Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator’s Dear Mary column.

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…

Dear Mary: My friend always has food around his mouth. How can I help him?

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. A dear friend of my husband, a shy bachelor, is an acquired taste. Once you acquire it you are…

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…

Dear Mary: How can I stop a controversial columnist from being sacked?

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. A close friend is an elderly writer who has contributed, as a monthly columnist, to the same publication for…

Dear Mary: I’m a freelancer – how do I get people to return my calls?

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. Being professionals in trade, we find ourselves increasingly being asked by friends, who could well afford to use our…

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…

Dear Mary: Is it vulgar to give money as a wedding gift?

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. I work at a desk by a window which looks out on to the street where I live. I…

Dear Mary: As best man, can I seduce the groom’s sister?

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Q. We often take friends to what my husband calls a ‘poncey’ pub which has won numerous awards and where…