In his review of Michael Peppiatt’s The Existential Englishman: Paris Among the Artists (Review, 12 January), Steven Poole states that “an Englishman ought to know that Cambridge does not have quadrangles (they are courts)”. I didn’t know that. But then perhaps I’m not the type of Englishman Steven Poole has in mind.
• When I was nursing in Manchester in 1956, we successfully treated a patient with severe osteomyelitis with maggots, revealing a nice white femur (Maggots to be sent as aid to help heal Syrians’ war wounds, 11 January). He was soon walking with crutches and discharged home.
Horbury, West Yorkshire
• I have had gout in the past 12 months and believe me there is absolutely nothing funny about it (Pass notes, G2, 7 January). It is excruciatingly painful. Who thinks it amusing to mock gout sufferers?
Dr Angela Gunning
• Well done on your new compostable wrap. No longer need I be troubled about unwrapping my plastic-enveloped Guardian. Your recyclable wrapper will now serve double duty in containing my food waste. Congratulations and thanks.
• There used to be a saying at the BBC (Letters, 11 and 12 January): the producer says the glass is half full; the engineer says it is half empty; the accountant says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
John Prescott Thomas
• With my glass almost full, I am aiming for longevity (Letters, 11 January) by writing regularly to the Guardian and doing its sudoku and crosswords.
Elizabeth Dunnett (a mere 80)
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