Neighbours, everybody loves good neiiiiiiiiiiigbours.  And I am very pleased with the neighbourly gesture Chloe made in matchmaking me with her chum the very lovely Mr R.  We had a top evening on Saturday, staying up until 4am discussing our musical star preferences.  We agreed on the fundamentals – Judy Garland no, Ginger Rogers, yes.

On our initial blind date we arranged to identify each other by the books we would be carrying – him, a tatty copy of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning me, a book with a picture of Dirk Bogarde on the front, the wonderful “A Particular Friendship” which I heartily enjoyed and thoroughly recommend.

This is a beautiful collection of letters that Dirk sent to a woman he never met who lived in the States. Knowing nothing about the movies, she had stumbled upon a magazine article about Dirk’s house in Surrey and it happened to be a house she had lived in during the 1930s.  She wrote to him and they became penpals.  As penpals are one of my passions and Dirk was such a lovely writer the book was a big hit with me.  It seemed kind of fitting therefore to cook Dirk’s chicken for date number 2.

It was good stuff.  I couldn’t fit everything in my pot I did ask the butcher for the biggest chook he had – but it turned out fine.  It poached in the wine, with the veggies making a kind of winey mush in the bottom.   I made a few Joan Crawford Salami Sandwiches and stuck some Vincent Price’s Cheese Knots under the grill.  We drank 2 x Fairbanks No. 1 cocktails which created a kind of warm fuzzy cocktail hour and followed those with the bottle of Coume Del Mas 2011 that I bought at the Unbound event last week from the winemaker himself  – Richard Bray.  Look at me pretending I know about wine!

We then quaffed a lovely long bottle of red that Mr R. kindly bought with him and finished the brandy that didn’t make it into the Vincent Price Pots du Creme Chocolat. Lovely.

I’m now going to break the habit of a lifetime by NOT doing a kiss and tell but let’s just say Mr R was still here at 6 o’clock next day.  He has lovely manners and paid me tonnes of compliments.  My favourite of which was when he said I had a “superior posterior”.  My very favourite part of the evening was watching him demonstrate how low he can go when doing the twist.  AND he tuned my ukulele…

The chicken recipe came to me courtesy of which is a lovely, lovely website so do check it out if you are a Dirk fan, so much to discover there…  His chicken might be recipe of the month this month if I can get myself organised…

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