After a long day at work, getting home, walking the dog, and fetching Megan from her musical theatre session, all I really wanted to do was curl up with a glass of wine. I was not in the mood for scoffing a quick meal and then turning out again into a chilly night.
But I'm glad we did.
It was the first night of the Christmas lights at the world-famous Butchart Gardens. By the time we got there, the first rush of visitors had died down and the gardens were eerily quiet. The lights were spectacular as ever, but the big attraction was the opening of the new carousel in its pavilion which we'd been watching slowly take shape on our visits throughout the year.
After a couple of rides, we wandered around the rest of the gardens then stopped for hot drinks and cookies. To finish off, I fetched Megan & Matthew's skates from the car so they could take a turn on the outdoor rink.
On the way out, we drove under the twelve arches each topped by a drummer, the last part of the Gardens' "Twelve Days of Christmas" display. As we left, we all sang the last verse, one line as we passed under each arch.
Barking mad? Yes, but it was a beautiful evening.