Saturday, January 23, 2010

No Light from the House on the Corner

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Some places in Caithness seem to me to echo with the sounds of the people once there. This building near the harbour at Castletown was part of the flagstone works but it struck me the first time I saw it as a house with a startled expression that no one had come back to it. Perhaps that is the influence of too many Disney cartoons in my impressionable youth. I recalled it again the other night as I rode with a friend to a gathering at the nearby hall.

As we turned a corner, she looked at a house and commented that the shades were drawn. Because I am still new to so many things and the complex networks of people here, she had to explain that was the home of an elderly woman who had just passed away. She had lived long after her daughter, the friend of my friend, had died of cancer. The elderly woman had watched the television in the dark and so turning that corner my friend could see the faint blue glow of the television through the window and know that she was all right.

I hope in time someone else will come to that house and put some lights back into the windows. It will never be the same of course, but a light at the corner is a welcome sight up here and a house needs living in.


At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Robin Clarke said...

The house on the corner belonged to my late Gran and Grandad, and the 'friend of my friend' you mention who died of Cancer was my mother.

There have been numerous people who, over the years, have commented on the 'old lady watching TV in the dark', and showing that genuine Caithness concern in recent months (while she was in hospital and then in Bayview House in Thurso) at it having been dark all the time.

A final wave to the bus drivers pulling up to the junction from Wick who would flash their lights to her as she waved from the window.

Thank you for highlighting this, and thank you also to all who kept their eye out for her over the years.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh how wonderful to hear from you. I am always careful about putting names in my blog because it may be too intrusive, but it warms my heart to think that it brought you some comfort. Yes, one of many wonderful discoveries for me in Caithness is to discover that "Caithness concern"--a gentle looking after each other.
Thank you for putting it so well.


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