Philip Larkin’s letter about the Ilkley screamer | Brief letters

Ted Hughes poetry reading | Avanti trains | Hoarding toes | A measure of squidge | Deep dive into jargon

The incident of the audience member screaming at the Ilkley festival when Cave Birds was performed (Other Lives, 18 September) is recollected by Philip Larkin in a June 1965 letter to Robert Conquest: “At Ilkley festival, a woman shrieked and vomited during a Ted Hughes reading. I must say that I’ve never felt like shrieking. We had the old crow over at Hull recently, looking like a Christmas present from Easter Island. He’s all right when not reading.” Their memorial stones lie next to each other in Poets’ Corner.
Graham Chesters
Chair, The Philip Larkin Society

• I was surprised to read that Avanti West Coast is part-owned by Trenitalia (Labour demands action over 18,000 ‘lost’ train services in north of England, 1 December). This summer, we spent two weeks travelling around Italy with Trenitalia. The service was punctual and the trains modern, clean and cheap.
Max Rathmell
Liversedge, West Yorkshire

• Re hoarding (Letters, 5 December), when I cleared my husband’s aunt’s house, I found plaster casts of her deformed toes, used to make her orthotics.
Caroline Ewans

• Rather than “squishy” (Letters, 4 December), the word that Jess Cartner-Morley should have used is “squidgy”. It’s squidginess that needs to be measured when choosing soft rolls and pillows.
Maggie D’Araujo
Blackpool, Lancashire

• Re football jargon (Letters, 4 December), at the end of the day, it is what it is, going forward. One hundred percent. That’s for sure.
Keith Graham

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

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