Barratt Homes has surveyed parents who have ‘boomerang’ children.

Boomerang children are not newborns who cause their mothers unexpected complications in the delivery room.

They are defined as over-18s who have returned to the family home after living away.

On average, parents of these children charge them just £80.38 a month, including food, bills and toiletries.

More than half don’t charge anything at all.

Reading this made me very nostalgic.

After finishing university I returned home for a few weeks, which turned into a lot of weeks. Which turned into several years.

I don’t think the phrase ‘boomerang child’ was around then.

There was no need for it. The phrases ‘lazy child’ and ‘scrounging child’ seemed perfectly adequate.

I did pay something for my keep, namely the phone bill.

This was a significant sum, because I spent hours ringing friends and complaining about how expensive my phone bill was.

Much of my twenties was spent living at home, with my washing done and my meals provided.

There’s a lot to be said for independence. But never underestimate the attraction of being brought a cup of tea in bed.

My parents were too nice for their own good.

If I had kids I’d send them to the shops on their 16th birthday and change the locks.

But my parents’ generosity, patience and gullibility were remarkable.

Viz magazine used to have a cartoon about a spoilt brat.

My mother often asked if he reminded me of anyone.

“No one comes to mind, mummy,” I’d say.

“By the way, those spaghetti hoops were a little too firm. Softer next time, please.”

After a few years I was no longer a boomerang. I was an anvil.

“Get him out - please!”

“He’s too heavy to budge. I think it’s all the food he eats. The fact that it’s free seems to encourage him to eat more.”

Eventually they started dropping hints - “Just go!” - which ended up being much less subtle than that.

If I’d stayed much longer at least I’d have been able to give them a share of my pension.

The Barratt survey says that parents in London charge boomerang children £121.75 a month.

That’s just eight per cent of the capital’s average living cost.

I’m tempted to knock on a few doors in Chelsea and say “It’s me - your long-lost son!

“We can catch up later - I’m starving.”