Re your article about autumn arriving early (27 August), I would like to say that the blackberries in my allotment have been ripe for at least three weeks. In fact, they are nearing the end of their season.
Hove, East Sussex
Ed Douglas’s country diary (27 August) mentions that bilberries are known “down south” as whortles. Hurtleberry is another variant, and it’s a pleasing fact that in heraldry a blue disc is called a hurt, supposedly because it resembles a bilberry.
I felt the need to write in to congratulate Maskarade on the stunning crossword (28 August). It took much mental wrestling for me to get through it, but all the time I was marvelling at how someone could construct such a puzzle at all, given the self-imposed constraints of the grid. I expect Araucaria himself will be looking down in total admiration!
I can’t agree with John McCurrie’s view that nothing should be deemed an unacceptable activity in the Lake District (Letters, 27 August). I would suggest that some activities are so inimical to the inoffensive enjoyment of the majority that they must not be permitted. Anyone for jetskis on Buttermere?
Re Rev Trevor Smith’s misprint in his Bible concerning “sexual immortality” (Letters, 27 August), in our first-year paper on the history of religion at Leeds University in 1968 was the question: “All religions are the pursuit of immorality. Discuss.” A more interesting debate than the one intended.
Rev John P Butler
In the days when Hugh Gaitskell was Labour leader, our version was: “The people’s flag is deepest pink; it’s getting pinker than you think” (Letters, 29 August).