Thursday, 3 November 2016

Nobody Told Me - Hollie McNish

Nobody Told Me - Hollie McNish

A few months ago, from a source I can no longer remember, I was introduced, via youtube to the poems of Hollie McNish. Within minutes I was captivated, empowered and enthused by the words of "Wow". So, I was pretty excited to see she would soon be visiting Chester as part of the Story House Chester Literature Festival.

Having listened to a few more of her poems I knew she focussed a lot on pregnancy and raising her daughter. While she says as part of her show that she's always journaled, but her book "Nobody Told Me" starts from the point she finds out she's pregnant. Knowing this, I invited my gorgeous friend Nik to come with me. Nik is a first-time mum to a baby girl who turned 1 in August. She's also superwoman. 

We arrived at the Chester Town Hall and I marvelled yet again and how amazing some of the buildings in Chester are, grabbed a drink and sat near the back. 

From the get go, Hollie was powerful, funny, astute and engaging. She started with "Wow" and again I felt empowered and told myself, not for the first time to focus on loving my body. Perhaps it is time that I followed the advice of Hollie's little girl and stood naked in front of my mirror exclaiming "WOW! My body is amazing!"

During "Banana Baby", a poem about all the advice pregnant woman are given, Nik rubbed my arm and assured me, it wasn't all bad and when the time comes I will be ok.  

Hollie read from her book for 45 minutes, a whirlwind tour of her pregnancy and the first year of her daughter's life. Covering with incredible honesty and depth: pregnancy, hormones, relationship, sex, breastfeeding and nan's who don't know when to just not say anything! I could have listened for hours. 

Nikol told me, for her, it was amazing to be reminded of the first year of her little one's life, the bits she'd forgotten about in amongst the lack of sleep! For me, I didn't feel like I needed to be a mum to fully appreciate her words, it just made me excited for a time when that might be a possibility. 

At the end of the night, I purchased her book and queued up to get it signed. Hollie was amazing, chatting away to everyone and apologising for the wait. In fact, we had to get ushered on by some of the Story House staff because we were talking for too long. It genuinely felt like catching up with a good friend over a glass of wine. 

You can find out more about Hollie's book and where she'll be touring next (and I really think everyone should go) here

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