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

From gruesome murders to village fetes – my local newspaper days

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 13th September 2014

Back in the mists of time I started my journalistic career as a Mirror Group Newspapers trainee in Plymouth. After eight weeks training – holed up in an unglamorous Portakabin learning the rudiments of news reporting, shorthand, law and local government – we were flung out to work on weekly newspapers across Devon and Cornwall. Fiona Millar and Alastair Campbell were sent to the Tavistock Times, my great friend Marion ...keep reading

Clattering typewriters

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 6th September 2014

My favourite story of the week was the news that old-fashioned typewriters have returned to The Times newspaper. The sound of fingers frantically bashing away at manual typewriters is like music to the ears of old hacks like me. The memory of it transports me straight back to Fleet Street in the 1980s. But this time round the typewriters will only be heard at The Times, not seen. The sound of clattering ...keep reading

Friday book review – Animalium

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 5th September 2014

My family owns so many books that every time we move (which is pretty often, I admit), the removal men take one look at our shelves and immediately start tripling the number of boxes they’ll need. The book collecting gene goes back a long way. In fact my father has probably got even more books than me, including an ancient set of Encyclopaedia Britannica volumes that I always used for my ...keep reading

A rainy night at Lulworth Castle

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 28th August 2014

When I booked tickets for The Luna Cinema’s showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Lulworth Castle I imagined a balmy August evening, crowds picnicking on the lawn and the gentle clink of wine glasses. Except it didn’t turn out like that. Think dark skies, freezing temperatures and lashing rain – the kind of evening when you want to draw the curtains, light the fire and not go anywhere at all, ...keep reading

The end of the summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 25th August 2014

A wet, windy Bank Holiday Monday and it feels like summer is over. My husband and son are out windsurfing (they figured that the lashing rain couldn’t possibly make them any wetter), my daughter’s at the Notting Hill Carnival and I’m settling down with a new book – I Can’t Begin to Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan, to be precise. I love the promise of the autumn but I’m sad that ...keep reading

Friday book review – The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 22nd August 2014

The first time I heard Lisa Jewell’s name was back in 1999. I was watching Late Review on BBC2 and the notoriously caustic critic Tom Paulin (one of my all-time heroes) described Jewell’s debut novel, Ralph’s Party, as “a breath of fresh air.” Tom Paulin’s approval was good enough for me. I hotfooted it round to my local bookshop the next day and read Ralph’s Party from cover to cover. ...keep reading

Two London hotels that won’t break the bank

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 9th August 2014

I’m on a quest to find London hotels that are stylish, comfortable and won’t break the bank. With that in mind, I usually head to the Hoxton in Shoreditch. The only trouble is that it is so well known (roll on the opening of the new Hoxton in Holborn) that you can’t always get a room. So, in the interests of research, I’ve tried out two new hotels – CitizenM in ...keep reading

Friday book review – You Are (Not) Small

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 8th August 2014

At 5ft 4ins tall, I’m used to being the smallest person in my family. My son, who’s a whole foot taller than me, has a tendency to pat me on the head when I’m talking to him and even when I wear heels the rest of them tower over me. So I was thrilled to be sent a copy of a gorgeous new children’s book called You Are (Not) Small. ...keep reading

Polly Stenham’s new play

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 20th July 2014

As the National Theatre production of Hotel drew to a close the audience sat ramrod still. The stage was littered with fake blood, furniture was strewn all over the shop and smoke billowed out of a fake fire. Polly Stenham’s new 80-minute play is so startling and thought provoking that once the actors had departed the stage I stayed in my seat for ten more minutes, chatting to the woman sitting ...keep reading

Friday book review – A Place For Us

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 18th July 2014

New ideas are spinning out of the publishing world at lightning speed. This week David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas fame) has taken the Twittersphere by storm by releasing a short story called The Right Sort in 280 tweets. Meanwhile Headline Review has decided to serialise Harriet Evans’s new novel, A Place For Us, in four exclusive parts. The first instalment will be out on July 31, with the second, third and ...keep reading

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