EMOTIONAL TIES: Philippa Perry on finding happiness in the handmade

From her dad’s wobbly stool to her artist husband grayson’s pottery, author and psychotherapist Philippa Perry finds happiness in the handmade. 

Philippa Perry
Chris O’Donovan
Chris O’Donovan

Philippa is the Ancient Greek word for ‘horse-loving’ or ‘fond of horses’ and that’s why Grayson made this for me. I love anything by my husband and he does make me a lot. He’s always very good at commemorative pottery.

Chris O’Donovan

I was taught to cook by my maternal aunts. They involved me in every process, even before I could speak. these were their trusty implements. I love cooking – I associate it with how they loved me so I’m careful to take these spoons with me wherever I go.

Chris O’Donovan

Psychotherapists know rather a lot and I want to share it. I went into psychotherapy after wondering whether talking about your feelings helped. I’m proud of all my books as I am dyslexic and was written off as a no-hoper at school.

Chris O’Donovan

This electric bicycle makes my life so much better. It was designed by an aeronautical engineer and is so comfortable. I’ve been in London for 38 years and always cycled, but I’m 61 now and not so good at going up hills without a bit of electric help.

Chris O’Donovan

For my 60th birthday, my sister Belinda Pollit, an incredibly talented textile artist, made this. It’s based on African Asafo flags [created in colonial era Ghana]. It depicts me with my cat Kevin up a tree. She summed me up pretty well, actually.

Chris O’Donovan

I love telly. If I’ve got time, I watch Pointless, Eggheads and Antiques Road Trip every day. A daily ritual is like tricking time and making it stand still. I also love the process of making TV – it’s so different from writing books, which is like talking to yourself.

Chris O’Donovan

This purse was a 60th birthday present from my friends Yoli and Jonny. They had it made with the inscription on the back because they’re caring like that. Jonny used to live in a squat in Camden with my husband in the long distant past.

Interview by Emily Hill

Philippa’s latest book, the Book You Wish Your Parents had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad that You Did), is out now, price £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39 until 24 March go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free on orders over £15.