My thrifty mother even recycled the presents she liked | Brief letters

Recycling gifts | Gilbert and Sullivan’s Lord Mountararat | Northern culture | Welsh walks

“If the present isn’t to your taste you could … give it to someone else” (Hate that jumper? Here’s what to do with unwanted Christmas presents, 30 December). This was a favourite, and very annoying, habit of my over-economical, Scottish mother, who diligently recycled gifts even if she did like them herself. The practice is still known in our house as “Shuffle Katy”.
Kirsten Cubitt Thorley

• The answer to Timothy Kirkhope’s key questions about the House of Lords (Letters, 1 January) can be found in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, where Lord Mountararat tells us, “The House of Peers, throughout the war, did nothing in particular, and did it very well.”
Tom Uprichard

• So, apart from the Turner prize in Liverpool, there’s nothing else worth seeing in the whole of the north of England in January (The anti-hibernation culture guide: something to enjoy for every day in January, 31 December)? Perhaps the Arts Council was right.
Tim White
Moulton, North Yorkshire

• Many thanks for confining five of your eight suggested walks to southern England (‘Gold mist lingers over frozen marshes’: eight great UK winter walks, 31 December). That will help keep it peaceful here in Wales.
HD Lewis
Llangynidr, Powys

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