Why my blog is called House With No Name

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 21st March 2013

House With No NameAfter launching my shiny new website (and a huge thank you to Andrew Brown from Design for Writers for creating it), I thought I’d better explain why my blog is called House With No Name.

Regular readers will know that six years ago I threw caution to the wind and bought a tumbledown farmhouse in the south of France. When I first heard about it I immediately asked what it was called, thinking that if it had a pretty name like Les Lavandes or La Maison des Roses then it would somehow mean I should buy it. Totally ridiculous I know – and totally pointless because it turned out that the house wasn’t called anything at all. “So how does the postman know where to deliver the mail?” I asked the young estate agent. He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know,” he said. “He just does.”

All this time later, I still call it House With No Name and I still remember every detail of that first extraordinary visit.

As the tyres of our rented car crunched up the pot-holed track I took one look and gasped. I hadn’t expected to fall in love at first sight but the house ahead was a bit of a shock. It had an intimidating wire fence, a trio of satellite dishes stuck wonkily to the front and a barn with no roof tacked on the side. Most daunting of all, a scary-looking Alsatian prowled the perimeter, making me want to turn and drive straight back down the track.

At the top of the drive we braked beside a pair of massive green wooden gates and got out of the car. Glancing up at the side of the house, I groaned inwardly again. Ancient battered shutters dangled off their hinges at the first-floor windows and a maze of electrical wiring ran across the wall like strands of spaghetti. The garden was full of weeds and for some reason a couple of rusting car doors had been propped against the fence.

Suddenly I became aware of several pairs of eyes scrutinising me carefully. It was clear the owners were trying to gauge my reaction. “They want to know of you like it,” said the estate agent cheerfully. “Er, yes,” I replied in my ropey French.

And that was it. Two days later, we turned up at the lawyer’s office in a sleepy nearby village and signed the compromis de vente

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