Despite the rather inconvenient French transit strike, this package from Rochambeau arrived safely this morning! Isn't that silk brocade bag lovely? And Constance included more treats: little sachets tied up in beautiful patterned silks.
Many of you know I have a strong affinity for the Middle East. As a reporter, I have lived and traveled throughout the region - particularly Jordan. I love the flowery poetic language; the stunning Islamic architecture; the food; the music; the people and their wonderful hospitality; the desert; the mountains.
When Constance created an unusual belly-dancing puppet named Tara, she was destined to join me for further adventures.
Et voila! Tara makes her appearance in Paris. Jetlagged or not, almost immediately, she looked around for a mandolin. Then she started to play the tambourine, her gold bangle bracelets jangling to the music.
Obviously, she was relieved her long journey was finished! Of course many other journeys and mysteries await, as Tara's story continues to unfold.
The pretty pink package contains a scroll depicting Tara's life to date, as written by Constance:
"She was born in a colourful Gypsy wagon, under a magic tree in a mossy wood. Hers was an easy birth. They called her Tara because she was born on a starry night, during the full moon. She lived in a faraway land, where the sounds of perfectly-tuned mandolins filled the air with joy and wrapped their melodies around her heart like a warm winter blanket.
"And yes, there were exotic spices perfuming the air: cinnamon, caramon, anise star and nutmeg - infusing and awakening the senses, whetting her appetite for a life filled with adventure! Tara greew into a beautiful woman, bright like a shining star. She enjoyed life, keeping time with her tambourine, while swirling in a circle of colourful satin ribbons. As she danced, she shook her hips and moved to the soundtrack of life. One day she'd be belly-dancing alone; the next she'd be doing a cha-cha with the handsomest guy in the village.
"As she grew in years, so did the Persian carpet of her life. It seemed to become deeper, richer and more complete. Each stitch, beautifully woven together with light colours and dark ones too. In fact, she began to see it coming together as one beautiful expression, telling the stories and secrets of her life.
"Maybe one day you will meet Tara. And how will you know? Well, she happens to hold her dreams in a pretty blue pounch wrapped around her waist. If you're lucky, she might hold on to one of your dreams, too!"
At the moment, she's taking a nap after her tiring trans-Atlantic voyage. But this weekend, Tara and I will be practicing our belly-dancing. Would you like to join us?
P.S. After the belly-dancing, we'll be watching rugby. France plays Argentina tonight at Parc des Princes in a bid for third place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Allez les bleus! They need to redeem themselves for the opening game loss to Argentina. Update: Yet another disappointing game for France, as Argentina triumphed for the second time. Congratulations to the South American team, who played very well!
England and South Africa battle it out for the championship Saturday night at Stade de France. Along with my English husband, I'll be cheering on the underdogs (uh, that would be England).