Hi Rebecca, My name is Dave and my wife's name is Tina we live about 25km from Swansea in a small town called Glynneath and we have a great family atmosphere, what with three boys and there wives and partners, we have a great Sunday lunch (lamb, beef or what ever you fancy) I grow all the herbs in the garden like rosemary for the lamb etc, you are more than welcome to join us as we would love to have your company. Should you accept our hospitality, we could pick you up and take you back that is not a problem at all.

Hope you will reply and we will get to meet you, Dave
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Dave is the local barber of Glynneath and, actually, an Englishman who got to know more than 20 years ago Tina from Glynneath and then he moved to Wales. He feels fine here and is friendly like a Welshman, however, in sport his heart still beats for England. I already met him a few weeks ago, when I walked with his mate Huw through Glynneath. As it turned out, Huw has read the article about my project in the Pub and gave the newspaper to his mate Dave when he left. Independently of each other they invited me to their Sunday lunch. What amusing coincidence!

It lasts a while until somebody opens the door this Sunday morning. It is Tina, Dave’s wife: “Oh, Dave is still in bed and I did hoover the house. I did not hear your knocking.” Tina is still occupied with her household as Dave comes dozily down the stairs. He says: “I was out last night.” But he doesn’t have to say something, because a cloud of beer-smell is floating around him.

Tina has already prepared the vegetables the evening before. She is always doing it that way “so I don’t have such a lot of work today,” she says and goes out into the garden to hang the washing up. In the meantime, Dave prepares the pork joint. He puts cloves in small distances on the joint and makes a marinade with honey and herbs. Beside the pork we will have fresh venison which a friend has brought before. With love, Dave lubricates the pork joint with the marinade and puts the meat into the oven.

Tina and Dave have three dogs. Two are already very old and sleeping in the living room. The third one, a German Shepard cross, is in the garden with Tina. It surprises me that they are not interested at all what is happening in the kitchen.

Apart from Tina, Dave and the dogs there lives one of their three sons together with his girlfriend in the house. The son is already since the morning in the garage and is striping his new-acquired ‘old’ boat. His girlfriend sleeps on the sofa in the living room recovering from the evening before. She is glad about the weekly ritual and says: “My mother never cooked Sunday lunch. It is nice that I can now sit down with Tina and Dave at the table.” Her friend won’t join the Sunday lunch, as he explains to me: “I am really fed up with Sunday lunch after 22 years.” Also the other two sons aren’t coming; they have now their own home and children.

Thus we will be bare to fourth. It is good that Tina and Dave do not try to get them to the table today, just because I am there. It is like every ordinary Sunday, sometimes the children will come and sometimes not.

Dave deals for the second time with his joints and now there is nothing more to do in the kitchen. Dave means: “Let’s go for a walk with the dogs!” And a few minutes later we and two dogs are sitting in the car. Just arrived, it slowly starts to rain, but it isn’t very strong and we simply ignore it.

A miraculous area and Dave tells me if we would walk always along the river we would come to Neath. After 20 minutes it is raining so strongly that we decide to go back. Almost arrived at the car we suddenly discover a white animal in the bushes. We thought it is a rat but after a closer look we saw a ferret. It has already discovered us and is coming towards us. Obviously it is accustomed to people, because it has no shyness at all. In addition, it is a white albino-ferret who is held, actually, only as a pet.

I am holding my hand towards the ferret – suddenly it scurries in my sleeve. The ferret scuttles up my back and comes out at the collar of my jacket. Just luck for me that I do not panic in such situations. We take it in the boot of the car, so that the dogs can not catch it. However, what do we do now with the ferret? Dave says that one of his sons has ferrets. He also lives in Glynneath and it is only a short distance from here. Thus we decide to bring it to him. The son is glad about the white ferret, because he has only brown ones and I have the opportunity to get to know his small family too.

I wash my hands in the kitchen and say ‘Hi’ to his wife and toddler. Obviously, here is no cooking going on. It is a pity, that he does not continue the tradition and gives no more attention to the Sunday lunch.

It’s time for us to go home, because certainly the joint does not need any more time in the oven. In the meantime, Tina has cooked the vegetables and has kept an eye on the roast. Dave prepares an apple sauce with home-made apple compote. He carves the meat and serves the food on the plates in the kitchen. Dave puts a lot of food on mine – I don’t know if I can eat everything. When I carry the plate in the dining room I must pay attention that the gravy does not trickle down the plate.

We sit down and tuck into the Sunday lunch. I have such a lot on my plate I do not know at all what I should eat first: peas, carrots, beans, cauliflower, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, stuffing, roast pork, roast venison and of course gravy.

Everything tastes very good, best of all are the parsnips which Tina has cooked – they are phenomenal. The meat tastes fantastic, although venison is rather unusual for Sunday lunch. It tastes so well that I really finish my plate off. I have kept the last parsnip till the end and although that I will burst every second I am enjoying every bite. After lunch we stay at the table for a while, but it does not last long and a small girl storms into the room and embraces Tina. The father of the girl follows and Dave introduces them to me. He brings up his daughter on his own, because, unfortunately, the mother died shortly after the birth of the girl. Tina and Dave help as good as they can and often take care of her. They even spend together their holiday. Just a few weeks ago they were in Disneyland in Paris and the girl shows me proudly the images.

They come nearly every Sunday to tea, today he is especially proud of himself, he has cooked Sunday lunch for his daughter – Chicken was on the menu.

After the dessert, I believe it is a kind sponge pudding with custard sauce, Tina and Dave wash the dishes and the girl helps with the wiping off. They finish, just in time, at the beginning of the rugby match. Everybody assembles in the living room around the TV to watch the match. Even the son interrupts his work on the boat. He has made himself a prawn sandwich which is something like his ‘Sunday lunch’.

The girl gets bored after a while and after the first half of the match we go back to the dining room and play ‘Deal or No Deal’. It is almost tea time and Tina asks everybody how many Burger we want to eat. I cannot believe it – another meal? But because I love food, I won’t say ‘No’ to a home-made Burger with onions. Tina has prepared a jelly, free of sugar, for the little girl: “then she can eat as much as she wants.” After one more round of ‘Deal or No Deal’ we drink tea, eat burgers and biscuits; and the girl has a big bowl of red jelly. She looks grim from one to the other, because she doesn’t want to share the jelly with anybody.

After food we play another round, but it is already eight o’clock and time for me to go. It was a great Sunday, we have done so much – the time almost flew. I must say quite honestly, Tina and Dave are so hospitable I could stay till the next Sunday lunch.

They stand on the doorstep and wave while I drive away. I am so full that
I certainly won’t eat something till the day after tomorrow.

Two days later I receive an email from Dave. He writes that he has told a customer in his barbershop about our adventure with the ferret. The customer thinks that he knows the man who misses two white ferrets. Luckily, it was really one of the ferrets and the owner is happy that he has found at least one.


.listen to parts of the conversation between Dave's family - click here