Dear Mary

Dear Mary: our friend’s new wife is a horror show. How can we avoid her?

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. ‘Alfred’ is a friend of 30 years’ standing who has just married for the first time. Alfred retains all…

Is the (occasional) glance permissible when presented with a splendid décolletage?

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. We have friends to stay each year in Scotland and it’s always a pleasure. Guests know there is signal…

How can I get the buyer of a supermarket to notice my products?

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Q. I import a range of very high-quality food products from Europe into the UK. They are regarded as the…

My husband keeps pointing out birds in our garden but I can’t see them

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Q. Having retired, my husband is now an enthusiastic observer of the goldfinches, greenfinches and bullfinches in our garden. Their…

How can I stop a friend posting photos on Instagram of my parties?

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Q. We have received a ‘save the week’ card from friends who take a villa abroad every year. We usually…

How to make the most of the social opportunities of the polling station

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Q. I am a member of a well-known country house opera society, and I organise annual trips to performances for…

No need for excuses with party bores... it’s your duty to circulate

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Q. Re getting away from bores at drinks parties (Dear Mary, 20 May). I take issue with the idea that…

Dear Mary: how do you excuse yourself from a dull conversation?

20 May 2017 9:00 am

Q. My mother always told me that only boring people are bored. However she never got stuck at a drinks…

Stop carping at having to buy a holiday gift for your cleaner. It’s vital

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Q. My 23-year-old son has taught himself to play the piano, learning the theme tune to The Truman Show without…

My cleaner is brilliant but how can I stop her working in bare feet?

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Q. I have a very good cleaner who comes once a week. She is far more efficient than anyone I’ve…

How can we avoid looking like 'awful oiks' at the Fourth of June?

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Q. New colleagues invited us to lunch but didn’t warn us that the clippings had not been cleared up from…

How do you reject someone but still spare their feelings?

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers wishing to reject a hopeful romantic partner without hurting their feelings?…

Does a gentleman raise his hat once or twice to a lesbian couple?

15 April 2017 9:00 am

Q. My aunt lives in a small market town with narrow roads and limited parking. A neighbour opposite acquired a…

What can be done about flakes who cancel at the last minute?

8 April 2017 9:00 am

A friend of a friend hosted an engagement party in a London hotel. Invitations had gone out six weeks beforehand,…

Dear Mary: Am I obliged to regale my sponsor with anecdotes from my life?

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Q. As an artist I’m indebted to my sponsor. I also like him, but not his habit of ringing me…

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…