Friendship

A podcast with real emotional heft: Philippa Perry’s Siblings in Session reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

Have you ever taken a piece of advice? I’m not asking a rhetorical question. Have you ever once in your…

Mismatched from the start: One Day I Shall Astonish the World, by Nina Stibbe, reviewed

16 April 2022 9:00 am

First the bad news: Nina Stibbe’s new novel does not feature Lizzie Vogel, the engaging narrator of the trilogy that…

Male friendship is in crisis

9 April 2022 9:00 am

The decline of male friendship

Dear Mary: What’s the etiquette of tipping takeaway delivery drivers?

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Q. Rory Sutherland recently wrote about high-end takeaways (Wiki Man, 19 February). In the last London lockdown, I was fortunate…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my new friend leaving me broke?

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Q. Recently I started hanging out with a new friend. We are both in our twenties, single, and usually go…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my friends that napkin rings are the height of naff?

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Q. Three weeks ago I banged my head on the lower branch of our near neighbours’ tree, which I couldn’t…

Can I really be turning 80?

5 February 2022 9:00 am

A princess of Hanover wrote in her diary: ‘My 30th birthday. There must be some mistake.’ Substitute 30th for 80th…

Dear Mary: How can I stop unexpected visitors using my loo?

29 January 2022 9:00 am

Q. I treat myself to a manicure every ten days. It’s a 30-minute appointment and the girl I use is…

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…

Dear Mary: How do I get my masseuse to stop talking?

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. Our two daughters often bring friends down for the weekend. These friends are more than welcome; we enjoy their…

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…