Modern manners

You can do anything (but you shouldn’t): the brave new world of internet morality

25 July 2015 9:00 am

What, if anything, should a moral, liberal-minded person think about the hacking of the infidelity website Ashley Madison? And by…

Bubble-wrap, berry-picking and the secret pleasures of destruction

25 July 2015 9:00 am

It’s not quite as bad as we feared: Sealed Air, the company in New Jersey that makes bubble-wrap, is not…

Safety tip: don't try to steal Trev's phone

25 July 2015 9:00 am

‘I’ve lost my phone,’ yells Trev. We’re in a club. He’s come charging on to the dance floor to tell…

Dear Mary: How can I flirt on the train when a man who knows my old habits is watching?

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Q. Travelling on a train recently I happened to notice two former acquaintances, sitting together and very nearly opposite me,…

Tides of wealth: Polzeath beach

Would Betjeman recognise anything about today’s north Cornwall?

11 July 2015 9:00 am

In a documentary filmed at the end of his life, Sir John Betjeman, who lived in the village of Trebetherick…

The wonderful, vanishing world of the handwritten letter

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Those who write letters and send them by post are a dying breed. I was fortunate to have served as…

Why sport and sham morality go so well together

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Wimbledon next week. Like the tournament dress code, all sports want their heroes white. In terms of virtue rather than…

Customer surveys: just say no

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Not long ago, I woke up in hospital, in pain, with a damaged back, but grateful for the sleep that…

Dear Mary: My husband has shaved his head for a newspaper feature

27 June 2015 9:00 am

Q. My partner, a leading political commentator on a national newspaper, recently agreed to shave off his hair at the…

2067: the end of British Christianity

13 June 2015 9:00 am

It’s often said that Britain’s church congregations are shrinking, but that doesn’t come close to expressing the scale of the…

Adultery websites should be as unacceptable as race-hate websites

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The website illicitencounters.com connects married people who are interested in straying, in cheating on their spouses. Or, as the website…

An Austenesque Aga saga with hints of postmodernism

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Lovely, gentle Isabel, just 40, makes masks. Her husband Dan, erstwhile ‘student of the Classics’ and playwright manqué, is ‘bored…

Why I joined the smiley-face cult

6 June 2015 9:00 am

On the way home from dinner with girlfriends I composed my usual thank-you text. Smashing company, delicious food, must see…

Would he rather have had the money?

How to buy a father’s day present (if you must)

6 June 2015 9:00 am

No man ever watched a £20 note flutter from an opened Father’s Day card and thought: ‘How disappointing — not enough…

Dear Mary: What to do when an old friend snubs you

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Q. What should I say the next time I run into a woman with whom I was at art school…

Dear Mary: What to do when a dinner guest won’t turn and chat

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Q. I felt uncomfortable during a dinner for 20 in a private house. The young man on my left had…

Dear Mary: How can I make my shy friend’s generosity plain?

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Q. I have a friend who can be shy and inhibited. Recently, he was invited to stay on a Caribbean…

In praise of the pit bull terrier

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Last night I saw a woman dancing with a pit bull terrier. It was about 9 p.m. and her curtains…

Dear Mary: How to cope with London Library overcrowding

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Q. As a writer I find working at home too distracting. I am a longstanding member of the London Library…

Tinder went looking for fresh flesh – and accidentally found me

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Through some freak accident of PR, I was invited to an event organised by Tinder. If you’re over 40 or…

Why American psychoanalysts are an endangered species

25 April 2015 9:00 am

   New York City Nothing says New York like a psychoanalyst’s couch. Think Woody Allen or those New Yorker cartoons.…

Whose hair are you buying?

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Perhaps you recall the moment in Les Misérables when Fantine chops off all her hair? The destitute young mother sells…

The awful rise of 'virtue signalling'

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Go to a branch of Whole Foods, the American-owned grocery shop, and you will see huge posters advertising Whole Foods,…

Sorry Katie Hopkins, but I’m not dieting. Ever

18 April 2015 9:00 am

I’m a very off-message type of fat broad; one who gladly admits she reached the size she is now solely…

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends calling without warning?

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Q. I have moved from London to the centre of a historic market town, now becoming famous as a foodie…