Thankfully the turkey has been pied, fried and fricasséed and we are back to normal jogging for the new year.

The scene at Schloss Edwards has returned to pre-Yule settings. Diets have been resumed and dry January (whatever that is) is underway – it’s just a shame that Robert Burns comes around later in the month to spoil it. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

This year, as every other, we’ve kept it local and made the pilgrimage across the waters to the peninsula where we have invested heavily in the fantastic carnal assortment from Walker the butcher in Kilcreggan.

Joining the sizeable queue in the car park while waiting to be served, tells its own story. Hardly a hardship that, when you know what awaits you.

I’ll gloss over the unfortunate consecutive Christmas mornings of a few years back when my gifts included a frying pan and, a year hence, a chainsaw. I’m sure there is Freudian allegory in that imbroglio somewhere.

This year however, the canapes and champagne were quaffed while opening presents, my desire for which I had hinted at heavily all year. I even forwarded screengrabs to Her Ladyship so no further festive faux pas could occur.

Alongside the standard socks, undercrackers and smellies came the books I coveted and a pair of retro training shoes I craved when I was a kid in the 1970s, but never dared ask my parents for because they were so expensive. Happily, fashion reinvents itself every few years. I am solvent this weather and wearing them now.

Boxing Day came and went without any boxing, which is pleasing. Nor were there any invitations to hunts, not that I’d ever have gone, and the sales were perused online from the comfort of the sofa in front of a roaring family. I mean fire.

But best thing of all, alongside having those nearest and dearest safe and at home in the Helensburgh hinterland over the holidays, was that nary had the clock struck the first few seconds of a turkey-free purvey, but I spotted out of the corner of my eye, movement around the bird feeder.

The family oracle informed me that he had seen birds of prey in the locale which he said accounted for the sudden paucity of tits, of which we have gratefully always had a plethora.

Sniper-like, I mean thank God for my training, I crawled stealthily to the window and turned myself into a statue to spy on the prodigals’ return.

Not only had the tits clustered around the leftovers I had flung out more in hope than expectation, they were flying in and out of our nesting boxes doing a recce for the mating season.

My heart is full. Spring is on its way!