When children won’t leave home . .

Starting when she was very young, I tried to show my daughter Tracey that she was not a particularly welcome addition to the Templeton household.

Her arrival, nine months after either a power-cut or my birthday (I forget which because both have proved equally exciting over the years) was akin to a late tax-demand from the Inland Revenue, or finding that someone had activated an automatic subscription renewal for a purchase you  didn’t want in the first place.

I told Tracey she was named after an American actor, Spencer Tracy and that both he and I recognised that alcohol was clearly an option to numb the pain;  his to hide the guilt of a deaf son and mine to regret  . . full stop.

I did hold a party around the time of Tracey’s 21st. Not to celebrate her birthday, but instead to celebrate she had moved out. I forgot to invite her anyway. But like a bad smell (and she does have that too) she has returned to haunt me as part of the deal when my wife negotiated her own return. I had to agree to accept Tracey back if she requested  –  it took one day for that request to be made.

I now find myself sleeping on the sofa, with Wendy lying diagonally in our matrimonial room, and Tracey back in her own bed. To date, the scattering of dog fleas and itching powder in her snore-pit have failed to move her on and I am left pondering my next steps . .