There’s a certain time of year in the Gathford household that weekends, especially Saturdays, become very sacred. No, it’s not because we’re religious (although Sundays are a day of rest). It’s the rare time of year between the end of the Football Season and the beginning of Football Pre-Season that Jon actually is able to do things on a Saturday.
Usually, we reserve our Saturdays for chilling out or catching up with friends close by. Every once in a while, though, a Saturday comes along that takes us farther afield to exciting places and new experiences. This Saturday was one of those days.
An Old Gaff with the Gaths
We’ve lived under 10 miles away from Arundel Castle for nearly 3 years now, but we have never managed to get down to see it. That changed this weekend as we joined Jon’s Dad (Paul), Brother (Chris) and Grandad (Brian Hemsworth) on a trip to the town of Arundel on what was the hottest day of the year. Jon’s Dad and Grandad are avid photographers, so no Gath day out is complete without a medley of photos documenting the experience.
The castle itself is beautiful. Originally built as a double motte and bailey castle by the cousin of William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, a lot of the original architecture still exists. The castle has also been updated over the years, and many artefacts collected by the Dukes of Norfolk are on display throughout. Some of our favorite rooms included the private chapel, Baron’s Hall, and Fitzalan Chapel in the Castle Gardens (see the fabulous ceiling below).
Putting and Portraits
There are a few things that are a must on a Gath family trip. Firstly, we have to go somewhere photogenic – and if there is no subject matter, you become the subject. Dad and Grandad are both keen photographers and very good at what they do, so if they go somewhere the camera goes too. The majority of photos on this blog were taken by Dad, the rest being taken on my phone. Whether it was in the castle gardens or elsewhere, we all tried out best to “act natural” and failing that, pose like there is no tomorrow.
The second thing a Gath trip must involve is competitiveness. Me and my brother are both very competitive and this definitely came out during our trip to the putting greens. Chris has, over the last few years, developed a love for Golf, so we thought it would be a fun idea to go play some putting on horribly uneven greens to see just how annoyed he would get. It was a great laugh as the five of us battled against the grass from hell to become the first annual Gath Arundel Putting Champion (definitely not going to be an annual event). Despite having to leave a few holes early to make sure we got to our evening plans in time, we both gave it a fair crack. Jon is now determined he is “naturally talented” at golf after coming only 1 shot behind Chris. His reasoning? Chris plays golf all the time, Jon doesn’t. Therefore if Jon put in all the work Chris does he would definitely be lining up at the masters. Despite this loss, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to end the day with Jon’s Family.
A Long Awaited Reunion.
During my time at university, I had a really close knit group of friends. These girls were a staple throughout my academic life and have been through more melt downs, drunken nights out, and hungover brunches than I can count. These girls were the first to know whenever anything happened in my life. They took Jon in as one of their own and celebrated like nothing I’ve ever seen when I told them we had (finally) gotten together.
Unfortunately, university friends all move on at some point. Jon and I were the only two from the clan to stay in the area, with the remaining lot scattering across the South of England. Many headed back to their childhood homes, while others are striking out on their own (and doing a much better job than us Gathfords). However, every once in a while there comes an opportunity for us all to meet up. The siren call of a Tom Collins at a rooftop bar sounds and it’s like you never parted ways.
Saturday evening saw the gang meet to celebrate our favourite Italian twins’ birthday. It was a night full of new experiences – sitting on the floor and sacrificing my shoes after walking nearly 15,000 steps is something I’ve certainly never done before. It was great! We spent the evening catching up and eating fab food. I know I’ve missed the girls, and I’m sure Jon feels the same. Jon especially enjoyed seeing his ‘soulbuddy’ Matt, the fiance of my friend Ellie. The photos aren’t Paul Gath quality, but they capture the mood of the evening – all out joy and celebrations!
Without getting too soppy, hold onto your friends. They hold you up and will always be there to celebrate your wins – no matter how small. Ain’t no party like a reunion party!
So, there you have it! Jon’s penultimate free Saturday of 2019 has flown past. As for now, it’s back to normal life. You know us though, adventure is always just around the corner!