Labourer's Hands - Part 4


Labourer's Hands - Part 4
by Temporary Bride

At first, I’d marvelled at my new sense of importance. I had a desk. A digital phone. Not one but three flat screen monitors. Corporate life brought me financial independence beyond my wildest dreams.  It’s safe to say that for those first five years in London I lived for the thought of only two things: money and food. I took elaborate holidays, spent a fortune on clothes, and bought a skinny, terraced house in Shoreditch, relieving it of most of its walls and frilly skirting boards and replacing them with minimalist glass and stainless steel. By day I rustled paper, attended meetings and helped the rich get richer, and by night I retreated, barefoot, into my new, perfect kitchen, cooking quasi-peasant food and feeling grateful for my luck.

Morning in, morning out as I found myself being washed across marble foyers on a sea of polished shoes and grey overcoats I began to itch with unease, even boredom. There were diversions to be had - secret irritations meted out to co-workers,  business trips to New York or Amsterdam - but it did little to resolve the relative meaninglessness of my life. One of the best things about my adopted city was the ease of leaving it - London was the hub of the universe and there was no where you couldn’t fly to. I sought fulfillment through the airways. 

At first it was once or twice a month, then the the occasional three day weekend. Soon I was travelling five weekends out of every six and the trips became further and more severe. A 17:38 flight on Friday night would have me eating tripe in Naples by 9pm. The last ferry back from an island in Sweden would allow time for a breakfast of crawfish and an icy morning swim.  Polish Agritourism farms, Swiss ‘sleep on straw’ alpine barns, a backstreet apartment in a grubby quarter of Lisbon, all became second, weekend homes to me. Come Monday morning I reported to my desk straight from the airport with my hair still damp with foreign water and my shoes packed with sand and clay. I became an expert in commuting from the most authentic, distant places I could get to, and an expert in living for the promise of the weekend.


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I'd love to read you

by Monda on Print, one day.  These pieces are way too short for me. 

bajenaghe naghi

Temporary Bride jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

I have been reading blogs on this site on and off for the past two years and I just "discovered" you last week or so when I read the first episode of Labourer's Hands.  And what a delightful discovery it has been.

I have been enjoying your story very much.

Being a foodie, I too will love to try some of your recipes.  

Temporary Bride

Goulash Recipe?

by Temporary Bride on

Thanks F'marz! Are you serious about the goulash recipe? 

I can post up my family recipe for you - but it's so full of pork and giblets and weird stuff that you need to be pretty hardcore to be up for making it. You don't need the 'hanging tripod over open fire setup' however - it's stovetop friendly as well. 

(I rather enjoy the idea of you making goulash in some suburban US setting.)

On the Vahid front, a lot has happened - you can't imagine... I'll return to that subject in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words. It's always enjoyable to read your comments.



Are you making Goulsh for dinner?

by Faramarz on



Great story and series T-Bride!

You definitely have a gift for telling stories in wonderful details. I read all the four parts today and thanks for sharing your life experiences with us. It is fascinating! I am still waiting for a great recipe for Goulash!

But I have to say, your contributions to this site started with a wild night at the bar and a kiss for the cabbie, and then we learned about Vahid, sort of, the guy who just didn’t know how to appreciate you!

And now we are learning about your childhood and life experience. It is all fascinating, but I still want to know about Vahid. You left us hanging there! How did it start and how did it end!