Dear Mary

Dear Mary

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Q. Last year my husband and I stayed with a much-loved, but slightly airy-fairy friend in her house in Tuscany.…

Dear Mary

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Q. My partner and I recently had two close friends — one a Peer, the other a former Member of the…

Dear Mary

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Q. Some rather flashy new neighbours of ours — I won’t mention their names as his will be familiar to…

Dear Mary

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Q. Our best friends own a house in Morocco which sleeps about ten. They rent it out but go two…

Dear Mary

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Q. I am in my seventies and my husband is in his nineties. The other night we had two couples…

Dear Mary

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Q. Mary, I am what you would probably call a Sloane Ranger. I have great numbers of close friends and…

Dear Mary

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Q. I was brought up to stick rigidly to any invitation accepted and never to ‘chuck’ when a better one…

Dear Mary

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Q. I’m shortly to host a very large family gathering. Everyone will be related to the same ancestor, so we…

Dear Mary

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. My children are very lucky in that we have bought them all flats. However, they are now renting out…

Dear Mary

22 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. Last summer a friend of my brother-in-law’s house-sat for us while we were in Greece for a week. We…

Dear Mary

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. Is there an etiquette regarding security gates? My wife and I were invited to dinner by new neighbours who…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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…

Dear Mary

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?…

Dear Mary

14 April 2017 11:00 pm

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

Dear Mary

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,…