Blog

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

Working the night shift

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 27th July 2015

Sarah Montague’s alarm goes off at the unearthly time of 3.25am on working days. Why? Because she’s one of the presenters of BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme, Today. She arrives at the studio at 4am, spends the next two hours preparing for the show and the programme starts at 6am on the dot. The radio journalist is just one of 3.5 million people in the UK who are ...keep reading

London in a picture frame

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 15th July 2015

One of the loveliest presents I’ve ever received is this pen and ink drawing of London by my daughter. There are loads of maps of the capital but this one is very special. Why? Because it’s a record of all the places in London that have meant something to me over the years – from Lavender Hill, where I used to hop on the 6.30am bus for the early shift ...keep reading

The land and the sea

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 7th July 2015

The coastguard helicopter flew low over the cliff and hovered for a couple of minutes. As the onlookers waved from the ground, the door slid open and the crew waved back. Then the helicopter turned in a vast, commemorative circle above the gathering and headed back down the coast. The occasion marked the annual remembrance service at the Emmett’s Hill memorial garden near Worth Matravers in Dorset. The memorial pays tribute ...keep reading

Sunday book review – Fresh Hell by Rachel Johnson

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 5th July 2015

Like her older brother Boris, Rachel Johnson is one of those incorrigible characters you can’t help liking. The same goes for her novels. Fresh Hell is the third of her Notting Hell trilogy and even though the storyline is thin and involves an interminably dull planning row the wit and the gossip are so addictive that it’s impossible to stop reading. The plot centres on ex-journalist and mother-of-four Mimi Fleming, ...keep reading

Dressing to beat the heat

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 3rd July 2015

Why is it impossible to look summery and stylish? For ten months of the year I get dressed in the morning with no trouble at all. When it comes to July and August I’m completely stumped. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s been hotter in London than the Sahara this week I’d still be happily wearing my favourite black tights. Hardly anyone over the age of 40 gets ...keep reading

Game, set and match – who cares?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 30th June 2015

Am I the only person who isn’t watching Wimbledon? It may be the world’s greatest tennis tournament but I couldn’t care less about Andy Murray’s quest to win the men’s title again. The two-week championships were ruined for me when I covered them as an Evening Standard news reporter. Instead of watching matches that kept me on the edge of my seat I regularly spent Wimbledon fortnight chasing news stories. The sillier they ...keep reading

Parents should read to teens says Eton head

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 13th June 2015

I’ve worked as a freelance education journalist for years, interviewing heads and teachers, eating rather a lot of school dinners and writing about the inspiring work schools are doing. I got into it in the first place because I spent a year or so teaching at an FE college myself and quickly realised that it’s one of the hardest and most demanding jobs there is. Ten years later, having seen hundreds of teachers ...keep reading

Carers need more recognition

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 8th June 2015

My lovely father-in-law died last month. He was 84, a man with a hugely successful career, a long and happy marriage and an unmatchable zest for life. Sadly for us, he lived the other end of the country, although my husband devotedly made the seven-hour journey from Dorset to the wilds of North Yorkshire to see him every fortnight. My father-in-law suffered a stroke seven years ago but was determined ...keep reading

Ottolenghi arrives in Spitalfields

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 6th June 2015

Virtually everyone I know has an Ottolenghi book or two in their kitchen. My favourite is the first – the eponymous Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, a gorgeous tome with recipes that are surprisingly straightforward and page after page of stunning images. A new Ottolenghi deli has just opened in Spitalfields and I popped in last week, planning to buy some treats. But when I spotted an empty table in the corner ...keep reading

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 15th May 2015

The best way of getting through an interminably long car journey is by downloading a gripping audiobook. The Mumsnet Bloggers Network has just sent me a copy of Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo and it kept me glued to my driving seat all the way up the M1 and into North Yorkshire. It’s exciting, pacy and compelling – just as you’d expect from a writer who’s been dubbed the king ...keep reading

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