Last week, my young neighbor brought me a copy of a 1962 Mary Stewart novel she had found in a charity shop. Having never heard of her, she had really liked the romantic novel. Opening it, I was transported back to the 50s and 60s, when my family shared the latest books by Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer. These are valuable and calming influences in these troubled times. It’s now John le Carré downstairs and romance novels upstairs (Why do we fall in love with romance novels again, January 16).
Seer Green, Buckinghamshire
In the 1960s a private bus fleet called the Gypsy Queen was based in our mining village of Langley Park and served the area around Durham City (Letters, January 14). My dad told us they were named after the racehorse whose prize money funded the business. The company motto, displayed on the front of each bus, was Non sibi sed omnibus (Not for one but for all).
If my energy company would send me a good pair of woolen socks in a good color, I would be delighted (E.ON apologizes for sending socks to customers with tips for keeping warm, January 144 ). But cheap, white, petrochemical-based polyester with a tacky logo is another matter. Just a waste of energy, actually.
The “no tears” onion has been around for a long time (Report, January 11). It is known as a shallot and can be used very well in place of onions in most recipes.