Country houses for sale

Nasty neighbours and button down collars

Dear Mrs Danvers, I live in a London square where parking is severely restricted. My next-door neighbour, who has a large and ugly 4×4 with a disabled sticker, parks it in front of my windows every day, leaving her own clear. I know of no one in the house who is disabled and am getting increasingly annoyed by her thoughtlessness. Should I inform the parking authorities or ask her to leave my own views clear?

I am sorry to say this, but you should do neither?you must suffer in silence. I know, I know, it is infuriating, and it is extremely rude of your neighbour to park in front of your house rather than her own. But imagine the scenario if you take offensive action: you will have a neighbour with an enduring grudge, even if you just ask her to shift the wretched hulk and park it elsewhere. If you read the papers carefully, you will see that there is no one more likely to go to law or become violent than a neighbour who resents you. They slit your tyres, tell the council when you water your garden and, I am not joking, resort to murder.

Try to minimise the grudge you bear, hope they will move soon and consider how you may be annoying them. This is one time where turning the other cheek is the smart option.

Dear Mrs Danvers, I always wear plain, white, cotton shirts, long sleeved, no nonsense, with button-down collars and a quite sporty cut. As I don’t have to go into an office, I don’t need to wear suits or ties. All my shirts are beginning to collapse and I cannot find new ones to this?I would have thought?simple specification. Do you know a source?

Why do so many nice plain shirts have short sleeves? Or button-down collars? What are they buttoning down? Surely they are an unfortunate American import, created in the land of tornadoes, where collars might need extra support. Boden could help: its new Spring 2007 catalogue has an Architect Shirt. It is 100% cotton, semi-fitted, with a nice, plain collar. There are six versions, including pure white. Sizes from small to XXL, price £45. Order online at or telephone 0845 677 5000.