Isn't it time you invited your mother to come and live with you? Permanently, I mean. She's done her duty towards you, heaven knows. She sent you to a good school and, having seen your A-levels, was wise enough not to insist that you went on to university. Instead, she showed understanding and tolerance while you had a few adventures, made a few mistakes. The fact that you made them in a barren desert wasn't her fault, and when you mislaid the map she spared no expense or tears until you were found.

OK, you got off to a bit of a bumpy start when it came to finding a job, but that's not uncommon - work is hard to come by these days and accountancy exams are a brute. So you failed, three times. No matter: once again she came up trumps, arranging helpful introductions, business contacts, all that kind of thing. It must be marvellous to have a prime minister for a mother, especially when you're having trouble finding the right career.

She's been a devoted mother, Mark. She's done her bit. Time, don't you think, for you to do yours? How we all sympathised with her, wilting in the heat of Chile. You should insist she calls a halt. After all, you've got your millions (dollars 25m, isn't it?), your wife, the neo- (very neo-) Georgian house in Dallas, the pounds 2m Kensington home; your children, your butler, your business, your international connections; your security fencing, your personal PR . . . she has every reason to be proud of you.

You're the only person she ever listens to. Suggest she should be inculcating in the grandchildren those Victorian values that served her so well. Can't you just picture the three of them gathered round the pool, while she tells those wonderful stories about how her dad rose from being a corner grocer to mayor of Grantham, and she, their Granny, rose from Grantham to Downing Street, and now their Pop . . . well, never mind what he rose to, you'll keep a veil over that - you always do.

Texas must be a tricky place to bring up young Michael and his sister to be frugal, thrifty, caring citizens. It can't be easy to teach them not to play with guns. She hardly managed to stop you, although you were brought up in law-abiding London SW3: but then, you always were a headstrong little lad. Chip off the old block.

Carol's already put a word in, begged her to take it a bit easier, pace herself, but you know Mum. She's never taken much notice of Carol. (May think she's a bit of a pinko, between you, me and the gate-post.) Dad would move in like a shot, you being so handy for the golf course, and him so fond of the occasional Bourbon and rye. Do it, Mark. Pick up the phone and do it now.

(Photograph omitted)