SPENT last night dozing in front of the TV and trying to shake off my man flu. While doing so I saw one of the most pointless pieces of television I have ever had the misfortune to witness. It was called Football's Hardest Away Days and featured a woman called Carol travelling with Leeds United fans to Millwall.
The hardest thing that happened to Carol was she got caught short when she needed a pee at the train station. She and her son had to leave the train. The rest of the day passed pretty uneventfully, apart from the ritual abuse she received from home fans, who chanted the question: "Who's the slapper in the white". Now they know.
It did remind me of some of the worst away day trips of my youth with the Gas. On one occasion, waiting for the coach, only six of us turned up and the trip was cancelled, so we all clambered into a mate's Ford Escort and drove to Burnley. On the way back we got as far as Cheltenham before the prop-shaft broke and we ended up paying £25 each for a taxi back to Bristol. And we lost, as usual.
Those were the days.
Mind you, if I have had a pretty uneventful week, pity poor Wathanovski. He went to his local Blockbusters DVD store the other day and decided it was time to encounter his first experience of 24, the thrill-per-minute series featuring Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) which is done in real time.
He and the Teacher got out the first series of 24 episodes which, yes you guessed it, last 24 hours. Trouble is he had to return the set within a week.
Cue Wathanovski and Mrs, crashed on the sofa with matchsticks holding open their eyes, having to watch every minute of the series. "To be honest, it became a bit of an endurance test," said Wathanovsk who, as a man intent on running a half-marathon in the near future, is now fully aware of what the word stamina means.
Scarier, the moment the programme finished in the wee small hours of the morning a helicopter flew low over the Wathanovski household, searchlight beams scouring the fields outside his country retreat. In his heightened frame of paranoia, brought on by this avid DVD watching, who could blame the young man for believing his house was about to be raided by balaclava-wearing, kalachnikov-wielding middle eastern terrorists?
So on to the Aubergine bhartha then. Cut a dutch aubergine lengthways in two, then put under the grill, browning both sides.
Cool in cold water, then skin and chop and mash the flesh with a fork.
Put oil in the Karahi or small frying pan, add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a chopped clove of garlic.
Wait until it sizzles then add the aubergine, 4ozs of chopped fresh tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric.
Simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on.
Add one teaspoon of coriander powder and one teaspoon of cumin and simmer for two minutes. Then add chopped spring onion, two chopped green chillis, a teaspoon of garam masala and six tablespoons of fresh coriander.
Stir, remove from heat and keep covered for five minutes before serving.