Hollie McNish: “Touch is so enjoyable, free and safe!”

Mental Health

Award winning poet Hollie McNish joins Happiful’s podcast ahead of her appearance at Hay Festival, and to mark the arrival of her brilliant new book – Slug and Other Things I’ve been Told to Hate

Hollie McNish is brilliantly funny, intelligent and relatable. She’s a remarkable poet with a lot to say about life and all its twists, turns, terrors and moments of wonderment and joy.

Sharing a few of her most pressing thoughts on Happiful’s podcast, Hollie shares that she is a little bit obsessed with touch and pleasure right now.

“Probably because of researching for my last book, where there’s a few sections on touch and pleasure,” she begins. “I’ve started to find it really annoying that touch and pleasure were so shamed as I was growing up but it’s so enjoyable, if consensual, and so free and safe!”

“Certain things that we’ve shamed are the things that can give us the greatest and safest happiness in life.”

Hollie explains platonic or loving touch from a friend or her daughter has also become even more precious after lockdown and not being able to be as tactile as before.

Life’s simple pleasures

Hollie says that she’s also easily pleased by getting on a bike and going for a ride. “There’s certain things that I love that are free – apart from the cost of a bike. If I’m in a bad mood or feeling a bit sad, I just get on my bike and feel better quickly.”

“I’m not a cyclist,” she laughs. “I just love moving faster, and the reason I think I hate walking is because I’m short!”

Being thankful for little things

“I’ve got to say, I can be thankful for the little things because I’m not really poor, and I don’t have any horrific trauma in my life. I think that’s important to say because when you can’t pay your bills and you’ve got kids to feed, that’s just not possible,” she explains.

“I am really thankful though. I just get so excited by certain things. I think lockdown has encouraged that in me,” she says beaming. “Being able to go to a cafe the other day and having someone give me a cup of tea, that was just amazing.

“I also think that’s something that comes from living on your own as an adult, just having someone make you a cuppa or bring you your dinner, it’s bliss!”

Listen to Hollie’s episode of I am. I have
Follow Hollie on Instagram

Hollie’s book Slug and Other Things I’ve been Told to Hate, is available now
Join Hollie McNish, Pandora Sykes and Anita Rani at the free and virtual Hay Festival

Register for Hay today

To find the right therapist for your needs, visit Counselling Directory

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