To my amazement, Doreen Leith managed to edit, tweak, and cut my ramblings into a usable contribution to Wick Voices. Click on the link to listen. Mine is the 150th addition to the family! I went over to the Heritage Centre this morning to sign the relevant form and have my picture taken.
I chickened out of going to view a bungalow to the south of the county where the only instructions were coordinates, not post code. I was sure I’d get lost! It was so far away and out in the wilds, I realised if I was too scared to go to view, I’d certainly not be comfortable living out there all on my own (even with one cat or two).
But Emma the Estate Agent was understanding and forgiving, and reckons she may have something more appropriate that might be of interest. So that meant I had today free, so I took myself off to the Lyth Arts Centre to look at the exhibition, “From Wifey to Wifie”, celebrating the centenary of the 1918 Act which gave some women the vote and charting the journey Caithness women have been on over those hundred years, in artwork of various kinds.
For those who don’t speak Norn (the language of Caithness), ‘Wifey’ or ‘Wifie’, same word different spelling, simply means a human female. There is no reference to marital status.
After Lyth, I took myself to Dunnet and a wander round Mary-Ann’s Cottage. Mary-Ann Calder lived there until 1990 when, aged nearly 93, she moved to a nursing home.
Because of the historic nature of the buildings, she sought to have them preserved as they were – and the Caithness Heritage Trust was formed to carry out her wishes. Today, it is just like visiting a real home out of the past. Nothing has been added. Everything is as Mary-Ann would have known it, and used it. A real treat!
Topped only by the delicious tea at the Old Schoolhouse Tearoom, John O’Groats, on the road to Duncansby Head.
Or perhaps the sheer breathtaking beauty of the journey back to Wick.