Family

Dear Mary: Will my friend be offended if I buy her an XL dress?

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Q. My son has moved his girlfriend into our fairly small house for the second lockdown. I am grateful for…

What lockdown means for families with disabled children

7 November 2020 9:00 am

What lockdown means for families with disabled children

My Aunt Beryl’s zinc-lined trunk revealed extraordinary family secrets

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Bexhill-on-Sea My Aunt Beryl taught me to love books and paintings. When I’m at a loose end in London, lonely,…

Today’s undergraduates are customers – and the customer is always right

22 August 2020 9:00 am

If you’re looking for a sign of the academic times, you could do worse than consider the image, published in…

She was just a damn cat – and I loved her

18 July 2020 9:00 am

I’ve never dug a grave before. But that was how I spent my Sunday afternoon. Three feet is awfully deep…

The antibody test that proved my wife wrong

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Back in April, The Spectator ran a feature in which the partners of regular contributors wrote about what it was…

Unfortunately our new puppy is not just for lockdown

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Will the huge surge in demand for puppies and kittens during lockdown lead to a lot of abandoned pets when…

In the Covid era, age isn’t just a number

9 May 2020 9:00 am

When I told my seven-year-old granddaughter, over Zoom, how much I missed being with her, I added: ‘Maybe it won’t…

Lockdown used to be the norm for new mothers

9 May 2020 9:00 am

I laughed when my Spanish midwife mentioned in passing that in Latin American countries they have a custom for new…

Salman Rushdie: ‘The implausible has become everyday’

25 April 2020 9:00 am

Salman Rushdie on writing in the Age of Anything-Can-Happen

Our puppy has no respect for the two-metre rule

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Since the beginning of the lockdown, Caroline has been congratulating herself for having bought a puppy ‘just in time’. She…

The world of make-believe is stranger than we realise

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Last summer, in the bc era, I took my then three-year-old to a new group play session: ‘Lottie’s Magic Box.’…

Isolation forces us to work out what really matters

28 March 2020 9:00 am

In tough times, people often discover their dauntlessness

Quarantine with our new puppy will send me barking

21 March 2020 9:00 am

When the news leaked at the weekend that the government was considering telling those aged 70 and over to self-quarantine…

Life under lockdown: Italy is being consumed by panic

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Italy is being consumed by panic

Having a baby is like joining a cult — full of other, more capable mothers

29 February 2020 9:00 am

When you’re not a mother it’s hard to imagine what motherhood is like. Anyone you know who becomes one assures…

Dear Mary: Should I tell my friend that his expensive lunch made me ill?

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Q. I see a lot of two of our grandchildren because they live in our London house. We are centrally…

Deborah Orr rages against her small-town upbringing

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Unlike a lot of people in the media, I didn’t personally know Deborah Orr, but I know many who did,…

Christmas with my brother

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Ever since I was a child, I’ve associated Christmas with my mentally disabled brother Chris. Technically, he’s my half-brother —…

Tame family dramas: Christmas in Austin, by Benjamin Markovits, reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

My partner’s brother once found himself accidentally locked into his flat on Christmas Day, which meant having to spend it…

Should I return to the land of my Italian ancestors?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

When I was growing up, my Italian grandfather was my favourite person. He taught me to play a mean game…

Why no one ever moves back to London

31 August 2019 9:00 am

In last week’s Spectator, Martin Vander Weyer replied to a couple with a baby who had sought his advice on…

Cressida Bonas’s diary: Why do I find wedding hats so tricky?

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Monday morning. Sitting in Ed the physio’s waiting room. He is theatreland’s go-to man for fractured bones and torn muscles…

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…

High Life

29 July 2017 9:00 am

Greece   I am surfing along the Cycladic islands on Puritan, a 125ft classic that was launched in 1929 by…