Have you seen the feel-good film Mamma Mia! yet? I went with some friends to the Uxbridge Odeon last week and we laughed and sang the whole way through it.
One of them, Cath, had had a bad day at work. She'd been so busy she'd not managed to eat properly and arrived with a big black cloud over her head. She walked out after the film with a smile a mile wide and as if the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.
I'd really recommend it, but be warned; it will make you want to go straight to a travel agent and book a family holiday to the Greek islands, because the scenery in the film is so awe-inspiring.
Talking of holidays, I've found a superb range of beach sun tents that mean children can have fun on the beach while staying safe from UV rays.
Alex is very fair with blond hair and blue eyes. His skin does go brown, but we have to be very careful he doesn't burn.
We had a great sun tent, bought years ago in Cornwall, that had served us well but was on its last legs so I had been shopping around for a replacement. I was after a one that would protect from the suns rays, be easy to assemble and not take up too much room when taken on holiday.
I settled on Worlds Apart, which has a great range of sun tents called Pop n Sun that are tested to the most stringent standards set by the Australian government; their UV protection factor of 50+ reaches the 'excellent' safety standard.
The Argos website had a choice of all three Pop n Sun tents keenly priced, with the family sun cabana now half price at £9.99, the infant tent at £14.29 and the one I eventually settled on, the UV Gazebo Sun Tent reduced to £27.99 (Argos code: 367/2837).
Although the Gazebo takes up a bit more room when packing up for your holiday, and it's more fiddly to put up initially, it's been worth its weight in gold as it has come in handy in the garden at home as well as when we've been away on holiday.
It looks cool and Alex is happy to sit in it and eat his picnic on the beach with his new friends.
It's also ideal as a 'den' in the garden and he regularly brings down all his soft toys for a teddy bears picnic. As the sides roll up, it's been good over the paddling pool too.
Alex has had so much fun with it, it's been a great investment for that alone!
Cathy's travel tips
1. Invest in a sun tent to take on holiday. It's great for younger children to take naps in and it's easier to encourage older children to take shelter to eat or play when the sun is at its strongest.
2. Put together a small backpack of new cheap toys, pen, paper and activity books that will keep children entertained. Something new to them (even if it is second-hand or borrowed from a friend) is likely to keep their attention longer than their regular toys.
3. Take ginger-based biscuits or drinks (ginger ale) to deal naturally with travel sickness.
4. When travelling with younger children and babies, pack a change of clothes for the child and don't forget a clean top for yourself too.
5. If flying, remember to book a child's meal in advance as some airlines will not automatically book it for you.
6. If travelling by car, try talking books to make the journey go faster. Hillingdon libraries have a good selection of books on CDs or tapes to borrow for all ages, including Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Horrid Henry, Secret Seven and more.
7. If hiring a car, don't bother to rent a child's car seat - they are often sub-standard and you have no way of knowing if they have been involved in an accident.
Simply take your own with you. Younger children can sit in their seat during the flight while larger seats can go in the hold.