Advice

Dear Mary: We’ve had to downsize our wedding – can we still ask everyone for presents?

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Q. A year ago we sent out 150 save-the-date notices for our wedding this December. We are still going ahead,…

Dear Mary: How do I stop people assuming I’m a billionaire?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have spent many happy weekends in the seaside cottage of long-standing friends. Knowing how much…

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…

Dear Mary: What can I do about fellow passengers who won’t wear face masks?

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Q. On my way to Devon recently I stopped for lunch with an impeccably mannered friend. He produced first crab…

Dear Mary: How can I stop predatory kisses at social gatherings?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Q. How can one politely stop predatory kissers? I am (or was) an affectionate and demonstrative person but I don’t…

Dear Mary: How can I accept a party invitation when I don’t know who’s going?

20 June 2020 9:00 am

Q. I know it is rude to ask, when invited to a dinner party, ‘who else is coming?’ I assumed,…

Dear Mary: How can I foil a notorious place-swapper at my daughter’s wedding?

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Q. I am arranging the seating plan for my daughter’s wedding and have a problem with one of her guests…

Dear Mary: Should I tell my friend that his expensive lunch made me ill?

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Q. I see a lot of two of our grandchildren because they live in our London house. We are centrally…

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette about kissing during the coronavirus scare?

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Q. I am having a drinks party to celebrate the publication of my latest book. I sent out invitations (to…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my mother-in-law sitting on newspaper whenever she comes to my house?

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Q. When my mother-in-law visits, she puts newspaper on a dining chair before sitting down. I’m so speechless that someone…

Dear Mary: What can we do about our son’s girlfriend’s appalling table manners?

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Q. My son has a girlfriend who we like but who has appalling table manners. They come to stay most…

Dear Mary: How do I stop getting lumbered with the washing up on weekends away?

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Q. A friend, who is very careful with his money, occasionally invites a group of six to eight out to…

Dear Mary: How do I stop rabbits eating Mum’s graveside flowers?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. A difficult couple of our acquaintance always object to other guests at dinner and can be very rude to…

Dear Mary: I can’t put names to faces – and it’s starting to upset friends

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am in my mid-sixties and have started to suffer from nominal aphasia. At a recent wedding in the…

How can I prevent my husband from burning all my post?

18 November 2017 9:00 am

If you don’t yet watch Gogglebox on Channel 4, start doing so now. Far from making you despise our couch-potato…

Help over the hump

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Losing our way in life’s trackless forest, whither should we turn for solace and advice? Wisdom used to be the…

A bad taste in the mouth

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Here is the opening sentence of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s meditation on beds.: With its four legs and its flat, soft…

Seasonal advice from David Cameron, Jilly Cooper, John Rutter and more

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Clare Balding I love a good walk on Boxing Day followed by watching the racing at Kempton. Avoid the internet.…

How to kill a hippo, cure seasickness, get rid of fleas? Our ancestors had some wild ideas ...

16 May 2015 9:00 am

As Dear Mary so wittily demonstrates, our need for advice is perennial. But fashions change. Mary would probably take issue…

How the NHS fails new mothers on breast-feeding

14 June 2014 8:00 am

Why isn’t there a proper service to show new nursing mothers how to feed their babies?

The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life, by Lyndsy Spence - review

14 September 2013 9:00 am

For some reason you don’t expect people to be fans of the Mitford sisters, as others are fans of Doctor…

Dear Mary: How will I know if he really loves me?

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Q. To ask for money in lieu of a wedding present (Dear Mary, 3 August) is ghastly, but an established…