The out-laws visit at this time of year. They claim it's to see their grandchildren. But if you live in Swindon, you don't need a reason.
It's like a cold Doha but with tracksuits and violence.
In any case, after a few frontal assaults from the tiny tots and a light smearing of cold Weetabix, they're soon scuttling to the beach - himself in his overly-snug speedos and herself with the Sudoku.
"But where are nana and grampie going?" ask the infants, with their little runny noses wedged against the closed front door - stalactites of snot rising and falling in tempo with their sobbing.
"I'm afraid grumpy old nana and gramps would rather sun themselves by the pool and do silly crosswords with numbers than play with you little pumpkins," I explain in a children's TV presenter voice that sounds earnest if you're under three years old.
It was while watching them flee a recent attack by the half-pints that I started thinking about how the retired of Europe might just hold the key to fixing the Dubai property market.
It is almost three years now since the great estate agent virus of 2008 wiped out the flower of a generation of property salesmen. Some of their Porsche Carreras are still parked on the street corners where they fell - "Clean me", smeared on dust-covered windscreens, their only epitaph.
Now their finest hour has passed, it is clear that never in the field of human commerce was so little achieved by so many to the benefit of so few. The industry is unlikely to recover fully until the property market and officialdom come up with a plan for sustainable growth.
Visas are at the heart of the problem, especially for the retired who really don't want to be messing about with endless bureaucracy every time they visit the home they have probably paid for in cash.
During the height of the boom, there was talk that investors would be given residency visas on becoming owners.
That never materialised and instead rules allowing temporary residency visas were introduced. But they came with many restrictions, stipulating that the owner must have a monthly income of Dh10,000 (US$2,720) and the property must be worth at least Dh1 million.
Even with these conditions satisfied, owners need to renew every six months and fork out Dh2,000. This provides little incentive for European investors seeking winter sun, or indeed any other potential investors who are not themselves already working in the country.
Significantly, Qatar has started to issue residency visas to property investors in the country, a move that could boost its appeal among international buyers.
On the face of it, Dubai has a lot that appeals to the retired. There are beaches aplenty, thousands of cheap apartments and lots of hospitals. Steradent is also affordably priced, as I point out to the mother-in-law.
But annoyingly, the retired also tend to be the most discerning of investors. They have seen the peaks and troughs of property cycles for more than half a century. They have the scepticism of experience and by and large, a greater appreciation for the value of money than the young 'uns.
So no matter how much the Emirates may appeal from the perspective of year-round sunshine, security and value for money, few of them are likely to invest without being able to come and go as they please. This week the Cityscape show in Abu Dhabi is under way, where the regional property industry gathers annually to discuss sustainable this and holistic that.
There's really only one thing to discuss: how to fix the unchecked over-development of the boom years while restoring investor faith in discredited developers who talked a good game but ultimately built more in Photoshop and balsa wood than in bricks and mortar.
What the market needs now is a plan - and one that doesn't involve revolving towers with rooftop rainforests. So here's one I baked earlier:
1) Allow people who buy homes to live in them.
2) Incentivise banks who are borrowing at 2 per cent and lending at 8 per cent, to share the love. If they don't play fair, charge them a usury tax.
3) Penalise and prosecute developers for reneging on their promises to investors.
4) Encourage the retired to buy holiday homes by making it attractive for them to invest through cheap flights, secure communities, and affordable health care. From the moment they land, they shouldn't have to worry about anything other than relaxing on the beach and entertaining their grandchildren, while wearing age-appropriate swimwear.
The characters in this column are entirely fictional, while the speedos worn by the father-in-law would be more accurately described as frictional. Any resemblance to real relatives, is entirely coincidental and all rights are reserved.