Modern manners

How to stop being scared of full stops

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Typical mother-to-mother email, January weekday, 2015: ‘Thanks so much for helping out yesterday, Jamie had a great time with you…

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends staying after a 21st?

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Q. A neighbour is hosting a party for his daughter’s 21st birthday. Adequate provision has been made for anyone who…

Quaglino’s, the vampire brasserie

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Quaglino’s is an ancient subterranean brasserie in St James’s, a district clinging to the 18th century with cadaverous fingers. It…

The rise of ‘living apart together’ – and why I’ve stopped doing it

17 January 2015 9:00 am

I’ve never lived with a man I didn’t marry: Tweedledee, 1979–1984, and Tweedledum, 1984–1995. (The names have been changed to…

David Sedaris was right: litter is a class issue

17 January 2015 9:00 am

David Sedaris is my new hero. Not because he’s such a funny writer, but because he’s obsessed with litter. He…

When did we become a nation of police informers?

10 January 2015 9:00 am

There’s a danger that in what follows your columnist may seem to be recommending an attitude. Please don’t think that.…

Dear Mary: How will Joan Collins introduce herself now she’s a dame?

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Q. We enjoyed the Christmas University Challenge series featuring mature graduates, some of whom were more in the public eye than…

The real reason there’s a queue outside the Cereal Killer Café

10 January 2015 9:00 am

The Cereal Killer Café is a temple to cereal on Brick Lane, east London. It serves only cereal — and also…

Dear Mary solves problems for Jim Broadbent, N.M. Gwynne, Jesse Norman and others

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Once again Mary has invited some of her favourite figures in the public eye to submit personal queries for her…

Dear Mary: Do I really have to take my shoes off indoors?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Q. There has been a marked increase in the number of people who have pristine flooring and are so keen…

Richard Madeley’s diary: Forgetting Tom Conti’s name, and other harrowing experiences

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Oh God, it’s happened again. Another evening where I’m surrounded by people I know personally or have interviewed, and I…

Patriotism isn’t uncivilised - it’s what makes civilisation possible

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Is it racist to be patriotic? Is patriotism, by definition, small-minded and exclusive? When you strip away the onion layers…

Steve Jobs’s button phobia has shaped the modern world

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons. Steve Jobs had it — or at least a strong aversion, which explained his…

Pity I’m a Celebrity’s token old guys

22 November 2014 9:00 am

I had thought that my days of being approached by reality show producers hoping to put together a cast of…

Revealed: the marriage gap between Britain's rich and poor

15 November 2014 9:00 am

In the digital era, those looking for soulmates can be brutally clear about who need not apply. There are websites…

The unexpected joys of working while pregnant

8 November 2014 9:00 am

‘You are like my cat.’ So I was told when eight-and-a-half months pregnant, just before going on maternity leave from…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my future son-in-law saying ‘must of’

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Q. My future son-in-law has been successfully house-trained in the use of upper-middle-class English over the years that he has…

The cult of 'mindfulness'

1 November 2014 9:00 am

The chances are that by now either you or someone you know well has begun to practise ‘mindfulness’ — a…

The fightback against wackiness starts here

1 November 2014 9:00 am

At Glastonbury in 2000 I noticed two young men both wearing enormous Y-fronts and carrying an even bigger pair with…

Dear Mary: Is there a tactful way to shorten the guest list for my 21st?

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Q. I am organising my 21st birthday party at our family house in Italy. It is a fantastic location, but…

It’s time to shave that beard: the decade of the hipster is over

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Calling all hipsters, it’s time to get the razor out! You have hit peak beard. You’ve had a decade of…

Dear Mary: Learning to love a man who whistles through his nose

25 October 2014 9:00 am

Q. What can you do when disorganised friends say they would love to come to a concert with you but…

Why everywhere should be more like Essex

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Apart from the Wye Valley, where I grew up, there are only two places in Britain I’d consider living: Kent…

Dear Mary: Can I run out on an apprenticeship for my dream interview?

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Q. I have been trying to get an apprenticeship in fashion for over a year without success. I just had…

Jeremy Vine’s diary: Zipcars, hipster milk and the word that means I’m losing an argument

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Last Tuesday I tried to sign up to a new life. My wife and I argued, slightly. ‘I don’t think…