The missing Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence may be “the one and only painting signed by Caravaggio” (Witness remembers night Caravaggio painting was stolen, 17 October), but in his Beheading of St John the Baptist in the oratory of St John’s Co-Cathedral, Malta, he has left (part of) his name written in the blood spilling from the neck of the saint.
Re your report about the non-stop Qantas flight from New York to Sydney (Health checks and the Macarena on 19-hour flight into the history booksReport, 21 October), as regards time, albeit not distance, some regular non-stop flights in the late 1950s were longer. TWA Lockheed Starliners flying nonstop from London to San Francisco were scheduled to take just over 21 hours compared to the just over 19 hours of the Qantas flight. And flying in a piston-engined aircraft was more fatiguing than in today’s jets. Perhaps Qantas should ask surviving crew members and passengers on these flights for their tips?
As your editorial on creativity (19 October) stressed: “You can’t see it, smell it, hear it”. I would add, given our test-obsessed culture, that “you can’t test it” either. You can’t “measure” it through Sats or Pisa tests; you can’t even teach it directly. But you can assess and you can foster it. And it is of vital importance.
Professor Colin Richards
Spark Bridge, Cumbria
Re misuse of English, I think that Mike Eggenton’s quotation from Hoffnung (Letters, 21 October) is incomplete. If I remember right it is “A French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects”.
I liked the invitation in a Dutch hotel bedroom, “Why not have a whine in the bar?”
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