Alternative therapy

When a boy has four rather painful incipient teeth, and his mother has an ongoing case of melancholia, there’s only one thing to do. Forget the Calpol and Bonjela (him), the chocolate and the G&T (me): the surest way to banish the blues is to pack up a picnic and a rug, and head for the beach. Gloomy or sunny, the seaside always seems to manage to make us both happy.

Louring clouds don’t seem so threatening when you’re swigging rooibos tea from your flask and munching ketchup-smeared chips in the Western Shelter on Barry Island, and there’s nothing quite as cheering as a game of chase on the sands. When you’re washing salt off your skin and brushing sand out of your hair at the end of the day, you can be sue that the blues will be gone for a little while. And if they come back, just remember that happiness is only a few minutes’ drive away.

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