Hayley Matthews: The wee man swings into action on a family break

Macdonald Marine Hotel, North Berwick
Macdonald Marine Hotel, North Berwick
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Just yesterday, we got our bathroom finished – it’s been 11 weeks of showering at Porty Baths and It’s been stressful. The biggest challenge while getting work done has been entertaining our five-year-old, who seems to be on regular testosterone spikes.

We’ve all been tested to the max, had to cancel our trip to the Highlands and have been in need of a night away. Not wanting a five-hour drive, Kenny and I decided on North Berwick. Only 30 minutes east on the coastal road and bingo, you’re in another world. I’d always wanted to stay in the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa and oh boy did we need just one night of being looked after.

Within minutes of arriving we were in the pool and spa. I joined the ladies draped on loungers, clad in soft slippers and robes, sipping herbal teas and snoozing next to Himalayan salt lamps while Kenny was in charge of the pool activities.

I could hear my son shouting from the pool “I need a poo and I’m hungry!” so dinner time it was. I’d dished out a severe warning about behaviour at dinner and even the couple next to us who had left their kids at home (obviously away for a dirty weekend) had commented on just how well behaved our child was. “Be under no illusion, he’s only like this because he’s been forewarned,” I gushed.

To give the wee man credit where it was due, his behaviour was impeccable as we sat in the four-star hotel, fit for a king, while enjoying a family meal. Not a peep!

“We’ve cracked it,” I thought to myself as we walked down the regal corridor to retire for the night. We were in the Jack Nicklaus suite (not wasted on us, being golf lovers) which was huge and boasted a bed the size of Fife!

The boys crashed out on the big bed, and not wanting to move them, I took the single kids bed, thinking how nice it would be to let them stretch out. My efforts were in vain as I woke to a grumpy five-year-old and sleep-deprived man. Nothing to do with the bed, but the lurgy!

You just know its going to be fun don’t you. A nice walk through North Berwick before a pitch and putt to clear away the cobwebs, I thought.

Ah yes, it was all going so well until I cheated by taking a second swing at the ball. This was a bad move resulting in my son swinging a golf club at me in a fit of rage (he takes the game very seriously) while being carried off the course by Kenny.

I insisted we were still doing a family lunch, because we’re a family and we will relax together! My son was so upset when we got back to the hotel (because I’d threatened to leave his iPad in North Berwick) that a banana split was all he wanted. Kenny and I gawked at the Sunday lunch buffet of smoked salmon, pickles and king prawns.

We had all settled down and peace was restored as we looked out on to the beautiful east coast view. I sat thinking to myself about the previous night when the couple had commented on our son’s good behaviour. Ah, it’s just family life isn’t it? Sometimes you’re all in sync and things go smoothly, other times you’re all knackered and full of the cold. And sometimes you need what that couple had, which I’ll leave to your imaginations!

Hayley Matthews – @hotlipshayley – is a TV and radio presenter