He spent more time in all there
than anywhere else - as a place, it is filled with his personality.
In 1951, MacDiarmids publisher, William
MacLellan, introduced the poet to Thomas Tweedie, the owner of Brownsbank
Farm. Thanks to the Tweedie family, the Grieves lived rent-free at Brownsbank
for the rest of their lives.
When they first moved in, the cottage - a basic but an ben - had neither
water nor electricity. Ten years later, the actor Alex McCrindle raised
money from MacDiarmids friends to install electricity and water
and build a lean-to kitchen and bathroom. The cottage, as it is now, retains
many of its original artefacts: portraits, wallie dugs, memorabilia. MacDiarmid
himself once observed, This place is a growing shrine to my vanity.
Much of its charm derived from Valdas flair for collecting esoteric
items at jumble sales, not to mention her carpentry skills!