Archive - Independent

Can a chatterbox learn to shut up on a silent yoga retreat?

I tried it with nuns in Kent once and managed just 24 hours – eight of which I spent sleeping. To be honest, I struggle with it when left to my own devices for the afternoon. Yet I’m determined to do it this time: achieve what folk undergo for years in Himalayan caves.

I’m talking about shutting up. Yes, I’m going on a silent retreat to “refresh my soul” and “cleanse my mind” – but it’s not going to be easy. Words are what I do: writing, talking, talking over people. Can I send texts? Does emailing count as remaining silent? And what about sleep talking? ...

The Independent, 19/07/2018

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Exploring Nicaragua’s volcanoes in a cloud of ash

Nicaraguan volcanoes are multi-functional. They don't just stand around bubbling, burping and erupting. A local mayor and presidential candidate, the late Herty Lewites, once suggested that the Santiago crater of the mighty Masaya Volcano be used for rubbish. This to save on incinerating costs. His idea was vetoed.

The Independent 13/11/2015

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Savour the flavour of Sicily

"The granita in Bar Roma is the best in Sicily," declared Fulvio Pierangelini, the chef who oversees Sir Rocco Forte's hotel kitchens globally. Bar Roma is found in the port of Sciacca – pronounced shakka – on the little-visited southern coast of Sicily, just up from Agrigento. During the summer, Fulvio is based at the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, 20 minutes away, and he was taking the opportunity to give me a cookery lesson that included a visit to Sciacca to choose fish.

The Independent, 07/06/2012

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The heel's had a reboot

A Jesus lookalike is sitting in his shop sanding poplar wood. Handmade wooden marionettes and tambourines hang from the ceiling. He has covered his walls with leftist newspaper cuttings. "This street's full of fascists," he confides. "I'm the only true Communist here." His shop doesn't have a name, although it's been here 36 years. "Just call it 'the shop by the cathedral'."

The Independent, 21/04/2012

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Women's work?

Is there such a thing as feminine writing? Caroline Phillips asks female novelists on the eve of an international conference.

The Independent 04/04/2006

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The Virgin sister abroad

Vanessa Branson is aiming to outshine her famous sibling by making a big noise in the art world. Caroline Phillips meets her.

The Independent 03/10/2005

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Luxury on the slopes

Despite life-long aversion to skiing, Caroline Phillips is won over by the child-friendly, relaxed resort of Sainte Foy.

The Independent 10/01/2009

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“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”

Paul Dacre, Chairman Associated Newspapers

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