Mary Killen Mary Killen

Your problems solved | 31 March 2016

Plus: I can’t stand be in the same county as my ex-wife, so what should I do when my daughters get married?

Q. Twice recently our host has clinked his glass, required us to stop relaxing and instead take part in a round-table discussion. My wife and are involved in the maelstrom of the Westminster village by day and we have had enough of it by the evening. Is there a courteous way to reject the request of a host attempting to hijack his own dinner party in this way?
— Name and address withheld

A. Clink your own glass and say your doctor has ordered that in the short term you don’t blur the boundaries between work and play and, since you would find it impossible not to join in, would they mind pausing the discussion until you have gone home.

Q. My godson recently turned 18 and I invited him to dine with me at my London club to receive his birthday present. He was surprised and delighted to discover that this was not just dinner but a six-year membership of the club, fully paid. We had an excellent evening together, but ten days later I have not had a thank-you letter. He usually has excellent manners. I don’t want to be heavy-handed and he is of course working hard for his imminent A-levels, but I do think he should be gently made aware that this is a bit much. Any ideas?
— Name and address withheld

A. Text the boy and say you have been away for ten days, are now on your way home and looking forward to reading his letter on your return. In the meantime you would like to say how much you enjoyed seeing him.

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