Illness

Dear Mary: A work colleague has a brain tumour — and his self pity is annoying me

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Q. When buying a present for a friend, I would not dream of glugging from the bottle or helping myself…

Extreme pain, of the purest intensity, changes everything

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Since my pulmonary embolism a couple of years ago, I have become something of a connoisseur of pain. The agony…

Death always makes for lively reading

26 August 2017 9:00 am

It’s an irony of our secular age that the more we fear death, the more enticing we find it. The…

Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream is unforgettable

4 March 2017 9:00 am

In Delmore Schwartz’s story ‘In Dreams Begin Responsibilities’, a young man dreams he is watching his father and mother’s engagement…

One thing I learned in 2016 – it’s hateful being right all the time

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Merry Christmas everyone. Here are some things I learned — or relearned — in 2016.   1. That which does…

Margaret Drabble squares up to old age

5 November 2016 9:00 am

A preoccupation with death is felt from the start of Margaret Drabble’s new novel, which opens with Francesca Stubbs, in…

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,…

My surreal Christmas in hospital with a dangerously ill child

12 December 2015 9:00 am

My surreal Christmas in hospital with a dangerously ill child

(Photo: Getty)

Dear Mary: How can I protect my sick husband from his friends?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Q. My husband is, in a word, adorable. However, following a substantial brain operation, his doctor has told him that…

Joan Collins’s diary: I’m in deep shock at Jackie’s death, but life goes on

7 November 2015 9:00 am

I had only experienced great loss when my mother died. It was desperately harrowing, but not as harrowing as the…

Rule number one for horse-owners: every accident that happens to a horse is a freak accident

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Every accident that happens to a horse is a freak accident. Rule number one. Once you grasp that as a…

Corin Redgrave, playing the contrarian William Roper, husband of Thomas More’s favourite child, Margaret, in A Man for All Seasons

From Trot to Thatcher: the life of Kika Markham

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In a varied career, the actress Kika Markham has regularly played real-life charcters, including, on television, Mrs Thatcher — piquant…

Dear Mary: Why didn’t he kiss me?

11 May 2013 9:00 am

Q. My literary agent has failed to return my emails and phone calls and it has been six weeks since…

How are you today?

7 July 2010 12:00 am

How am I? Very well, thank you.