When I taught a lunchtime literature class for overseas students, I sometimes turned to your country diary as a model of good prose – lucid, lyrical and unforced. Now retired, I still enjoy reading them. The palpable sense of wonder conveyed in the descriptions of even the humblest of species – most recently weeds and slugs – is both infectious and profoundly moving. Thank you.
Frances Lee
London

Alistair Hay (Letters, 2 August) is right: however many “manly emissions” are produced, it is mothers bearing babies that add to ruinous birth rates. But the responsibility for denying those women access to affordable contraceptives (and education) lies largely in the laps of men.
Rev Jenny Welsh
London

How has our home secretary been escapin Digby Jones’s attention all this time (What would cure Digby Jones’s snobbery? Elocution lessons are not the answer, 2 August)? She’s lookin into policin, people traffickin, increasin security threats from people seekin asylum, and is all the time workin on tryin to stop shoutin at her staff.
Lynne Pearson
Plaistow, London

Fifty years ago, a novel called The Dice Man was published, about a chap who made his decisions based on casting a die. Does Boris Johnson use this method (Johnson dumps ‘amber watchlist’ plan as it emerges top adviser has quit, 3 August)?
Peter Brooker
West Wickham, Kent

In the late 1960s, I remember a letter arriving at Middlesex hospital’s pioneering sexual disease clinic, James Pringle House, addressed to “Sir Vical Smears” (Letters, 2 August).
Carol Ross
Salford, Oxfordshire

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