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15:02 UK time, Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I've never heard of this Rich Flanders guy. Is he some sort of City Ghent? Will his autonomy come at the cost of burning his Bruges? I'll get my coat - I was just Leuven anyway.
David Richerby, Leeds, UK

Monitor note: The horror.

RE MCK from Coventry (Monday letters): The three British TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) were driven into the ground below the tunnel and buried, while the three French TBMs were dismantled. Maybe the dismantled ones got to live out the rest of their days in a scrapyard in the south of France...
Daniel Evans, Telford, UK

Sorry to disillusion you, MCK, but the Channel Tunnel moles are not enjoying a well-earned retirement. By the time they met in the middle of the Channel, the tunnels behind them had been lined and were too small to allow the machines out again. They were mainly dismantled on site in the tunnel, although some large parts are still down there, buried in a short branch tunnel dug by the machines for the purpose.
Tim, London

I believe they left the boring machines down in the tunnels, as the alternative (shooting them into outer space and letting them burn up on re-entry) was considered too costly.
John, Sevenoaks

Having just been to Paris and back on EuroStar, I was reflecting only the other day that nobody seems to use the word "Chunnel", in reference to the Channel Tunnel, anymore. Even MCK (Letters, Monday) doesn't use the word, when asking about the machines that dug it. But Paper Monitor used it in the header. My conclusion was that it had fallen into abeyance because it's a silly word: perhaps I'm wrong? Or is Paper Monitor trying to resurrect it? I fear you're on to a loser there, Paper Monitor.
Rob, London, UK

Paper Monitor can sleep safely now. I've tracked down and killed all the baby-eating lizards. I'll be using them in my own celebrity lizard sauce to be launched next week.
John Airey, Peterborough, UK

To Helen in Leicester (Monday letters). Postman Pat may have forgotten his three letters, but things started slipping long before then. Did you notice that he had about ten houses on his round, yet it used to take him all day to make the deliveries? A couple of years ago my mother suggested he might be delivering more than letters. I'm 26, but this still scarred me.
Helen, London

I've just read the article about the destruction of the space freighter. Very interesting, but it makes me wonder why I put so much effort into recycling soup tins when ESA are quite happy to destroy this extremely expensive piece of equipment.
Dean, Cardiff, UK

Sorry to spoil the hypothesis, but the inebriated lady the BBC are so fond of appeared on the front page of our local paper last week (binge drinking story, of course). You'd think in that state she wouldn't be allowed on the plane over.
Paul, Wellington, NZ

Has Peggy discovered the secret of eternal youth? See this story from 2006 and this story from 2008. Or are horse years different to humans?
Simon Robinson, Birmingham, UK

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