Dear Rebecca, It would give us great pleasure if you would come to Sunday lunch with us. We are a retired couple living in Neath Abbey so there is only the two of us but we still have a traditional Sunday lunch every week and, more often than not, we have lamb as it is our favourite too!

Please come. We would love to meet you. Jane and Paul
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Jane and Paul are a lovely couple living in Neath Abbey. They moved two years ago from England to Wales. They are retired and enjoy living here. They have together eight grown up children and they are very proud of them.

When I arrive at their home Jane and Paul are standing already on their doorstep to welcome me. Before they will show me around the house and garden, Jane needs to put the rolled stuffed pork into the oven.

Every Sunday they cook Sunday lunch even if it’s just the two of them. Paul is preparing the vegetables and Jane is cooking and baking. They love to tease each other: not in a bad way – no, in a very lovely way. Paul is very much into detail, even the cutting of the carrots need to have special attention: “You can cut them lengthwise or in small slices. Some times I do both – Jane prefers them lengthwise.”

It goes on with the potatoes Jane like them of course roasted, but Paul likes to eat them boiled too. And if some of the boiled potatoes are left over, Paul will fry them the next day. They know each other very well and respect the little differences.

Whilst preparing lunch they tell me stories about their home and how much effort they had to put into it. Especially into the garden which is a very nice and tranquil area. Paul loves to bring the waste of the vegetables onto the compost and having a little break in the garden to look at his plants.

Over the whole Paul does not forget to have an eye on the television because today is one of the worst Sundays you could disturb enthusiastic sport-fans: There is ‘the Ashes Week’ and England is playing. Today is a football day as well: Arsenal which Jane is keeping her fingers crossed and Paul’s football club Tottenham will have a match.

However, the pork is almost ready and it is time left to go with Paul and Jane in the garden to catch a few warm rays of the November sun. Every stone and plant has its story and with every story they tell I feel how important this little green is to them. Back in the house Jane takes the roast pork out of the oven. Paul is preparing the table and says surprised: “Oh I counted the forks wrong – I never forget something”. The resting roast fills the house with its lovely smell and it reminds me of my childhood: when the smell of the roast is spreading through the house it was always time to get around the table.

Whilst Paul brings the plates onto the table Jane makes the gravy and takes the roast parsnips out of the oven. I have never eaten parsnips in my life and I can’t wait till I can try them. The table looks stunning with the plates and bowls containing roast potatoes and parsnips, boiled potatoes, broccoli, garden peas, Brussels sprouts and of course the roast rolled stuffed pork.

We sit down and tuck into the food. The belly of the roast pork is cracking and I have to say I love parsnips – they could become my favourite vegetable. Jane’s roast potatoes are delicious and the gravy rounds the whole to a fantastic Sunday lunch. It is my first Sunday lunch in Wales with a family and I have to say, I am really looking forward to the next one.

The dessert is an apple and black-currant crumble with custard but I have eaten such a lot of the main course that I just have a little bit. Jane and Paul tell me about their move to Wales and how much they enjoy living here: “The Welsh are very friendly to us.” Jane is learning Welsh and has of course a Welsh rugby shirt.

Before I leave Jane and Paul we sit down on the couch, drinking tea and watching sports. For me it was a great Sunday but it is already six o’clock and I don’t want to disturb their evening. Both are standing again on their doorstep to say ‘Good bye’ and waving when I drive away.


.listen to parts of the conversation between Jane and Paul - click here