Modern manners

Why I’ve changed my name

10 November 2018 9:00 am

As someone who has recently discovered he is black, I have watched with incredulity the treatment doled out by the…

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 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…

Are you a politically correct pervert?

20 October 2018 9:00 am

The rise of ethical decadence

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: 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…

The neo-Marxist takeover of our universities

8 September 2018 9:00 am

According to Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, America’s universities have succumbed to ‘safetyism’, whereby students are protected from anything that…

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…

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: How do you deal with a monologuing fellow guest on board a yacht?

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. A long-standing friend has an admirer of some means. He has invited her to borrow his fully staffed and…

Dear Mary: How does a Wimbledon ball girl deal with a disgusting player?

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. I’ve accepted an invitation to stay in a small house party in France. My host hasn’t mentioned who else…

The #MeToo movement could be the saviour of sex

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Forbidden flirting is more exciting

Dear Mary: What is the correct form when you find someone hiding from you in a cupboard?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. Is there a tactful way to ask people with whom you’ve been interacting on an almost daily basis over…

How to lay a trap for a suspected nosy parker

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. My father has worked pro bono for many years on the advisory board of a certain company with a…

Dear Mary: How can I explain the cushion I must take everywhere to sit on?

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Q. I have incurable, inoperable back pain that severely hinders my ability to sit and necessitates my taking a cushion…

Dear Mary: At a smart dinner party, is it wrong to ask for the wifi code?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I are excited to have been invited to dinner by our most important neighbour. However our…

Dear Mary: our son’s future in-laws want to play social oneupmanship with us

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. We were about to send off to the printers the invitation for our son’s wedding (we agreed to do…

The DPP's Alison Saunders was never much cop

7 April 2018 9:00 am

An interesting development for our police force, then. In future they do not have to believe everything someone tells them,…

How to be a tourist in Europe

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Avoid the crowds to discover Europe’s real cultural treasures

Dear Mary: How do we deal with our host’s sudden, terrifying rages?

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. Along with five of my favourite people, I’ve been invited again to what should be an idyllic house party…

How Soho became so-so: Kettner’s Townhouse reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes I fret that Soho House & Co is doing to this column what it does to London. It places…

Can you prove you’re not a racist?

31 March 2018 9:00 am

After an essay in this month’s Prospect about literature and freedom of speech, it seems I was cited on Twitter…

How can I avoid power handshakes? They hurt my fragile knuckles

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. How does one avoid power handshakes? Twenty-five years of wicket-keeping have left me with pathetically fragile knuckles, and each…