Blog

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

The Cool Dorset Guide: The Jetty at Christchurch

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 22nd September 2016

Like loads of other parents I’ve got an empty nest again. My son has been home from university all summer, give or take the odd trip to a festival, a Deliveroo job (none of us ever realised how hilly Bournemouth was before) and some eye-wateringly intense bike training. But now he’s back at university and the house feels very quiet. The bikes have gone, the slack line has been dismantled ...keep reading

Book review: War Orphans by Lizzie Lane

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 22nd September 2016

You’d have to have the stoniest of hearts not to be touched by the plight of nine-year-old Joanna Ryan and the abandoned puppy she rescues in Lizzie Lane’s latest novel. War Orphans reminded me a bit of Cinderella. Joanna hasn’t got any ugly sisters but she’s saddled with a cruel, heartless stepmother who is more interested in having a good time than caring for the little girl. This book, Lane’s 11th, ...keep reading

Interview with novelist Fionnuala Kearney

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 21st September 2016

If you haven’t discovered Fionnuala Kearney’s books yet, you’re in for a treat. The Day I Lost You, her second novel, is out this week and it’s a stunning read about three women – a mother, her daughter and her granddaughter. I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview Fionnuala and this is what she said. Q: The Day I Lost You is your second novel. Can you tell ...keep reading

The Cool Dorset Guide: Chococo

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 11th September 2016

There are times in life when only chocolate will do. Last week’s stresses included a son training for a scary bike event, a book to finish and a bill for a car exhaust – so I definitely needed a slab of Dorset’s best chocolate. I hotfooted it along to Chococo’s Swanage emporium and snapped up a selection of their gorgeous handmade chocs, which were devoured (by three of us, I ...keep reading

Book review: Amelia Earhart

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 9th September 2016

I’m a big fan of World Book Day but it was always a bit of a trial when my son was small. Like most schools in the country, the one he attended asked all the children to dress up as a famous literary character on the day – much to the delight of every child except one. My son. As all the others trooped into class dressed up as Harry ...keep reading

The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 29th August 2016

When it comes to producing gorgeous picture books Rachel Bright and Jim Field are a winning combination. Bright writes the stories and Field illustrates them and the result is magical. The Koala Who Could is their latest creation. Written in jaunty rhyme, it’s ideal for reading aloud and will strike a chord with children and adults alike. The star of the show is Kevin, a sweet little koala who is as ...keep reading

Book review: One Thing by Lauren Child

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 19th August 2016

My children are in their 20s now but my heart still skips a beat with happiness when a new Lauren Child book arrives in the post. Lauren Child is the award-winning, bestselling author of some of the best children’s books around – from Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort to the incomparable Charlie and Lola. With text that twirls exuberantly across the page and brightly coloured, multi-textured illustrations, her stories stand ...keep reading

Parenting: Swallows and Amazons-style

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 14th August 2016

My jaw dropped as the new film adaptation of Swallows and Amazons got into its stride. It wasn’t the fact that the movie takes substantial liberties with Arthur Ransome’s much loved children’s book, such as adding in a couple of Russian spies and renaming young Titty Walker ‘Tatty’. No, it was the plot’s central premise, which stays utterly faithful to the original novel. To the astonishment of 21st century parents everywhere, Mrs ...keep reading

Sam Cam’s sister praises former PM

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 28th July 2016

I do like the sound of Emily Sheffield, who as well as being the deputy editor of Vogue is Sam Cam’s sister. Like her, I’m still raging at the Brexit vote and am delighted that she’s written a column in The Spectator about the aftermath of the foolhardy decision taken by the electorate on June 24. My son is so appalled at the prospect of leaving the EU that virtually every family mealtime ...keep reading

Harry Styles comes to town

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 25th July 2016

What a peculiar day. The sun is blazing and the beach is packed with holidaymakers. As they saunter along clutching ice creams, buckets and spades they seem oblivious to the excitement building at the far end of town. The scene is very different outside Swanage railway station, where a gaggle of teenage girls have clambered on to the wall to gawp at their heartthrob. A few yards away, a seasoned ...keep reading

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