There isn't one of course, it depends on your mood, your preferences etc, but for me, last night seemed as if was at the time.
I got home at 6.45pm, which is pretty good for me and dived in to play with my 6 month old boy who can't stop smiling and generally wants to play all the time.
So while Mrs Northern got ready, we did the usual demented pantomime that consists of silly dancing, a bit of talking, bad singing, tickling , throwing around and general buffoonery that makes us both laugh like loons.
That's the amazing bit that's happening now, he's not just the helpless little thing that just wants looking after, we have a relationship, we're friends. And we really like being around each other.
Nothing makes me happier than coming in at the end of the day and him giving a little yelp of joy.
By 8pm he was getting tired, so it was time to give him his last feed an haul into his sleeping bag. This is always Will and Daddy time. We get settles on the sofa and cuddle while he slowly drifts off.
It was a little different this time, he stayed awake for another hour. So while watched a bit of telly, we kept staring and smiling at each other. He kept on putting his hands out, wanting to explore my face, he seems to like feeling th texture of stubble (he seems to get very excited exploring my bald head). I can't tell you how happy I felt, just smiling at my little boy and him smiling back. His eyes seemed to be saying, "I liked the rough and tumble, but I love just being together like this too". I quietly talked to him, nothing special, just thoughts and stuff and eventually he dropped off.
Finally, it was time for a bit of late night cooking and eating alone. I had no idea what to have, hadn't thought about, but making it up as you go along is sometimes half the fun.
It was, roughly, spaghetti with roasted tomato and chicken.
What you need to do is:
Roast a punnet of ripe tomatoes until they're squishy and a little black around th edges. Glug some olive oil on them before they go in the oven- set it at about 180 degrees c.
What you like for 10 minutes, then put a handful of spaghetti in a pan of boiling water. I also put in a handful of dried sun dried tomatoes.Not only does this rehydrate them quickly, the juices that come out flavour the spaghetti.
Leave it to boil for 12 minutes.
When the tomatoes are done, pour in a glug of white wine, put it back in the oven,
Drain the pasta and sun dried tomatoes, throw them it back in the pan with a handful of chopped, roast chicken, a teaspoon of basil and a teaspoon of dried chillies.
Tip in the roast tomato mixture, along with a handful of rocket and toss it all together. Eat straight away.
It's absolutely magic, really juicy, and the sweetness of the tomato contrasts with the bitter rocket and basil, the kick from the chilli and the dry wine. It tastes of summer.
That was one version of a perfect evening. There are others of course.