“Jake is the last of our twentysomethings to return home permanently from university, his guitar on his back, things spilling out of bin bags, dirty clothes reeking of damp. His older twin sisters are already reinstated in their bedrooms. So, with the youngest doing his A‑levels, we have a full house.
‘It’s great,’ I tell interested people. ‘We all get along. Anyway, at this stage, they’re less like children and more like friends.’
There was a time – a brief moment, five minutes perhaps – when my partner, Ed, and I thought of all the things we could do as empty-nesters: downsize, take holidays, wander naked from room to room drinking champagne (and where, more importantly, there would always be clean towels in the bathrooms and bread in the bread bin).”