The Pleasing Day

by wjw on March 23, 2010

Today had a refreshing sense of normality to it, which so many of them don’t nowadays. I rose, exercised, showered, ate lunch, went shopping. Then I spent several hours spraying weed killer about the property— I’ve been overrun with something called “London rocket,” which is a kind of mustardlike plant with a yellow flower, not native to the area but spreading like, well, weeds.

After that I cooked up a week’s worth of badaami murgh— which is a chicken dish featuring a kind of tomato-ginger-onion-garlic sauce that would be like red spaghetti sauce, if red spaghetti sauce were invented by someone from Jaipur. (I must try it on pasta.)

Having spent the whole day on my feet, I then put my feet up in the hot tub for a while, and now I’m refreshed and nourished and ready for a night’s hard writing.

A nearly perfect day, if one in a minor key. Exercise, the outdoors, a good meal, a good bathe, and readiness for the day’s usual combat with the English language. What more could a person want? (Other than sex, I suppose.)

Dave Bishop March 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Hate to tell you this, Walter but London Rocket (Sisymbrium irio) has a way of hanging around. It was introduced into Britain, from continental Europe, several hundred years ago, and appeared in abundance after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Although it's much rarer now it is still found around the Tower of London and at London Zoo.
Interestingly, I found another Sisymbrium species (S. strictissimum – Perennial Rocket) near Stockport, Greater Manchester, last summer. Some subsequent research showed that it had been recorded from exactly the same spot by the Manchester botanist, Charles Bailey in 1890.

Well, I thought it was interesting … but I'm a fanatical botanist …

shash March 24, 2010 at 2:56 am

Hey, this rocket is close to arugula in flavor. Put it on a crackerbread with carmelized onions, goat cheese and bits of Parma ham. Stick under the broiler for a couple of minutes.


Though maybe not so yum if you've been spraying herbicide all over it first.

dubjay March 24, 2010 at 4:28 am

Dave, thanks for the botany! It's one of those branches of knowledge in which I am totally lacking.

I've tried everything for the rocket BUT eating it, now I'll try THAT.

The annoying thing about this rocket is that it spreads during the winter— this spring, suddenly it was everywhere. It may well be the kudzu of the Middle Rio Grande.

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