Welcome to House With No Name. I write about everything from books and films to education, family and France.

#Tous au bistrot

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 27th November 2015

The French capital fell silent today, in tribute to the 130 victims who died at the hands of the terrorists in the Paris attacks. Blue, white and red flags fluttered from every window as survivors, relatives of the dead and political leaders gathered under a wintery sky for a remembrance ceremony at Les Invalides. It’s still hard to comprehend the terrible events of Friday November 13. But one thing’s for ...keep reading

The Paris attacks

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 17th November 2015

Three days after the horrific terror attacks in Paris I can’t stop thinking about those who died. Their faces stare out of the front pages – smiling, full of joie de vivre and heartbreakingly young. Like most people, I’ve spent hour after hour listening to the radio, unable to concentrate on anything else at all. The newspapers have done an exemplary job, reporting on the manhunt, interviewing the bereaved with sensitivity and ...keep reading

Nina Stibbe at Stylist Live

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 1st November 2015

Nina Stibbe is the writer who made her name with the hilarious Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life. If you haven’t read it yet you’re missing out. It’s a collection of letters Nina sent home while working as a nanny for the children of London Review of Books editor Mary-Kay Wilmers and it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Alan Bennett lived across the road and often popped in for supper while other neighbours included ...keep reading

Where the electrician ate his picnic

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 30th October 2015

The discovery of a diary I kept during a family holiday in France is a reminder of how much childhood has changed in the last 40 years. I was in my early teens at the time – gauche, awkward and alarmingly unsophisticated. Forget make-up, boys, sleepovers and texting, my holidays were spent playing endless rounds of a board game called Exploration with my sister, reading Lynne Reid Banks books (The L-Shaped Room was the ...keep reading

Lunch at Sam’s Kitchen in Bath

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 28th October 2015

The drive to Swansea, where my son’s a student, is long and winding and laboriously slow, largely because the first part of the journey involves driving uphill and down dale at a snail’s pace through the Dorset countryside. But to make the journey more bearable I’ve taken to stopping halfway in the gorgeous honey-stoned city of Bath, with its elegant Georgian crescents, magnificent abbey and chic shops. If I’ve got ...keep reading

The sweetness of Peter Andre

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 22nd October 2015

We constantly read about celebrities behaving badly, issuing diva-like demands and having mega strops when things don’t suit them. So it was refreshing to read a piece by Jeremy Vine (currently strutting his stuff on Strictly) that revealed the sweet nature of his fellow contestant Peter Andre. I’m probably the only person in the land who has never watched Strictly (I’m an X Factor girl myself) and I have to ...keep reading

A Lake District weekend

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 10th October 2015

I’ve just spent a magical four days staying at my in-laws’ house in the Lake District. My husband’s parents smartly bought a house in the peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful Newlands Valley more than 50 years ago and my husband spent every Easter and summer holiday there as a child. For a myriad of complex reasons we haven’t visited for four years – until this month, when we had a blissful four ...keep reading

Michaela Coel stars in Chewing Gum

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 6th October 2015

It’s 18 months since I went to see a play called Chewing Gum Dreams at London’s National Theatre and wrote the following words: “Michaela Coel – remember that name because she’s heading for great things.” Today I feel totally vindicated because the first episode of Chewing Gum, her new six-part TV comedy series, goes out on E4 at 10pm. It’s funny, rude, pacy and definitely not for the faint-hearted or prudish ...keep reading

Jilly Cooper talks to Rachel Johnson

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 5th October 2015

Horses, dogs, David Cameron, Boris Johnson and that notorious Riders cover – all this and more featured in Jilly Cooper’s hilarious, hour-long conversation with Rachel Johnson at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than listening to wonderful Jilly. She is 78 now, a slim figure in a white trouser suit, a glass of white wine in her hand and ...keep reading

Your twenties – a golden decade?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 3rd October 2015

Your twenties are a golden decade – the time in your life when you’re free as a bird and blissfully happy. That’s the view of an Australian academic whose research hit the papers this week. The timing was particularly apt for me because a couple of days earlier I’d pitched up at a reunion with university friends I hadn’t clapped eyes on for thirty years. We’d all studied at the University of York ...keep reading

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