Modern manners

The mobility scooter plague

11 April 2015 9:00 am

How many of the people driving mobility scooters these days actually need a mobility scooter? The invention of the vehicle…

Meet the Skype Dads: a new sorrow of divorce in the internet age

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Could you be a useful and loving father to your children if you only ever saw them on a computer…

Dear Mary: How can I keep my retiring husband out of the house?

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Q. For ten years, I have made a reasonable freelance income working from home. During this time my husband has…

What happened to Julie Burchill on silent retreat

4 April 2015 9:00 am

When I told my friends that I was planning to attend a silent retreat, they all laughed. It’s true that…

Dear Mary: How I can I avoid being invited to any more country house weekends?

4 April 2015 9:00 am

Q. Someone I was at university with but hadn’t seen much of over the ten years since invited me to…

In praise of messy old kitchens

28 March 2015 9:00 am

‘I love my new kitchen heart of the home let’s fill it with friends happy.’ So says the thought bubble…

Dear Mary

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. When sending wedding invitations, does one put the full titles on the card, or can one just put, for…

Wines to toast a warrior saint

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Towards the chimes at midnight, a few of us left a — respectable — establishment near Leicester Square. Eight or…

How weird is it to have a second kitchen?

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Cooking statistics Ed Miliband was photographed in a miserable kitchen, but it turned out to be only a snack preparation…

How we drive our children mad

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Mental health is a slippery concept at best and according to the annual prevalence rates given in the latest Diagnostic…

Dear Mary: What can I do to make couples split the bill fairly?

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. I’m a single bloke now and for various reasons don’t foresee any change to that status. I have moved…

Exciting new ways of not writing a novel

14 March 2015 9:00 am

I read that Damon Runyon, in New York in the 1930s, would get up at 1 p.m. for a breakfast of…

Dear Mary: When is it all right not to bring something to a dinner party?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. A wonderful and generous woman invites me, on a regular basis, to dinner parties at her house. What is…

Is the Dorchester the designated grand hotel for fat people? The portions at its new grill say so

7 March 2015 9:00 am

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, is a cake floating in space. All grand hotels create a parallel universe in which…

Two shops. Two philosophies. Which side are you on?

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Are you Lush or are you Aldi? Me, I’m Aldi all the way. So much so that when someone —…

My wood-burning stove is expensive, trendy – and miserable

28 February 2015 9:00 am

One of my earliest memories is seeing my father in the early morning raking out the ashes of our coal…

Of course you can choose to get up early (and maybe you can choose to be gay)

21 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Oh, I’m an owl,’ said my friend Nick. ‘You’re probably a lark.’ I raised an eyebrow. He explained. Apparently all…

It takes a village (or six): the battle for rural churches

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Some of the longest job descriptions belong to rural Church of England clergy. ‘So what do you do?’ ‘I’m the…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my elderly host making the bed?

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Q. I have regularly stayed with a hospitable friend in London but now hesitate to invite myself. She is seventy-something…

I wouldn't want to be a girl in the age of Tinder

14 February 2015 9:00 am

My foray into the world of online dating was short-lived. Within a few hours of my profile going live, a…

My moment of mortification with Saint Joan Collins

14 February 2015 9:00 am

I did a film with Dame Joan Collins once. No no, not The Stud. It wasn’t as good as that.…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my neighbour pacing the ceiling?

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Q. The woman who lives above me has insomnia and walks around all night. I’m also disturbed by her rather…

The Stonewall dinner left me with one question: why are volunteers so horrible to one another?

24 January 2015 9:00 am

I watched the video with some trepidation. Stonewall (the campaigning gay and lesbian equality organisation) had just sent me the…

Send in the clowns - how comedy ate British politics

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Something funny is happening in this country. Our comedians are becoming politicians and our politicians are becoming comedians — and…

Why tomorrow’s parents won’t want their children to go to university

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Could the current generation of parents be the first ones who won’t want their children to go to university? Until…