EMO­TIONAL TIES: DR DAWN HARPER

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor’s Letter -

This Ge­org Jensen daisy ring is the first piece of jew­ellery my part­ner Jack [Har­ries] gave me when we got to­gether four years ago. We’re very sim­i­lar; we’ve been best friends for a long time.

I’ve rid­den since I was seven. This paint­ing of my horse Raf­fles, who died re­cently, is how I want to re­mem­ber him – fit, young and full of spirit. When I had to do pub­lic speak­ing, I’d prac­tise out loud while rid­ing him. He knew all my se­crets.

I took up cy­cling af­ter I was run over in 2003 and my knee was in­jured. It helped me get back my strength. Every year I do a big char­ity ride so I’ve done thou­sands of miles on this bike – it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought.

I’ve al­ways adored fash­ion and es­pe­cially high heels – this is my favourite snake­skin pair from Sole Bliss (made with spe­cial pad­ding so they feel like slip­pers). I can walk around Lon­don in them all day.

This pho­to­graph of my dad Roy, which sits in the din­ing room, was taken at a sur­prise 80th birth­day party we threw for him last year. He’s such a great racon­teur, he fills the room with laugh­ter. He and my mum El­lie taught me to aim high and work hard.

My youngest son Har­vey gave me this laven­der-in­fused heat­able mon­key be­cause I feel the cold. Har­vey is 21; my el­dest, Char­lie, is 25, and Eleanor is 23. Be­ing a mum has been the most chal­leng­ing job I’ve had but it has also been the most ful­fill­ing.

I de­cided to be a doc­tor when I was 12, af­ter hav­ing my ap­pen­dix out – I thought the doc­tors’ white coats were ter­ri­bly glam­orous. Be­ing an NHS GP keeps me in touch with what’s re­ally wor­ry­ing peo­ple; be­ing on TV helps me reach more peo­ple.

Jack and I love filling the house with can­dle­light. Af­ter eight months do­ing up a di­lap­i­dated barn in the mid­dle of nowhere in the Cotswolds, we gave our­selves this large Jo Malone Lon­don can­dle as a new home present.

I bought my labrador from [Cap­tain] Mark Phillips ten years ago. I called him Ot­ter be­cause of the way he rolled through long, wet grass when I first brought him home. Ap­par­ently, he sits pa­tiently at the back door un­til I come home.

Dawn’s new book Live Well to 101: A Prac­ti­cal Guide to Achiev­ing a Long and Healthy Life is pub­lished by Head­line Home, price £18.99*

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