Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator's Dear Mary column.

Dear Mary: How do we explain being in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book?

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Q. We often have friends coming to stay before (and after) we all head off for Glyndebourne, a 20-minute drive…

Dear Mary: How much should I tip a black cab driver?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Q. We have near neighbours in the country with whom I would not wish to fall out for all sorts…

Dear Mary: What do you do when your hostess licks your spoon?

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have happily overcome many moments of diplomatic and social challenge, but was stumped by the case of the…

Dear Mary: How can my son tell if his cleaner is stealing from him?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. What is your view on emailed vs handwritten thank-yous? During my recent travels around pre-Brexit Europe I stayed in…

Dear Mary: How can I politely turn down friends’ sponsorship requests?

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. I want my guests to feel welcome when they stay with us and certainly don’t want to nag them.…

Dear Mary: How can I deal with overly demonstrative colleagues?

10 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. A friend constantly walks around with his bootlaces undone. His wife declines to nag him on the grounds she…

Wind chimes

Dear Mary: What can I do about the vexatious racket of windchimes?

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Q. I took an old friend to Bellamy’s for lunch. We were just settling in for a proper gossip when…

Boris Johnson in The Spectator’s editor’s chair in 2003 (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)

Dear Mary: I used to work with Boris Johnson. Why does no one believe how fun he was?

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Q. It was 10 p.m. by the time the canapés appeared and by then it was already too late. The…

How to train your husband

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Around 25 years ago it became clear that there existed only two groups that could still be bullied by journalists…

Dear Mary: How should one react when someone invites you to an expensive restaurant — then lets you pay the bill?

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Q. Further to your advice about how to refuse invitations, I had a friend, who sadly died young, who disliked…

Dear Mary: How do I stop men sending me articles from the Guardian?

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Q. It is difficult to know what to do when homeless people ask you for cash as you are leaving…

Dear Mary: How should I deal with a friend who leaves appalling comments on Facebook?

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Q. Friends and I keep in touch and share our more memorable experiences on Facebook. One friend is an elderly…

Dear Mary: How do I handle the dreaded ‘B word’ at supper parties?

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have lost many friends and acquaintances by discussing Brexit and finding fundamental differences of opinion. Recently I have…

Dear Mary: How can I stop the book club gossip from snooping around my house?

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. One of the members of our book club is particularly nosy and gossipy. I like this woman, but when…

Dear Mary: Is it ever acceptable to blow my own trumpet?

15 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. A friend of 30 years moved abroad three years ago. He then was diagnosed with throat cancer but mercifully…

Dear Mary: How do I stop people cadging cigarettes off me?

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. My mother died a few months ago. Her collection of colourful clothes, hats, shoes and an immense amount of…

Dear Mary: I won a bet – how do I make my friend pay up?

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Q. A delightful but disorganised friend has invited several of our circle for a weekend at his family’s beautiful country…

Dear Mary: What should I do when my host won’t serve the champagne I brought?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. Was I right to feel aggrieved when, having contributed a bottle of fine champagne to a small supper party,…

Dear Mary: I’m disabled – how can I stop my carer being so controlling?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am a disabled man with a good brain and an independent bent. However, I need help to wash…

Dear Mary: What should you do when friends invite you to lunch but don’t offer wine?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I was invited to birthday drinks in London. On my way there the name of someone I haven’t heard…

Dear Mary: did our friends regift us out-of-date chocolates?

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. A university friend and I want to get an invitation to a very good shoot owned by a colleague…

Dear Mary: how can I tell my chatty masseur to stop talking?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. Like many of his profession, Manolo, my most-proficient masseur, has the gift of the gab and maintains a garrulous…

Dear Mary: how can I stop myself procrastinating?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am not a professional writer but on the strength of a short piece I contributed to a Festschrift…

Dear Mary: how can I make my timid husband ask for a longer haircut?

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. We sent out email invitations to our drinks party and have had too many acceptances. The venue has said…

Dear Mary: how can I stop my husband from hijacking my punchlines?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. A woman I’ve known for years is getting divorced and rings me every day to talk about it. I…