Re Charlotte Higgins’ article (Why am I learning Ukrainian? Because language is political for the country I’ve grown to love, 2 January), studying Ukrainian – not learning, in my case, to be honest – is, to paraphrase Spike Milligan, “Vladimir Putin: my part in his downfall”. It’s not much, but it is what we can do (besides hosting two delightful Ukrainian guests).
• Elizabeth Bailey used to read the brief letters to her father of a morning as they “raised his spirits and set him up for the day” (Letters, 1 January). I read them last thing at night to finish my day with a smile. Is there an optimum time to read them to gain the most benefit?
Springwell Village, Tyne and Wear
• Your preview of the year’s upcoming films (30 December) asks whether “junior stargazer events” are a real thing (or just something invented by the director Wes Anderson). Yes, they are real – for example, a long-running series run in the UK by the Society for Popular Astronomy, popastro.com.
• Eleanor Creed need not despair on the housework matter (Letters, 3 January). Someone once gave me great advice: do the grocery shopping with your joint debit card, ask for £30 cashback, and use it to engage a cleaner weekly, when himself is out at golf, or at work.
Siobhán Ní Chuanaigh
Clonskeagh, Dublin, Ireland
• A whole article about the Chelsea Hotel (‘They are holding on to a dream’: the last bohemians at New York’s Chelsea Hotel, 3 January) with no mention of Leonard Cohen and Janis Joplin. Really?
Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire