The late great Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman predicted the increase in executive developments on the green belt (Report, 3 July) in their book Good Omens in 1990: “Oxfordshire plain stretched out to the west, with a scattering of lights to mark the slumbering villages where honest yeomen were settling down to sleep after a long day’s editorial direction, financial consulting, or software engineering.”
• The worst of all teacher taboos (Should teachers be able to have tattoos?, 4 July) was of course that women were not allowed to teach if they got married which, of course, led to clandestine couplings and eternal engagements. As archaic as that may sound, the ban was only lifted in 1944. My favourite weird taboo was in the National Association of Schoolmasters handbook I was given when I started teaching in the late 60s: “Teachers should not get drunk on a Saturday or answer the door in their braces.”
• Concerning the latest drone scare at Gatwick airport (Report, 3 July), it appears inevitable that something serious will occur soon. In the US all drones have to registered, so that the drone can be traced to its owner. Surely this is a significant incentive for responsible use?
• Readers following accounts of black toothpaste (Letters, 4 July) might like to know that my mother (born 1912) and her siblings were required to clean their teeth at home with a mixture of soot and salt.
• In my local park at the weekend a girl of around four, riding a pink scooter, began singing “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” (Letters, 4 July). This was enthusiastically taken up by other small children in the play area.
• In the light of Theresa May’s tawdry deal with the DUP, a new word has surely joined the lexicon of all serious economists: money tree-ism.
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