Advice

In praise of minding your own business

12 August 2023 9:00 am

  Athens   With energy bordering on the demonic, I strut around an ancient stadium trying to make up for…

Dear Mary

29 July 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary: Should I tell my boss I swiped his champagne?

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Q. I have got myself in a pickle. My boss was given a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal by a…

Dear Mary

15 July 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary

8 July 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary

24 June 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Dear Mary: Should I give weekend guests paper napkins or napkin rings?

29 October 2022 9:00 am

Q. I have a hatred of paper napkins – eating outside, they blow away; inside, people drop them on the…

Dear Mary: How do I curb my brother’s unsavoury language?

22 October 2022 9:00 am

Q. My brother, who lives in southern France, uses unsavoury words to gain my attention, such as ‘infernal swine’, ‘schweinhund’…

Dear Mary: How do I get out of a friend’s bad birthday party?

1 October 2022 9:00 am

Q. I shall be spending more time in the company of newer acquaintances in the West Country and would appreciate…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my neighbours I’m too busy to stop for a chat?

6 August 2022 9:00 am

Q. My parents are abroad for two months and as my flatmates in London are all, like me, working from…

Dear Mary: How do I avoid getting waylaid at a packed party?

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Q. I have found parties frustrating this month because they have been too crowded. Is there a polite way to…

Dear Mary: How should I handle summer invitations when I might get a better offer?

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Q. In order to raise money for a worthwhile cause, I have agreed to open my garden for the first…

Dear Mary: Should house guests pay to charge their electric cars?

28 May 2022 9:00 am

Q. My wife’s father, who she adored, has died and she is to be his sole beneficiary. She intends to…

Dear Mary: How do I dodge my village’s Jubilee tug-of-war contest?

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Q. I’m 28 and lucky enough to own a four-bed house in Notting Hill. I let three of the rooms…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my father’s girlfriend boiling a full kettle for one cup of tea?

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Q. Financially successful friends have kindly invited my husband and me to stay for a week in France. Our problem…

Dear Mary: How do you stop a cat from sneaking next door?

16 April 2022 9:00 am

Q. A great friend is in a terrible state regarding a cat foisted on her by a close relation. She…

Dear Mary: How do I convince my brother to go to a fancy dress party?

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Q. My brother’s social life has dried up since his divorce (which coincided with the pandemic). So when he received…

Dear Mary: How do I deal with my book club’s dietary requirements?

2 April 2022 9:00 am

Q. I live in the Hampshire countryside, in a lovely apartment where I have the use of an old walled…

Dear Mary: How do I tackle the menace of strangers making mobile calls on speakerphone?

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Q. As if it wasn’t bad enough to overhear one side of a conversation as it’s bellowed into a mobile…

Dear Mary: How can we avoid making friends on our cruise?

12 February 2022 9:00 am

Q. My partner’s work involves him seeing and talking to people all day, every day. I booked us on to…

Dear Mary: How do we get out of doing our hosts’ cleaning?

5 February 2022 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have made friends with two distinguished, although fairly eccentric, writers whose company we thoroughly enjoy.…

Dear Mary: Do I have to display my friend’s awful painting?

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Q. A long-standing artist friend, whose work now commands high prices, has sent me out of the blue a present…