Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator's Dear Mary column.

Noisy neighbour? Just download a crying baby from the internet...

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I like to go to concerts and recitals but he is an artist with a very…

How to throw a singles party on St Valentine’s night

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Q. A (very attractive) man I knew at university invited me to a party given by him and his girlfriend.…

Dear Mary: how can I keep cheese and chocolate safe from my husband?

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Q. My granddaughter has asked to use our barn for her 21st birthday dance in June. We can only sleep…

Dear Mary: What can I do when a richer friend pleads poverty?

28 January 2017 9:00 am

Q. I recently made an arrangement with a flaky friend from university to go to my gym together. Half an…

Dear Mary: how should you deal with having your face flecked with spittle?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Q. At a drinks party at Christie’s this evening my face was splattered with flecks of spit from the guest…

Dear Mary: how can my son entertain friends now that he is a lodger?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Q. My son decided to go straight into work and has got a job. The problem is that it is…

Dear Mary: How can I smoke without my neighbours spotting me?

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Q. I have bought a second-floor flat which comes with a bow-shaped balcony which overlooks a communal garden. My problem…

Who can have sent us such a lovely Christmas card?

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Q. Our first Christmas card arrived on 2 December and it was a lovely thing — a Burne-Jones angel musician,…

Ed Balls, Nigel Farage, Ruby Wax and Bill Bryson bring their problems to Dear Mary

10 December 2016 9:00 am

From Rt Hon Gisela Stuart MP Q. I keep getting into arguments with people about what being a Labour MP…

Dear Mary: I want a nuclear-family Christmas, but my cousin is on his own

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Q. I don’t go to my club that often but the other day I found a letter there waiting for…

Help! I misused an Old Guards tie... in an interview for the regiment!

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Last week I went for an interview with the Irish Guards. My father and his father were both in this…

Dear Mary: How can I retaliate for a bitchy thank-you letter?

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Q. Following a lavish house party I received a flood of effusive thank-you letters, the bulk of which praised the…

Dear Mary: Can I accept an invitation to a villa though I have no money?

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Q. A man I know (but not very well) has invited me and another girl to stay in a villa…

Dear Mary: How do we entertain elderly friends visiting London?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Q. Some elderly friends of mine love to entertain in their London club on their visits, but a problem arises…

Dear Mary

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Q. We hired a villa in the Camargue through the so-called ‘Sloane web’. You either know the uber-Sloane who runs…

Dear Mary: What’s the polite way to dodge sharing a sleeper carriage?

22 October 2016 9:00 am

Q. Next month, four of us from university are going up on a wildfowling trip north of Inverness. We are…

Dear Mary: my father mustn’t find out my wardrobe’s full of moths

15 October 2016 9:00 am

Q. My father has been on the warpath to eradicate Tineola bisselliella, the common clothes moth. He told me to…

Dear Mary: I am treating friends to lunch, but they keep inviting others

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Q. A family of five from Brazil who are close friends of mine are visiting London next week. They have…

Dear Mary: what do I tip a gamekeeper?

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Q. When an invitation to shoot arrives in the autumn, I have a sense of both excitement and dread. The…

Dear Mary: How to keep your guests from too many toasts

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. How can I tactfully request that well-meaning old friends stop toasting my (new) husband’s hospitality? It seems ungrateful but,…

What to do when a beast monopolises your fascinating neighbour at dinner

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. At a recent party I was delighted to find my hosts had put me next to one of their…

Was it superstition or snobbery that kept our carer from a table of 13?

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. We recently stayed for a Saturday night with an old friend and were warned before we arrived that my…

Dear Mary: How can we stop our holiday home housekeepers’ wild parties?

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. We have a heavenly house in Corfu where we go as often as possible. The best thing about it…

How to cope with two groups of friends in one corner of Greece

27 August 2016 9:00 am

  Q. We have been invited to stay with a generous friend in Greece. Now we hear from other (slightly…

Dear Mary: How can we stop people giving us wedding presents we don’t need?

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Q. My partner and I have been living together for 26 years, but now that he’s asked me to marry…