However yesterday, as if by magic, a special envoy arrived - and very good it was to see him too.
My old friend Paul "Merv" Gaile is a Coleraine man born and bred. But, like me, he is now an adopted Yorkie and, indeed, has become something of a legend at the nearby Pudsey Pacers Running Club.
Paul is one of the most decent, genuine people I know.
And, most praiseworthy of all, he loves the Railways Arms bar in Coleraine almost as much as I do.
Coincidentally - and I say this with unashamed jealously - he is due there later today to kick off his New Year celebrations after getting an early afternoon flight from Leeds-Bradford.
He popped into our house yesterday with presents for Charlotte (and sweets for Jamie) which, as you can see above, she was particularly thrilled to receive.
Needless to say, Jamie also took the opportunity to share some love (and part of his new train set, which he soon demanded back).
I don't know why I say this (ahem), but I have a hunch that my dad will be in the Railway Arms when Paul puts his head around the door, and will take great pleasure in hearing all about his new granddaughter.
And that will make me very, very proud.