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TITLE
'Caithness Crack'
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_DONALD_OMAND_01
PLACENAME
Halkirk
DISTRICT
Western Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Halkirk
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Donald Omand
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1291
KEYWORDS
audio
poems
poetry
dialect
dialects
Scots
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'Caithness Crack' by Donald Omand, published in 1991. It is read here by James Miller.

'On the Pension'

When asked where he'd be going when he died, a Halkirk pensioner replied: 'No question, I want tae go till Hell.' The questioner was amazed and asked why he wanted to go there. Back came the reply, 'Ah'd rather go till Hell than Heaven, as there'll be more Halkirk fowk there!'

An old tinker wifie was passing through Halkirk on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral. She asked a passer-by why the Kirk bells were ringing. When told the reason, she answered, 'Aye, I kent the Queen was died, but ah didna know she wis being buried in Halkirk!'

On retiral an old Castletown quarryman went to the Post Office to make enquiry about the payments of his old age pension. 'What was the date of your birth?' 'They didna hev deites when ah wis born!'

Maggie who had recently 'gone on the pension' called in at the Post Office and signed her book with one of these unreliable new-fangled ball-point pens. The assistant could hardly see the writing and asked if she would go over it again and put her weight on it. Maggie duly obliged and returned to the counter with her book. On it was written, 'Margaret Mackay, 14 stone.'

One old pensioner to another, 'And how are ye the day, Geordie?' 'Hingan the gether lek a weet peit!'

Donald Omand was born on 8th January 1936 on a croft in the Newlands of Roster, a short distance from the prehistoric burial cairns of Camster. When he was two years old the family moved to the village of Lybster where he spent many happy schoolboy hours playing football and golf before attending Wick High School from the age of 15.

Tertiary education was completed at Aberdeen University where he gained an Honours M.A. in Geography, followed later by an MSc at Strathclyde University on the 'Glaciation of Caithness'.

His teaching career began in Bingley, Yorkshire and a few years at Dounreay continued at Halkirk Junior Secondary and Thurso College, now the North Highland College. In 1970 he took post a post with Aberdeen University in its Continuing Education Department, covering the north Highlands and Islands until his retirement.

His published works include a variety of county and regional books including 'The Caithness Book' (1972) which he edited after working with a group of local enthusiasts. For more than 30 he was a regular columnist in the 'John O' Groat Journal' and the 'Caithness Courier'.

Donald passed away in the Dunbar Hospital, Thurso, in August 2009.

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'Caithness Crack'

CAITHNESS: Halkirk

2000s

audio; poems; poetry; dialect; dialects; Scots; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Donald Omand

This audio extract is from 'Caithness Crack' by Donald Omand, published in 1991. It is read here by James Miller.<br /> <br /> 'On the Pension'<br /> <br /> When asked where he'd be going when he died, a Halkirk pensioner replied: 'No question, I want tae go till Hell.' The questioner was amazed and asked why he wanted to go there. Back came the reply, 'Ah'd rather go till Hell than Heaven, as there'll be more Halkirk fowk there!'<br /> <br /> An old tinker wifie was passing through Halkirk on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral. She asked a passer-by why the Kirk bells were ringing. When told the reason, she answered, 'Aye, I kent the Queen was died, but ah didna know she wis being buried in Halkirk!'<br /> <br /> On retiral an old Castletown quarryman went to the Post Office to make enquiry about the payments of his old age pension. 'What was the date of your birth?' 'They didna hev deites when ah wis born!'<br /> <br /> Maggie who had recently 'gone on the pension' called in at the Post Office and signed her book with one of these unreliable new-fangled ball-point pens. The assistant could hardly see the writing and asked if she would go over it again and put her weight on it. Maggie duly obliged and returned to the counter with her book. On it was written, 'Margaret Mackay, 14 stone.'<br /> <br /> One old pensioner to another, 'And how are ye the day, Geordie?' 'Hingan the gether lek a weet peit!'<br /> <br /> Donald Omand was born on 8th January 1936 on a croft in the Newlands of Roster, a short distance from the prehistoric burial cairns of Camster. When he was two years old the family moved to the village of Lybster where he spent many happy schoolboy hours playing football and golf before attending Wick High School from the age of 15.<br /> <br /> Tertiary education was completed at Aberdeen University where he gained an Honours M.A. in Geography, followed later by an MSc at Strathclyde University on the 'Glaciation of Caithness'. <br /> <br /> His teaching career began in Bingley, Yorkshire and a few years at Dounreay continued at Halkirk Junior Secondary and Thurso College, now the North Highland College. In 1970 he took post a post with Aberdeen University in its Continuing Education Department, covering the north Highlands and Islands until his retirement.<br /> <br /> His published works include a variety of county and regional books including 'The Caithness Book' (1972) which he edited after working with a group of local enthusiasts. For more than 30 he was a regular columnist in the 'John O' Groat Journal' and the 'Caithness Courier'.<br /> <br /> Donald passed away in the Dunbar Hospital, Thurso, in August 2009.