THANK you, Mr Trett of Caerleon, for introducing me to the phrase ‘miserable and depressing negativity.’ I must admit it has a certain ring to it. I wonder if you have come across the phrases ‘tongue in cheek’ or ‘with a grain of salt’. I’m sure councillor Ferris is well acquainted with them; otherwise our occasional banter would not be so, it is still good-humoured, isn’t it, Charles?

The Newport Ship is a thorny subject on which I have particular and strongly held views and these I feel absolutely entitled to air. That I choose to do so in such a jocular manner is designed to cast no personal slur on anyone involved with its conservation. Rather, it is a heart-warming insight into my sunny and outgoing nature which so often shines through these pages.

Julian R. Powell Larch Grove Newport