Stock horror as lost Oxo cubes ruin camping trip

<span>Photograph: Terry Mathews/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Terry Mathews/Alamy

Your article (‘We always bring a teapot’: readers share the unusual items they take on holiday, 5 August) brought to mind a camping trip through France many years ago. Close to Calais, I went to wash up after dinner at the communal basins and next to me was an Englishman on his first evening on holiday. He filled his basin and emptied his cookware, crockery and cutlery into it, only to see two dozen sodden Oxo cubes rise to the surface. He was horrified as the cubes were an essential part of his camping cuisine.
Ron Jacob

• My parents’ love of old-fashioned country-style hotels led to a slightly unusual item on their packing list. They never went anywhere without a radiator bleeding key.
Nicola Campbell
Macclesfield, Cheshire

• It is commendable that Hyde Hall in Essex is taking steps to tackle climate change by having plants for a dry garden that need little or no watering (Blooming Essex garden points to future of horticulture in a heating UK, 1 August). However, the great Essex gardener Beth Chatto created a dry garden in the 1960s that she never watered. She was one of the first to adopt this method when climate change was barely spoken about, and the garden still thrives to this day, even though she is no longer with us. A woman ahead of her time.
Gillian Brown
Warbstow, Cornwall

• Dara Ó Briain mentions, in passing, the alleged shortage of rightwing jokes (Dara Ó Briain takes aim at rightwing critics and ‘terrible idea’ of Brexit, 6 August), but there seem to be plenty around. Two of them are currently battling to become our next prime minister.
Ray Jenkin

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