see there is a warehouse of oriental carpets. They have hundreds – all sorts of sizes, from the size of a hearth rug to carpets big enough to cover the drawing room of your local stately home. There’s a variety of designs and every colour imaginable – all piled and stacked and rolled.
Here’s one in the process of repair:
And here you can see the edges of several carpets, all in a pile:
There’s something I call the ‘abundance effect’ – it’s when my eye is caught by a display of something, and the variety of colours is dazzling. It can be a pile of yarns, lovely fabrics, glass vases. I remember a breathtaking display of silk scarves in a shop in Venice. I look for ages, drawn to that purple, this blue, this wonderful pink, this vibrant green. I decide to buy one of whatever it is – but as soon as I pick one up, although it’s still lovely, it loses something when it’s not part of the spectrum of colours. Removed from the context of the display, although it is still beautiful, it loses its impact. And then I realise that I don’t actually want a silk scarf or a glass vase – what I want to take home is a little bit of that abundance, that colour.
So it is with these carpets. Even if I could afford one (which at the moment, I cannot) I wouldn’t be able to choose. What I love is the abundance of colour, texture, shape and design. And fortunately, the owners of the carpet shop are happy for people like me to come and enjoy that for nothing.
There were more lovely things downstairs … and I’ll tell you all about those tomorrow.