Friendship

Dear Mary: Should I pay to charge my electric car at a friend’s house?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. An acquaintance suggested organising a celebratory dinner in honour of some mutual friends. He asked my husband and me,…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my grey-haired friend giving away my true age?

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. I never lie about my age but I try not to think — or talk — about it. Now…

My failed attempts to be a good Samaritan

7 August 2021 9:00 am

Being a good Samaritan is harder than it seems

Dear Mary: How do we stop our friends’ dogs wrecking our house?

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have old friends who live in the northern hinterlands and have a property in Provence where they normally…

Dear Mary: How do we tell our friend that her hairstyle doesn’t suit her?

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. At a lunch party, I was getting on so well with someone I had not met before. She knew…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my fiancee that she eats with her mouth open?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I’ve recently been approached by a very good friend who — with genuinely admirable candour and tact — pointed…

Dear Mary: How do I cope with colleagues’ bad habits now I’m back in the office?

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I am placed in a social dilemma due to a proposed visit on the last weekend of June by…

Dear Mary: What’s the etiquette of loo-flushing for overnight guests?

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have started receiving invitations to large summer events scheduled for after 21 June. We have…

A celebration of friendship: Common Ground, by Naomi Ishiguro, reviewed

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Naomi Ishiguro began writing Common Groundin the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. The title refers to both Goshawk Common in…

Dear Mary: What should my wife and I do with the risque photos we took in our youth?

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Q. I hesitate to bring you this problem, but I suspect it is not that uncommon. Early in our very…

Farewell to my dear friend Richard, the very best of us

23 January 2021 9:00 am

I heard the shocking news last week that one of my oldest friends — Richard Edwards — had died suddenly…

Dear Mary: Should I give my postman a Christmas present?

12 December 2020 9:00 am

Q. I am extremely fond of an artist friend, despite the fact that I have never liked her work or…

Dear Mary: How can I wind up a Zoom call with a chatty friend?

7 November 2020 9:00 am

Q. Is there a tactful way to wind up a Zoom call when one of you has more time on…

Dear Mary: How should I handle my bitchy friend’s birthday cards?

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Q. Many years ago I was asked to officiate at a funeral for a family I did not know. As…

Barbara Amiel: My memoir has cost me my best friends

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The only female writers of importance I have personally met are Margaret Atwood and Joan Didion, both of whom are…

Dear Mary: How can we be sure our host gives us clean sheets?

5 September 2020 9:00 am

Q. Some friends persist on displaying our email addresses in large address lists when sending out round robins to all…

The politics of email sign-offs

25 July 2020 9:00 am

I think Anne Applebaum is a friend of mine. I certainly hope so, since I have always admired her writing,…

Trick or treat: the pros and cons of being hacked

18 July 2020 9:00 am

The pros and cons of being hacked

The intense pleasures of lockdown

6 June 2020 9:00 am

I used to live in Mogadishu for months at a time, cooped up in compounds behind fortified walls. Venturing on…

An open letter to the friend who dropped me after Question Time

7 March 2020 9:00 am

I’ve put off sending a private email that’s been ready to go for weeks. Then last Sunday, I read Julie…

Dear Mary: As an actor, how do I cope with strangers who think they know me?

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Q. I have hired a private room in a restaurant in order to give dinner to a large number of…

The unwritten rules of sending Christmas cards

7 December 2019 9:00 am

No one sends Christmas cards any more. Except that I do, and you might, and a few other people do…

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…

My friend’s death taught me what Easter really means

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The bravest thing I’ve ever seen was 93-year-old Albert’s decision to die and the days after in which he stuck…