G is for Gareth. In this case Gareth Evans who is the druid professor in A Light in Winter. There is usually a little bit of the author in a character. There’s a healthy dose of me in Gareth. My current day job is one I share with Gareth, though being a professor in the states is a bit different than it would be in Wales. Like Gareth I’m a geek and I identify strongly with the old ways. I’m more of a pantheist interested in all belief systems to be honest but I’ve spent considerable time studying the druidic path. One of my favorite things about the druidic movement at the moment is the druid podcast with Damh the Bard (go check out his music!)
I had fun with him really. I lived vicariously through his romantic getaway (I did get to go to some of these sites when I was in Wales). Gareth and his significant other, Warun, are having a rough patch more related to work and having no time than anything else. Gareth decides to take Warun to Ynys Mon in the north of Wales to share a sacred site (to the druids) with him for the winter Solstice. In the meantime he plans a romantic trip working in a lot of their favorite things.
Before they even take off, Gareth visits Ianto Jones’s memorial in Cardiff (where his dad lives) because he’s that sort of geek. They visit castles and holy wells. They stay in a historic hotel and otherwise get a vacation I’d consider very romantic.
That’s when I was struck by the reality that what’s romantic to one person isn’t to another. One of the reviews I received on the story was ‘where’s the romance?’ Snort. I’m not upset by it. Romance really IS a subjective thing. To me it’s one of the most romantic of all my stories. It reminded me of why I don’t go on vacation with my brother and sister in law when they ask because their idea of what’s fun to do and mine are miles apart.
Gareth’s story is a non-traditional holiday story and that’s part of what I really like about him. If you’re interested in Gareth and his story, you can find it here.