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  • September 1, 2005.

    My dear Aylie,

    What a wonderful time you must be having.

    New friends, new lecturers, and new subjects. We are living in an old cottage in the village of Letham which is one mile to the east of West Mains. The old home is: Lownie of Dunnichen. In order to preserve the name we have called the cottage L. of D.

    I have 5 volumes of a work called the History of Angus or Forfarshire published in 1882. In the depths of Volume III I found: -

    The place Lownie (our old house) was occupied by man called Auchter Lownie between 1226 - 1239. or Ochterlong.

    This is terribly old, about 250 years before the discovery of America.

    What does Lownie mean?

    There are at least seven adjectives derived from Lown - the lown side of a hill where lown means sheltered. As you read the following adjectives cast your mind back to what you remember of the old homestead.

    Here goes: -
    Lown adj.
    1. Calm and serene
    2. Tranquil, unagitated
    3. Sheltered
    4. Silent
    5. Quiet
    6. soft, gentle, low
    7. secret

    In the old house we were sheltered from the north, and the house faced south.

    Granny and I have fitted into our 1851 cottage like a pair of hermit crabs. I have the largest room for my books and bones, not forgetting my Elephant skull.

    Your Mum tells me that you are studying Economics and Middle East studies. Are you doing English literature as well?

    I am enclosing the cover notes of the dictionary. Our new address is:

    Lownie of Dunnichen
    Letham, Angus,

    Lots of love from,
    Granny and Grandpa.
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