1. Magazine
  2. Issue: Invalid Date
  3. Dear Mary

Mary Killen

Dear Mary: how can I avoid my friend’s awful favourite restaurant?

Dear Mary: how can I avoid my friend’s awful favourite restaurant?
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Q. Almost a year ago I attended the funeral of my godfather — a bachelor and distant relation whom I had seen increasingly infrequently. When I offered my condolences to his brother, he mentioned that godchildren had been very well catered for in the will and that as an executor he would be in touch with me in the coming months. I have heard nothing since. I really didn’t expect anything from the will and don’t need the money, but am simply curious about what has happened. Do I somehow raise this with the brother or just let it lie? Mary, I would greatly appreciate your advice on this awkward matter.

— Name and address withheld

A. This particular executor sounds like a decent sort — after all, he mentioned the bequests in the first place. Consequently it would be perfectly reasonable to contact him, emphasising that you are not being pushy, but he did mention it and you just wondered… Godchildren who do suspect incompetence or meanness in an executor, however, might try the following technique. Telephone to announce that you have been sent a case of Château Mouton Rothschild 1982 and cannot think who it could have come from — unless it could be the promised bequest from your godparent? Then stay silent while they wriggle.

Q. I had fallen into the habit of meeting a dear friend for lunch at a restaurant which is almost next door to her home but 50 miles from my own. My friend raves about this eatery and insists we meet there. The restaurant is pretentious, overpriced and serves tasteless stodge. My friend rhapsodises ecstatically at the sight of every loathsome dish and praises the feckless chef to the rafters each time he emerges from his kitchen to play bon vivant with the diners. I half-suspected her behaviour was an elaborate joke at the expense of my palate (and diesel) but evidently she has subjected others to the same thing. I am reluctant to share my thoughts with her because I believe she has a gastronomic form of Stockholm Syndrome and has gone the full ‘Patty Hearst’. Now she is mooting an ‘end of lockdown’ lunch. What should I do?

— Name and address withheld

A. Find a cheap and cheerful restaurant to which you can feel reasonably dedicated. Admit to your friend: ‘The thing is, I have done the same as you. I have fallen in love with a restaurant. I can’t be unfaithful. Please come to mine as I am paying.’

Q. May I recommend the delivery service mybaggage.com which spares parents a tedious journey with bulky luggage at the start of a new term? They have a special service for students and will collect and deliver up to 30kg door to door for only £17.99. Check out their website.

— A.O’K., Durham

A. Thank you for this timely tip.