The Caroline Phillips Column
Low-cost option for imprisoned junkies
Random drugs tests are to be carried out on about 12,000 prisoners a year to combat the growing narcotics problem in jails. It’s estimated that nearly half the inmates of British prisons take self-prescribed medication (heroin, LSD, cannabis and the like) while detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. That’s a prison population of 49,000 in England and Wales alone. So the forthcoming tests should provide enough material and statistics for Prison Service paper shufflers to write off an entire rainforest.
But aren’t they locking the cell after the criminal has bolted? Isn’t this approach comparable to giving HIV tests and forgetting about condoms and safe-sex education?
The Evening Standard, 19.07.94
Roll out the doggie
My family has what must be London’s only dachshund on wheels. She’s called Muffit. Crufts and suchlike are fine - working dogs, gun dogs, pedigree chums, prowling prancers and canines with unpronounceable Chinese names. But against her, they pale into insignificance.
Muffit was under the supervision of Keith Butt, the Adonis vet whom women cross London to see (they stop off in Harrods en route to buy a pet to take with them). Following an accident in which her back legs had become paralysed, he suggested she be sent to the kennel in the sky.
My father went to see her in doggy hospital to give her her last grapes. He ended up writing a cheque for some fantastic amount (relative to the size of the dog) which was duly dispatched to the States (where else?) where some doggy wheels were speedily fired, or run up or whatever you do to make canine roller skates.
The Evening Standard, 14.03.89
Stay in the car for a Christmas to remember
A survey released last week by motor manufacturer Toyota found that the car has overtaken the breakfast table as a principal family meeting place. The evidence from the survey will be used in designing its Picnic “family fun” car.
Our family has known this for years. A long time ago, we started having family Christmases in the car. We don’t have to put up many decorations because we can, if the mood takes us, park beneath the festoons of light adorning Regent Street.
And we do our bit for the environment - the tree part of it, at least - because we speed to Trafalgar Square to admire the 65ft Norwegian Christmas tree rather than splashing out on our own somewhat smaller baubled conifer.
The Express, 10.12.96
The urban ruralist
I’m not the type who finds it pleasurable to relieve myself behind trees or have calamitous journeys just to get lost in country lanes littered with reeking mounds of bovine excrement. (Personally, I’d poop-scoop cow pats.) Others may enjoy the experience of losing their mobile signal and collecting blackberries with not a BlackBerry in sight. Not me.
Country House Magazine, 04.2007
The rural urbanite
My husband, BJ, suffers from what American psychiatrists term Rural Deficit Disorder – RDD – which makes him talk about pot-bellied pigs and jam-making. But I know the Rustic Idyll turns out to be mostly about couples entertaining themselves by swapping keys, or getting inadvertently sprayed with organophosphates.
House Magazine, 08.2007
The rural urbanite
The countryside, so my spies in Cath Kidston wellies tell me, has changed beyond recognition. The values of London, a global financial centre, have spread into the mud. Nowadays country life, apparently, is very much about urbe in rus. Global warming has made Gloucestershire an outpost of Marrakech. The countryside no longer does bleak weather. Nor chintz.
Country House Magazine, 09.2007
“Caroline packs a phenomenal contacts book and a real nose for a story, helping us place features in a fabulously wide range of media.”
“I have long been an admirer of Caroline Phillips’ journalism. She invariably has something worthwhile to say, a clever angle. And warmth. A good combination.”
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