As a 38-year-old first-time mother, I am solidly within the demographic of your article (Record numbers of women reach 30 child-free in England and Wales, 27 January). Why have I left it so long to have my first child? There’s only one answer: cost. The childcare that enables me to hold down a full-time, 40-hour-a-week London-based job costs a little over £25,000 a year. The median full-time salary of a Londoner this year? £37,856 (that’s £29,404 after tax). You do the maths.
I overheard a child asking her mother whether we would be going to war with Russia. I recall asking my mother that 60 years ago. She replied that she didn’t know, but that finer minds than ours were working on preventing it. That may or may not have been true when she said it, but it seems a shame that no one would even think of saying that now.
The Town Moor is a large open space in Newcastle. My grandfather used to say of my great-aunt – who had a reputation for meanness – that she could “cover the Town Moor with a quarter of ham” (Letters, 31 January).
A colleague summed up Sam Vimes’s doctrine with a proverb from his native Bulgaria: “I am not so rich that I can afford to buy cheap things” (Letters, 31 January).