From Les Misérables to les gilets jaunes | Brief letters

Performative workaholism | Brexit and Groundhog Day | London concert hall design | Les Misérables | Identifying corvids

Re your Shortcuts item (Performative workaholism? Give it a rest, G2, 29 January), Henry David Thoreau put it most elegantly and succinctly in Walden: “The really efficient labourer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure.” I used to have this on a small card at eye level on the pinboard behind the computer. It works.
Rita Gallard

• Reading EU negotiator Sabine Weyand’s reference to Groundhog Day (Report, 29 January), it occurred to me that our government could take a tip from the groundhog itself: if the conditions aren’t right, it stays in!
Patricia Whittaker
Keyingham, East Riding of Yorkshire

• Should we be worried, at this time of Brexit, that the London concert hall design (Report, 22 January) brings to mind Bruegel’s Tower of Babel?
Mary Adams & Peter Loose

• Following Sunday’s episode of Les Misérables on the BBC, I couldn’t help finding a similarity between the students at the barricades and the gilets jaunes. Plus ça change
Lorraine Haldane
Hove, East Sussex

• The crows of County Sligo (Letters, 29 January) are hooded (black and white) rather than carrion (all black). Also more likely to inhabit the foreshore in winter. But…
Geoff Luke
Mickley, Northumberland

• When wishing to identify corvids, perhaps observing their social habits might help. As the old adage has it: “If you see a rook on its own, it is a crow. If you see a crow in a flock it is a rook.”
Peggy Alderson
Stevenage, Hertfordshire

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