It is hardly news that the popularity of the name Margaret has been falling (Report, 18 October). It has been falling ever since 1904, when it was the fourth most popular girl’s name. By the time I came on the scene in 1939, it was 11th. When Maggie Thatcher hit the national consciousness, it was down to 80th, so alas she cannot be blamed entirely for its declining appeal.
St Andrews, Fife
• Felicity Cloake bills her rye bread recipe (20 October) as “stupidly simple”, with prep time of only 15 minutes. Yep, that’ll do me. However, if you’re hungry, beware of the wait through three days’ fermentation, a 27-hour prove, three-hour bake, and 12-24 hour cooling. I’ll be enjoying my “two small loaves” next Friday.
Lewes, East Sussex
• Thank you for your obituary of the excellent Michael Chapman (23 September). The song The North Will Rise from his 1996 album Navigation contains the refrain “You’d better believe the north will rise”. Still waiting, and hoping.
Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire
• I can remember when a disease infecting more than a million people a month and killing more than 3,000 of them would have been seen as a UK medical crisis (Implement ‘plan B’ winter measures now or risk NHS crisis, Johnson warned, 20 October).
West Wickham, Kent
• Oh dear Guardian, not again! Tuesday’s Wordsearch gave a challenge to find 15 scientists. How many women? One! Any other than physicists? None!
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