The Welsh-speaking pigeons of Languedoc
Thea Riofrancos writes about the environmental costs of lithium extraction from the Atacama salt flats in Chile (The rush to ‘go electric’ comes with a hidden cost: destructive lithium mining, 14 June). She makes no mention of the high-grade lithium in Cornwall that can be extracted without the need for evaporation pools. Perhaps this is what world leaders should have been discussing last weekend in Carbis Bay.
Mona Arshi is not alone in hearing birds chirp in her childhood tongue (Do Norfolk birds speak Punjabi? Mona Arshi, the poet transcribing bird calls, 8 June). Our local pigeons employ a soulful four-syllable “Aberystwyth”. Probably a yearning for home. I’ve also heard this call as far away as the Languedoc, suggesting these Welsh-speaking birds certainly get around.
Ystrad Mynach, Mid Glamorgan
Your “Guardian-reading over-70s” (Letters, 13 June) are mere beginners. At 98 (“and a half”, as my niece insists) I walk from the riverbank up through the (Kenworthy Lane) woods toting a tape recorder, to “catch” the song of the blackcap. And I have the recordings, with a background of M60 traffic noise, to prove it.
I am afraid the unseasonal snow on 2 June 1975 did not save Derbyshire from defeat (Letters, 14 June). Lancashire went on to win the match by a convincing innings and 348 runs as the sun shone brightly on 3 June.
Are “dad pants” (Great strides: how Annie Hall’s ‘dad pants’ conquered the world, 15 June) the same as “Oxford bags”? I wore maroon corduroy ones in the 1970s.