Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator's Dear Mary column.

Dear Mary: How to coax a thank-you letter from your guests

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Q. We had some people up from London for a very long weekend. We put on an extra-special do, costing…

Dear Mary: how can a dear friend be enjoined to plan his visits ahead?

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Q. Living in a large house in the country within striking distance of a motorway, we get a lot of…

Dear Mary: my friends’ annoying habit when referring to their toddlers

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Q. Most of my friends have small children and being mostly media types in west London, have given them silly…

Dear Mary: How to deal with a ‘recycling fascist’

4 March 2017 9:00 am

My partner has become a recycling fascist. She checks everything I put into the bin. I received two bollockings today alone…

Dear Mary: How to make your 15-year-old daughter behave

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Q. I’ve listened to the radio to deal with insomnia for years (Dear Mary, 18 February) and your suggestion of…

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,…