Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how do I stop a Londoner dominating my village book club?

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Q.A senior colleague, on discovering that I’m a friend of someone who has become quite famous, engaged with me warmly…

Dear Mary: We have new friends but can’t bear to eat in their filthy kitchen. What to do?

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. I note that (Dear Mary, 12 January) you advised your correspondent, resentful of Christmas expenditure, to offer instead ‘mutual…

Dear Mary: How do I get an answer from my elusive publisher?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. What is the current etiquette regarding chasing an opinion from a publisher to whom, by agreement and via a…

Dear Mary: is it ever acceptable to use a dental brush at the dinner table?

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. Whenever I go to the theatre or cinema with any man of 60-plus, he falls asleep, even when the…

Problems solved for Michael Fabricant, Liz Truss, Piers Morgan, Richard Madeley, Anthony Horowitz and others

15 December 2018 9:00 am

From Michael Fabricant MPQ. When I go for intimate meals at a restaurant with a friend, I am invariably asked…

Dear Mary: my Botox treatments make me look standoffish. How can I appear warm?

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. A friend and I are giving a combined Christmas drinks party for 120 people. It’s being held at her…

Dear Mary: How can I stop chatty friends from phoning when I’m meant to be working?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. May I pass on a tip to anyone facing large family house parties at Christmas? I always used to…

Dear Mary: How can I turn my arrogant son into a snowflake?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am organising my 30th birthday party weekend at a large country house kindly lent to me by friends…

Dear Mary: How do I stop rabbits eating Mum’s graveside flowers?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. A difficult couple of our acquaintance always object to other guests at dinner and can be very rude to…

Dear Mary: What can I do about loud train snorers?

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. At every drinks party one will be in mid-conversation with another guest and someone will walk over and loiter…

Dear Mary: How can I face the friends who warned me that my girlfriend would dump me?

3 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. Previously a long-term and content single man, earlier in the year I began a relationship with a wonderful girl,…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my wife from sabotaging my anecdotes?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. My wife and I have been married for 50 years. The marriage is basically sound but she has recently…

Dear Mary: My friend’s cooked breakfasts make me gag

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. My fiancé and I spend many great weekends with another couple. I am a vegetarian and quite particular about…

My long gossipy letters to an old friend get just a few words in response

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. An old friend shares aesthetic sensibilities and tastes in people. Hence we have sustained a highly enjoyable correspondence over…

Dear Mary: what do you say to neighbours who find you in your nightdress?

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. I recently gave a jolly dinner for eight friends (some old, some rather famous), all home cooking, ending with…

Dear Mary: Is it really forbidden to eat with a fork’s tines facing upwards?

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have been invited to the birthday party of a distinguished public figure with whom we…

Dear Mary: Our insufferable children are rounding on our eightysomething neighbour

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. A neighbour, a wonderful old friend in his late eighties, is a marvellous raconteur. As a family we have…

Dear Mary: I had £300 stolen while at a friend’s house. Should I tell them?

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. Following a small dinner last night in a private house, I got home to find £300 missing from my…

Dear Mary: I can’t put names to faces – and it’s starting to upset friends

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am in my mid-sixties and have started to suffer from nominal aphasia. At a recent wedding in the…

Dear Mary: How can I weed out the party ‘flakes’?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. I invited four younger colleagues, all in their mid to late thirties, to go for a meal at a…

Dear Mary: How do we evict a narcissistic flatmate without starting World War III?

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. I live in a houseshare with two other people; one of whom I am very fond of and the…

Dear Mary: What do I say when people want to visit my family’s stately home for free?

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I were among the first to arrive at a recent large house party in Scotland. We…

How should you deal with a competitive best friend?

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. Good friends, who moved away from our city suburb a couple of years ago, retain a pied-à-terre the better…

Dear Mary: Help! My husband won’t wash his hands after going to the loo

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband doesn’t wash his hands after spending a penny and he doesn’t wash his hands after ‘spending tuppence’,…

Dear Mary: How can we make an ungrateful relative acknowledge a £500 cheque?

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. My wife’s much younger sister is lazy and impossible. She forgets birthdays, is invariably late, lets people down and…