Letters: The absurd spectacle of yet another carbon-guzzling climate summit

Leaders and representatives of countries arrive at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Leaders and representatives of countries arrive at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Anadolu/Getty

SIR  – Yet another useless Cop exercise is under way (Leading Article, December 1), this one even more climate-busting than the others.

When will the Government start being truthful with the British people? Our country is the 21st most populous in the world. We produce less than 1 per cent of the world’s harmful emissions, and the level is falling.

Whatever Britain does to reduce its carbon emissions will make very little difference. And as for setting the world an example, are more populous countries really going to follow us? More likely is that several will use our demise to further their interests.

We should be reasonable and follow the science, balancing it with economic practicalities. But no more of this virtue-signalling.

Mike Ostick
Upton upon Severn, Worcestershire

SIR – Some 400,000 individuals are attending Cop28 in Dubai, creating the biggest carbon footprint of any of these jamborees yet (report, December 1).

The people of the world will be exhorted to change their lifestyles to save the planet from “the climate crisis”. More draconian impositions on our lives will be demanded by the zealots of the Climate Change Committee. The smell of hypocrisy in the air is almost as strong as the odour of burnt jet fuel.

Ian Goddard
Wickham, Hampshire

Broken GP system

SIR – Rising demand for GP appointments (Leading Article, November 30) means that creating a responsive, compassionate and respectful system is a health-policy priority.

Same-day appointments are required in just a fraction of cases, when judging by true clinical need. So why have we devised the unseemly 8am scramble, a frustrating and stressful telephone triage process? Less urgent requests are shoehorned into the struggle for an often unnecessary same-day appointment. Among those who fail to secure one, some despair, some give up and others self-refer to busy A&E departments. In many practices it is almost impossible to book routine appointments.

There are some signs of progress, with flexible online booking and GP-influenced triage – but these are more likely to be found in better equipped practices.

There is growing concern over delayed or missed diagnoses for cancer and other illnesses. Meagre 10-minute consultations are inadequate for more serious problems, and are eaten into by computer-driven diktats. GPs feel pressured into hurried history-taking and physical examination, undermining professional morale and driving many towards part-time work or earlier retirement.

John Turner FRCP

SIR – Not so long ago my podiatrist told me that my toe had a fungal infection requiring treatment.

I contacted my GP receptionist, who told me I had to take a photo of the toe and send it in. A week passed before I was informed that the image was inconclusive, blaming my photography.

I had to attend the surgery so that a nurse could inspect the toe. She confirmed, from a safe distance, that it was indeed infected. The GP then prescribed a course of treatment that lasted three months, without ever seeing me.

Keith Appleyard
West Wickham, Kent

SIR – I had a full body-imaging session with Biobank (report, November 30) earlier this year, and although I had no symptoms a benign brain tumour was found.

I have had it successfully removed and am feeling fine. Without the Biobank scans, however, it could have been a long time before I realised I had a problem – and even longer before I received treatment.

Rona Taylor

Royal race row

SIR – You report (December 1) on the royal “racism” row.

My wife is of a different race and skin colour to me. When she was pregnant, I wondered what our child’s skin colour would be. I felt this was a natural and inevitable thought process.

Martin Tuley
Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

Red Cross and Israel

SIR – Regarding Jake Wallis Simons’s article (“The Red Cross has turned its back on Israel”,, November 30), the plight of hostages held in Gaza remains an utmost priority for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Since day one, we have called for all hostages to be released, as the taking of hostages is prohibited under international humanitarian law. We have consistently expressed this view directly with Hamas officials and in public statements.

We have also made repeated requests for the ICRC to visit the hostages to check on their well-being. But for this to happen, we need to be given access; we cannot simply force our way in.

As a neutral humanitarian organisation, we may not be as outspoken as many would want us to be. But this does not equate to indifference. The ICRC has decades of experience in hostage release operations and in visiting detainees. This experience has shown that advocating quietly behind closed doors is the best way for us to make a difference.

While we have helped to transfer more than 100 hostages back to their loved ones in recent days, something that is only made possible through our neutrality, many more remain detained. Having met with families of the hostages, the ICRC is acutely aware of their ongoing pain and frustration. The plight of the hostages is a priority for us and will remain so until they have returned to their families.

Matthew Morris
Head of communications, UK and Ireland, ICRC 
London EC2

Kissinger’s legacy

SIR – In my view, Henry Kissinger’s efforts in masterminding a rapprochement with China hardly look very clever now (Letters, November 30). Neither should they have been welcomed then.

Power follows money. The subsequent linking of the Chinese economy with the West has merely transferred vast amounts of wealth to the Chinese state. It is this that they are using against the West now, and it is clear that much trouble is yet to come.

Tim Pope
Weybridge, Surrey

SIR – Those of us present at the memorial service for Sir James Goldsmith heard his friend Henry Kissinger recall introducing Sir James to his mother.

After they had spent some time together, and Goldsmith had left the room, Kissinger’s mother said: “That is the most intelligent man I have ever met”. Somewhat miffed, Kissinger asked: “The most intelligent?” His mother replied: “Yes, Henry, the most intelligent.”

Rodney Atkinson
Stocksfield, Northumberland

Don’t stop the music

SIR – We are deeply dismayed by Oxford Brookes University’s decision to close its music department.

As academic musicians, we believe that the study of music not only equips students with a wide range of valuable skills, but also contributes enormously to the cultural vitality and wealth of the nation. The Government estimates that the creative industries sector contributed £109 billion to the UK economy in 2021. That is only possible because of the outstanding teaching and research in the arts and humanities departments of our higher education institutions, of which Oxford Brookes’s music department is a distinguished example, particularly in the fields of composition, film music and opera studies.

The department has many notable alumni, including Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. We urge the university’s vice-chancellor and board of governors to reconsider this decision.

Professor Michael Allis
Professor of musicology, University of Leeds
Professor Suzanne Aspden
Associate professor of music, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Fellow in music, Jesus College, Oxford
Professor Mark Berry
Professor of music and intellectual history, Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Catherine A. Bradley
Professor of musicology, University of Oslo
Professor Michael Burden
Professor in opera studies, New College, Oxford
Professor David Burn
Professor of music, University of Leuven
Professor Martin Butler
Emeritus professor of music, School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex
Professor Roderick Chadwick
Associate professor and postgraduate tutor, Royal Academy of Music
Professor Geoffrey Chew
Emeritus professor of music, Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Rachel Cowgill
Professor of music, University of York
Professor Jonathan Cross
Professor of musicology, University of Oxford
Professor Mark Everist
Professor of music, University of Southampton
Former president, Royal Musical Association
Professor Martin Fautley
Professor of education, Birmingham City University
Professor Dr Christoph Flamm
Department of musicology, Heidelberg University
Professor Paweł Gancarczyk
Musicologist, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Professor Bryan Gilliam
Professor emeritus, Duke University, Durham, NC
Professor Dr James Helgeson
Musicology and composition, Barenboim-Said Akademie, Berlin
Professor Björn Heile
Professor of music, School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow
Professor Julian Horton
Professor of music theory and analysis, Durham University
Former president, Society for Music Analysis
Professor Thomas Irvine
Head of music, University of Southampton
Professor Kevin Korsyn
Professor of music theory, University of Michigan
Professor Gundula Kreuzer
Acting chair, Department of Music, Yale University
Professor Andrew Lewis
Professor of composition, Bangor University
Professor Dr Natasha Loges
Hochschule für Musik, Freiburg
Professor Mattias Lundberg
Uppsala University
Professor Nicholas Marston
Professor of music theory and analysis, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Director of studies in music, and praelector, King’s College, Cambridge
Professor Deborah Mawer
Emeritus professor of music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University
Former vice-president, Society for Music Analysis
Professor Robert Mitchell
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Principal lecturer, Leeds Conservatoire
Professor Michael Noone
Music Department, Boston College
Professor Gascia Ouzounian
Associate professor of music, University of Oxford
Professor Ian Pace
Professor of music, culture and society, City, University of London
Professor Raluca Radulescu
Professor of medieval literature, Bangor University
Professor  Robert G. Rawson
Professor of musicology and HIP, School of Creative Arts and Industries, Canterbury Christ Church University
Professor Owen Rees
Professor of music, University of Oxford
Professor Dr Clemens Risi
Chair of theatre studies, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg
Professor Stephen Rose
Professor of music and head of music department, Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Julian Rushton
Emeritus professor of music, University of Leeds
Professor Susan Rutherford
Emerita professor of music, University of Manchester
Honorary professor of music, University of Cambridge
Professor Emanuele Senici
Professor of music history, University of Rome La Sapienza
Professor Kenneth Smith
Department of music, University of Liverpool
Former president, Society for Music Analysis
Professor David J. Smith
Founding professor of music, University of Northumbria
Professor Jason Stanyek
Associate professor of ethnomusicology, University of Oxford
Professor Jonathan P. Stock
Professor of music, University College Cork
Professor Martin Stokes
King Edward Professor of Music, King’s College London
Professor Steven Vande Moortele
Professor of music theory, University of Toronto
Professor Bettina Varwig
Professor in music history, University of Cambridge
Professor Ronald Woodley
Emeritus professor of music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University
Dr David Allinson
Independent scholar
Dr Annelies Andries
Assistant Professor, Utrecht University
Dr Paul Archbold
Tutor in academic studies, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Dr Genevieve Robyn Arkle
Lecturer in music, University of Bristol
Dr Newton Armstrong
Reader in music, City, University of London
Dr Katie Bank
Leverhulme early career fellow, University of Birmingham
Dr Nicholas Bannan
Honorary research fellow, Conservatorium of Music, University of Western Australia
Dr Adam Behan
Government of Ireland postdoctoral fellow, Department of Music, Maynooth University
Dr Charlotte Bentley
Lecturer in music, Newcastle University
Dr Wendelin Bitzan
Lecturer in music theory, Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf 
Dr Bonnie Blackburn
Independent scholar, Wolfson College, Oxford
Dr Manuella Blackburn
Reader in electronic music and sound design, Keele University
Dr Bernhard Bleibinger
Investigador científico, Institución Milà y Fontanals de investigación en Humanidades, Barcelona
Dr Nuria Bonet
Lecturer in music, University of Plymouth
Dr David Bretherton
Associate professor of music, University of Southampton
Dr Leah Broad
Postdoctoral research fellow, Christ Church, University of Oxford
Dr Andrew Bull
Independent scholar
Dr Raquel Rojo Carrillo
Leverhulme early career research fellow, University of Cambridge
Honorary research associate, University of Bristol
Dr Carlo Cenciarelli
Lecturer, School of Music, Cardiff University
Dr Oliver Chandler
Academic professor, Royal College of Music
Director of studies (music), Hertford and Keble Colleges, University of Oxford
Dr Bozhidar Chapkanov
Independent scholar
Dr Antonio Chemotti
Assistant professor in musicology, University of Leuven
Dr Alice V. Clark
Professor of music history and associate dean, College of Music and Media, Loyola University New Orleans
Dr Martin Clarke
Senior lecturer in music, The Open University
Dr Jonathan Clinch
Lecturer, Royal Academy of Music
Dr Karen Cook
Associate professor of music history, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Dr T. F. Coombes
Lecturer in music, St Hugh’s College, Oxford
Dr Joanne Cormac
Research fellow, University of Nottingham
Dr Ralph Corrigan
Independent scholar
Dr Alexander Cowan
Jesus College, Cambridge
Dr John Cunningham
Reader in music, and head of Department of Music, Drama and Performance, Bangor University
Dr Ally Daubney
Honorary senior lecturer in education, University of Sussex
Dr Jeffrey Dean
Reader in musicology (retired), Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Executive officer (retired), Royal Musical Association
Dr James Donaldson
Lecturer in music, Magdalen College, Oxford
Dr Jacob Kingsbury Downs
Departmental lecturer in music, University of Oxford
Dr Olena Dyachkova
Associate professor, The History of World Music Department, The Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music, Kyiv
Dr Daniel Elphick
Lecturer in music, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr June Fileti
Managing director, International School of Musicians
Dr Joseph Fort
College organist and director of the Chapel Choir, and senior lecturer in music, King’s College London
Dr Andrew Frampton
Lecturer in music, St Catherine’s College, Oxford
Dr Bartłomiej Gembicki
Assistant professor, Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Dr Elisabeth Giselbrecht
Research associate, Music Department, King’s College London
Dr Rosemary Golding
Senior lecturer in music, The Open University
Dr Christian Goursaud
Visiting research fellow, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Supervisor in music, University of Cambridge
Dr Adam Harper
Stipendiary lecturer, Christ Church College and St. John’s College, Oxford
Dr Roddy Hawkins
Lecturer in music, University of Manchester
Chair, MusicHE
Dr Tom Hewitt
Honorary visiting fellow, Department of Music, The Open University
Dr Sarah Hill
Associate professor of popular music and tutorial fellow, St Peter’s College, University of Oxford
Dr Lenka Hlávková
Head of department of musicology, Charles University Prague
Dr Erika Supria Honisch
Associate professor of critical music studies and graduate program director, Stony Brook University (State University of New York)
Dr Michael Hooper
Associate professor and convenor of music, UNSW Sydney
Dr Alan Howard
Fellow, lecturer and director of studies in music, Selwyn College, Cambridge
Dr Louisa Hunter-Bradley
Research associate, Music Department, King’s College London
Dr Thomas Hyde
Senior research fellow, Worcester College, Oxford
Dr Emma Kavanagh
Lord Crewe career development fellow in music, Lincoln College, Oxford
Dr Moritz Kelber
Fellow, Staatliche Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin
Dr Christopher Kimbell
Independent scholar
Dr Thomas Husted Kirkegaard
Postdoctoral researcher, Unit for Song Studies, Aarhus University
Dr Marco Ladd
British Academy postdoctoral fellow, King’s College London
Dr David Larkin
Senior lecturer in musicology, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney
Dr Kelvin Lee
Research foundation flanders junior postdoctoral fellow, University of Leuven
Dr Michael Linton
Professor of music, School of Music, Middle Tennessee State University
Dr Ryszard Lubieniecki
Lecturer, Institute of Musicology, University of Wrocław
Dr Emily MacGregor
British Academy postdoctoral fellow, King’s College London
Dr José Oliveira Martins
Professor, University of Coimbra
President, Portuguese Society of Research in Music
Dr Wolfgang Marx
School of Music, University College Dublin
Honorary secretary, Society for Musicology in Ireland
Dr Joseph W. Mason
Weston junior research fellow, New College, Oxford
Dr Giles Master
Fellow by examination (JRF) in music, Magdalen College, Oxford
Dr Seán McLaughlin
Programme leader, BA (Hons) popular music, University of the Highlands and Islands
Dr Francesco Milella
IRC postdoctoral fellow, University College Dublin
Dr Sarah Moynihan
Lecturer in music, University of Manchester
Dr Edward Nesbit
Senior lecturer in composition, King’s College London
Dr Joshua Neumann
Digitaler musikwissenschaftler, Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz
Dr Marten Noorduin
Researcher and lecturer, Musikhochschule Lübeck
Dr James Olsen
Affiliated lecturer, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
College teaching associate, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Dr Annabelle Page
Teaching associate, Department of Music, University of Sheffield
Dr Reuben Phillips
British Academy postdoctoral fellow, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Dr Caroline Potter
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Dr Jun Kai Pow
Researcher in popular music and ethnomusicology, Uppsala Universitet
Dr Sophie Redfern
Lecturer in music, King’s College London
Dr Ditlev Rindom
Visiting research fellow, Music Department, King’s College London
Dr Jennifer Ronyak
Assistant professor of musicology, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz
Dr James Ross
Music director, King’s College London Symphony Orchestra
Dr Tommaso Sabbatini
Marie skłodowska-Curie Global Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol
Dr Lola Salem
Lecturer in music, Oriel College, Oxford
Dr Rhian Samuel
Emeritus professor, City, University of London
Dr Mic Spencer
Associate professor in music, University of Leeds
Dr Vasileios Stamatis
Director of quality, strategy and innovation, International School of Musicians
Dr Henry Stobart
Reader in music/ethnomusicology, Royal Holloway University of London
Dr Tim Summers
Department of music, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr Jeremy Thurlow
Director of music, Robinson College, Cambridge
Affiliated lecturer, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Dr Josh Torabi
IRC postdoctoral fellow, Trinity College Dublin
Dr Daniel Trocmé-Latter
Associate professor of music, Homerton College, Cambridge
Dr Maura Valenti
Foster research fellow in the history and culture of Ireland, Hertford College, Oxford
Dr Francesca Vella
Assistant professor of music, Northumbria University
Dr Claudio Vellutini
Associate professor of musicology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Dr Etienne Viviers
Research affiliate, North-West University, South Africa
Dr Tom Wagner
Teaching fellow in music performance and digital arts, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr Matthew Werley
General secretary of the International Richard Strauss Society, University of Salzburg
Advisory board member of the Salzburg Festival Archive
Dr Richard Whalley
Senior lecturer in composition and head of composition, University of Manchester
Dr Daniel White
Senior lecturer, University of Huddersfield
Dr Adam Whittaker
Head of pedagogy, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Dr Edward Wickham
Director of music, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Affiliated lecturer, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Dr Justin A. Williams
Associate professor in music, University of Bristol
Dr Gavin Williams
Lecturer in music, King’s College London
Dr Flora Willson
Senior lecturer in Music, King’s College London
Dr Hannah Yip
Leverhulme early career fellow, Department of Music, University of Manchester
Dr Karen Yuen
Independent scholar
Dr Christopher Tarrant
Senior lecturer in music analysis, Newcastle University
President, Society for Music Analysis
Kate Andrews
Chief examiner, ABRSM
Andrew Arthur
Fellow, director of music and director of studies in music, Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Affiliated lecturer, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Andrew Asante
Postgraduate researcher, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Stephen Barchan
Tutor in composition and music theory, Dulwich Music Academy
Pauline Black
Senior lecturer, University of Aberdeen
President, Independent Society of Musicians
Rachel Brazendale
Head of academic music, Gordon’s School, Woking
Kerry Bunkhall
PhD candidate, Cardiff University
David Coggins
Head of A-level music, Barton Peveril Sixth Form College
Graihagh Cordwell
DPhil candidate and graduate lecturer, University of Oxford
Jane Darcey
Master of arts candidate, WA Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia
Julian Day
PhD candidate, Yale University
Rebekah Donn
PhD candidate, Edinburgh Napier University
Steve Gallagher
Director of learning, Queen Mary’s College, Hampshire 
Marta Gentilucci
Assistant professor in composition, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
George K. Haggett
DPhil candidate, University of Oxford
Vivek Haria
Independent scholar
Ian Haysted
Head of instrumental music, Queen Anne’s School, Reading
Ivan Hewett
Academic professor (fractional post), Royal College of Music
Christopher Hill
University of Birmingham
Krisztina Imeli
Independent scholar 
Julian Jacobson
Professor of piano, Royal College of Music London and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Chairman, Beethoven Piano Society of Europe
Rob Keeley
Senior lecturer, King’s College, London
Marinu Leccia
PhD candidate, University of Oxford
Christian Thomas Leitmeir
Associate professor of music, Magdalen College, Oxford
Stuart McSweeney
Curriculum manager for music and BTEC music performance subject tutor, The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Hannah Millington
PhD candidate, Dublin City University
Thomas Neal
Director of music, New College School, Oxford
Tom Parkinson
Senior lecturer in digital composition, Royal Holloway, University of London
Conor Power
PhD candidate, Maynooth University
Stephen Rees
Lecturer in musicology, Bangor University
Marta Riccardi
PhD candidate, University of Liverpool
Guy Rickards
Honorary secretary, Music Section, The Critics’ Circle
Mark Richards
Senior deputy head, Queen Anne’s School, Caversham
Danielle Roman
PhD candidate, New York University
Gregory Rose
Staff conductor, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Caetano Maschio Santos
DPhil candidate, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford
Vania Schittenhelm
Associate lecturer, Oxford Brookes University
Darach Sharkey
Lecturer in music, Keble College, Oxford
Shirley Smart
Professor of musicianship, Royal College of Music
Associate lecturer, Kent University
John Snijders
Associate professor in Music Performance, Durham University
Jack Stebbing
PhD candidate, University of Cambridge
Bernard Sufrin
Emeritus fellow, Worcester College, Oxford
Shzr Ee Tan
Royal Holloway, University of London
Maria Thomas
Visiting lecturer, University of Hertfordshire
Faith Thompson
PhD candidate, Royal Northern College of Music
Jeffrey Wilson
Coordinator of composition, Junior Guildhall
Vera Wolkowicz
Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual fellow, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

The elephant in the ring: boxing’s injury crisis

On the nose: detail from the Akrotiri Fresco of Boxing Boys (1700 BC) in Santorini, Greece
On the nose: detail from the Akrotiri Fresco of Boxing Boys (1700 BC) in Santorini, Greece - Greg Balfour Evans /Alamy

SIR – The brain injuries and long-term health issues that rugby players suffer receive frequent attention in the newspapers. But this week we have once again seen both male and female boxers knocking seven bells out of each other, with repeated hits to the head, to little comment.

Why, when the tragic demise of Mohammed Ali is still painfully fresh in the memory, does boxing without head protection barely raise an eyebrow?

Dr Martin Henry
Good Easter, Essex

A Labour great

SIR – The death of Alistair Darling (Obituaries, December 1) is a huge loss to the Labour movement.

He was a giant in British politics for two decades, and was instrumental in saving the Union in 2014. His proposals for halving the deficit in the 2010 election campaign would have been far more sensible than the austerity we suffered instead.

James Conboy
Widnes, Cheshire

SIR – Your obituary of Alistair Darling records his attending Loretto School. Norman Lamont did likewise. It is remarkable that such a small school should have given us not just one but two chancellors of the Exchequer both widely respected beyond their parties.

Robin Bryer
Closworth, Somerset

Retro rice

SIR – A former colleague of mine worked as a holiday rep in Spain in her teens, living and eating with a Spanish family.

One day, the special treat was a paella (Letters, December 1), which she said was delicious. When she asked what the meat in it was, they told her it was Spam.

John Wainwright
Wakefield, West Yorkshire

SIR – I’ll never forget a visit to Spain to show a group of young produce-buyers from Newcastle the process of growing, picking and packing citrus fruit.

After meeting the growers it was decided they would prepare a lunch in which the main dish would be paella. The meat would be duck.

All went well until the paella was produced and it became obvious that it was not going down as well as hoped. The duck was being pushed to the side of the guests’ plates, untouched.

Once back in Britain I inquired about their strange reaction to the beautiful paella. It turned out that the young geordies thought they were being served “dug”, the northern pronunciation of dog.

George Wilkie
Hemingford Grey, Huntingdonshire

Gardener’s delight

SIR – Jemima Lewis (Comment, November 30) was pleased with her husband’s Christmas gift of a dustpan and brush.

As a keen gardener, I was delighted with the load of manure I received from my dearly beloved one year – at least until the Victoria plum tree at whose base it had been deposited promptly lost all its leaves and died.

Marlene Fisher
Woodstock, Oxfordshire

SIR – A couple of years ago I gave my wife a chainsaw for Christmas, at her request.

The look around the assembled family members was worth 100 presents.

She uses it often in our garden – though she does sometimes get a bit carried away.

Andrew Christmas
Braughing, Hertfordshire

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