Hayley Matthews: It doesn't matter who wears the trousers

Last week I was watching Victoria Derbyshire on BBC2 interviewing parents who have decided to take their child out of school all because one of the other eight-year-olds in their child's class identifies as transgender. Their problem was that sometimes the child would dress as a girl and sometimes dress as a boy and how very confusing that must be for a child of eight.

Monday, 25th September 2017, 7:00 am
A cheeky midweek cocktail or two is just what the doctor ordered. Picture: Ian Rutherford

I know we all have the right to our own opinion. However, when religious beliefs and narrow-minded views disrupt a child’s education, it makes me very sad.

The parents said they were concerned their child would not know if their classmate was a boy or a girl. Well, what if sometimes, the world just isn’t as black and white as that.

I’m not transgender but can completely relate to working out who we are, or where we fit in. I remember being eight. I was not fashionable, not cool, not popular, had frizzy hair, had weird taste in music (according to the kids in my class) and struggled with fitting in as much as the next child. To have the entire school know that your classmate’s parents have taken offence to you “expressing yourself” so much so that they felt the need to scotch their own child’s education, must make even an eight-year-old want the ground to swallow them up.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kids have it hard enough growing up, let’s just love them and encourage them to grow into amazing human beings.

Education is so important and we’re lucky enough to live in a country where we have a really good education system. To say I’m infuriated by the parents’ actions is an understatement. I don’t think their child had a problem with their classmate, I think that they did.

I believe it is our duty, to avoid passing our bad habits and dated views on to our children, and instead furnish them with the tools they need to be more understanding, more open-minded and more respectful human beings. As adults we have a duty to nurture the next generation and help them develop into strong little human beings to take the next generation forward, and learn from our mistakes.

As kids, we were most likely all trying to work out “who” we were and “what” we wanted to be. Finding out about our personality, what music we liked, things we enjoyed doing, discovering people we like to be around etc, it was all part of exploring ourselves and working out the growing-up process. Let children be children and if they want to wear a skirt, trousers, or a pair of bloody palazzo pants, then as long as they are happy and learning, what’s the big problem?

They aren’t all little Ken and Barbie dolls who come with a pre-packed outfit, a dream castle or sports car, a plan for a big house in the future and wanting 2.4 children once they put up their white picket fence.

No, they are all individuals and we’re failing them if we don’t respect that. As a parent the most important thing we should be teaching our children is that they are unique, loved and respected and that is probably the best lesson that we can pass down to them.

Don’t get the hump, down a cocktail

I’m always in bed fairly early at the weekend when the young singletons are up on George Street giving it laldy. That means I do enjoy a weekday girly lunch meeting and any excuse for some me time.

So I was delighted when I was invited to discover a new club, one that feels a bit naughty for a hump day. It’s called the Cocktail Club and it happens every Wednesday in Tigerlily – and I have to admit I’m enjoying it much more than that slimming club, the Guides or the random Spanish club I once joined.

A Wednesday afternoon is now my new Friday night. I swear the Queen of Hearts is possibly the best cocktail that I’ve ever tried – and I’ve tried a few. Who doesn’t like a weekday cocktail? If you have food from the a la carte menu, Tiger Lily will include the cocktails and trust me, its all good.

I’ve tried my hardest to recreate the Queen of Hearts at home but think it’s better to leave it to the experts.

Gives me an excuse to head up the town on a Wednesday lunchtime for the cocktail club. If you want to join me and become a member, you’ll find all the details at www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk. See you under the table!

M&S chooses to bee kind to our pollen warriors

i always teach my son to be kind to the bees. Despite how small these creatures are, they are so relevant to our eco system. Without them, we’d starve.

Even our beauty products can have a detrimental effect, so I have to give a bug thumbs up to M&S for creating “Pure”, a bee-friendly skincare range. Who would have thought that what we put on our face could be having a detrimental effect on those wee fluffy black and yellow pollen warriors, but it does. Well done M&S for not only creating cruelty-free products not tested on animals but for now being bee friendly too! Check out www.marksandspencer.com/l/beauty/pure.

Kate’s destined for great things

I was recently in the Scottish Design Exchange (Ocean Terminal) and was blown away by the talents of local artist Kate Ritchie.

Her portraits of celebrities including David Bowe and The Big Yin, Mr Billy Connolly are currently on display and are just incredible.

I enquired about one of her works and was told her last collection was bought outright so I’d need to be quick. She’s definitely one for the watching. Van Gough eat your heart out, I mean ear off – sorry!