It can be salutary to find old copies of the Guardian (Letters, 13 January). We have one from 2 August 1999 which quotes our current prime minister commenting on his appointment as editor of the Spectator, “Someone said it’s like putting a mentally defective monkey in charge of a Ming vase”, and “feigning hurt” at this bit of hearsay. Presumably his own verdict on himself, but how prescient.
Judith Jesch

• I was bemused by your report that Boris Johnson has “announced a dramatic tightening of the UK’s borders” (Report, 15 January). What next? Stable boy announces dramatic tightening of stable door closing policy months after herd flees?
Antony Dowd

• The £50 “khaki slides” on your fashion page (Weekend, 16 January) look remarkably like the gardening clogs one can buy in garden centres priced around £8. It’s great to feel I’m in fashion when shovelling horse manure into a wheelbarrow.
Peter Hames
Northam, Devon

• If we grandparents cannot hug and kiss our beloved grandchildren, may I suggest that footballers control their goal celebrations (Premier League chief calls on players to practise safe celebrations in training, 15 January)? Perhaps discounting any goals if Covid distancing is not observed may concentrate minds?
Gránia Fine
Bridford, Devon

• My five-year-old grandson turns six next week. When my daughter asked him what he would like for his birthday, he said: “I’d like to go to school.”
Paul Clements
Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan


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