The Spectator

Letters: Harry, Charles and the way to reconciliation 

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Back to work

Sir: I read with interest Martin Vander Weyer’s clarion call to ‘Mr and Mrs Early-Retired Spectator Reader’ to return to work (Any other business, 14 January).

The successful realisation of this aim is likely to require both a nudge from government, possibly through the tax system, and employers to show greater creativity. This pressing economic need will not be met if ‘grey returners’ are treated to the same expectations and orthodoxy as thrusting 35-year-olds.

What is required, as Martin rightly notes, is flexibility. Flexible hours, flexible work practices and a flexible attitude to those who, having ‘seen and done it’ several times over, are confident in challenging, and demonstrating candour in, the workplace. If employers can adjust to these realities they will reap the benefits of experience, knowledge and, if I may pompously claim, the wisdom that increasing years can bring.

Richard List (aged 56 years and five months, now back in the workplace)

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Things to remember

Sir: In the main I agree with Mary Wakefield that we now spend far too much time documenting and curating our lives online and that this is not our ‘own internal remembered past’ (‘Real memories aren’t “made”’, 7 January). However, I have noticed that the most frequent references to ‘making memories’ are from people facing a terminal diagnosis or an uncertain future. ‘Making memories’ gives such people a way of living what remains of their lives, a sense of purpose. They do so mainly so that their loved ones have a record of their lives together. It’s something I am sure anyone who has lost a loved one will appreciate.

Louise Walters

London N8

Spare time

Sir: Possibly fuelled by the visceral loathing Prince Harry has for the press, he has received nigh on unanimous condemnation from commentators at The Spectator and other publications, with the widespread view being that the chance of rapprochement within the royal family has evaporated (Books, 14 January).

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