Hi Rebecca, It's Jim from Killay Pet Shop. If you are still looking for lunch dates then we would be happy to help. We always end up with too much anyway because we had years of having up to 8 for lunch each week. Now there are usually just 3 so some extra company would be welcome. You have to not mind dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and tortoises but I'm sure you won't have a problem. My wife’s name is Pat and you would be welcome any week you choose except Christmas - just let us know.

See you soon, Jim
-please scroll down to read the shortstory
















Jim and Pat have a small pet shop in Killay. A few streets down the road they live together with Pat’s 91-years-old mother. Pat has already grown up children who have their own home. Although there are not only three in the household, because the house with view of the first hills in Gower accommodates among other things: three dogs, one cat, one house rabbit, two tortoises, two very big snails and fishes. In the garden are living more rabbits and guinea pigs.

Already in the invitation Jim wrote “You have to not mind dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and tortoises but I’m sure you won’t have a problem.” Because I like animals and always had pets myself this is no problem for me. In my opinion animal lovers are better humans anyway. I look forward to the visit particularly because of the animals. It is a calm Sunday morning and while I knock on the door, I discover already Sylvester the cat of the house sitting in the window. She observes the birds who are eating the grains from the birdhouse.

Jim welcomes me friendly and introduces Pat and her mother to me. Both are just busy, Pat, with preparing the breakfast for the rabbits and guinea pigs and Pat’s mother reads the news-paper and solves a crossword puzzle. Jim shows me his animals and tells me their history. For example the cat Sylvester was brought by an animal rescue association to them, because he has only three legs after a dog bite. In the meantime, Pat has started to prepare the vegetables. Pat’s mother sits in her armchair and cleans the Brussels sprouts. She can not walk so well anymore, nevertheless, she is very involved in the family life. The beef joint is already in the oven and needs his time. Pat and Jim eat very less meat, no pork at all and beef only, if they know where it comes from. However, to be honest: What would be a Sunday lunch without a tasty roast? The vegetables are prepared and going into the steamer. Everything was prepared so fast, Pat is very experienced in her small kitchen. Jim meant it would probably due to the fact that I would dedicate more attention to the animals and the time therefore went so fast. Pat prepares now a flapjack for the afternoon tea and Jim in the meantime walks two of the three dogs – little Sophie, the Border terrier and darling of Pat is allowed to make her small heap in the garden.

Pat takes the roast out to let him rest and puts the parsnips and potatoes into the oven. Of course Pat also does the Yorkshire pudding by herself. Jim returns and Jody, a pointer cross and largest of the three dogs, storms into the kitchen. The smell of the roast beef has filled the the house – I bet it must smell a 1000 times better for her than it does for me. Slowly she tries to reach the roast with her nose. The small kitchen is packed now, beside Pat and Jim there are also the three dogs and the cat in the kitchen and observing very interested how Pat carves the meat.

Sylvester knows about every detail of the weekly ritual and therefore he goes to the dining room and sits down on one of the chairs. Jim prepares the table and brings the vegetable and meat on the table. He keeps always an eye on the cat, who would love to jump on the table. Pat’s mother is sitting already and I believe she looks very much forward to the meal. She tells that she always had Sunday lunch and that she liked to cook it when she was younger.

At last Pat brings proudly her home-made Yorkshire pudding to the table and we are already filling our plates. The cat has given up trying to jump on a chair but is sitting now on his cat tree, which is directly beside me with a perfect view on my plate. But he is behaving yet.

Beside the typical vegetables like carrots, beans, Brussels sprouts, roast parsnips and roast potatoes there is something what up to now none of the families had cooked: Leek. It isn’t a typical Sunday lunch vegetable, but very typical for Wales. Pat has cooked the leek with butter and has even added a twist of lemon – I am amazed – just like I cook leek. It is a fantastic vegetable which properly cooked, is very delicate. Pat’s mother doesn’t eat that much, but still has from everything a little bit on her plate except and I hardly believe it, the gravy.

Everything what Pat has cooked, tastes completely distinguished, the gravy, the meat and vegetables. I eat again quite a lot and was occupied thus with the leek and the gravy that I completely forget about the Yorkshire pudding. Unfortunately, I am absolutely full and can not eat the Yorkshire pudding anymore.

I hope Pat is not angry, but as she could see I loved the food. Pat and Jim clean the kitchen and now of course the dogs get a little bit of the meat.

As dessert there is a marvellous sponge pudding with syrup. It looks already tasty, when Pat inverts him on the table. Despite that I am so full, I can not resist the pudding. After the dessert we bring the dishes into the kitchen, Jim washes off and Pat and I go outside to smoke a cigarette.

All meet then in the living room, Pat’s mother sits in her armchair and Pat and Jim sit on the couch together with Pippin, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I am sitting in an armchair which belongs to Jody and obviously she doesn’t like that I sit on her place, therefore without further ado she jumps on me. It does not last long and the tiredness comes through. Pat already has a nap and Jim, it seems, is briefly before. And before everybody fall asleep, I will say ‘Good bye’ and take a piece of the flapjack which Pat has baked.

What a family! At first sight one could think they are unusual, because Jim is much younger than Pat, but if you get to know them they are simply a lovable couple with a big heart for animals. It was a very enjoyable Sunday and I loved the food and the company.


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