Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary, Your Problems Solved

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary, Your Problems Solved

Article excerpt

Q. Recently my wife and I received a thank you letter from 'John and Kate' giving an address in Pimlico. They wrote to thank us for a picture of roses that 'we' had given them for a wedding present. My mother in-law painted beautifully and often chose roses. My wife and I racked our brains to think who this well-mannered couple could be. Not one of ours - over to you Rollo and Janie (a local couple with whom I and my wife, Rollo and Caroline, are often confused). But it was not one of theirs either. . . How do you suggest both Rollos come out of this smelling of roses?

- R.C. , West Porlock, Somerset A.

A quick (free) search of www.thepeerage. co. uk reveals too many Rollos for the mystery to be easily solved. However, there is no need for you to be coy. Return the thank-you letter to John and Kate explaining that while it seems likely that the picture was painted by your celebrated and prolific mother-in-law and possibly signed to you and your wife - hence the confusion - you cannot claim credit for having given it as a present. Suggest they make a shortlist of likely contenders and email an image of the picture around until they identify themselves. Ask to be sent a copy yourselves.

Q. We live in a street of terraced houses in London.

Neighbours on either side of our house have milk delivered. …

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