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

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

Book review: Ready Steady Mo! by Mo Farah

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 14th July 2016

A rush of celebrities are following in David Walliams’s brilliant footsteps and writing children’s books. In recent months Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy and former Home and Away star Isla Fisher have thrown their hats into the literary ring. The Big Biscuit Bike-Off is the third in Hoy’s Flying Fergus series about a boy with a big imagination and a passion for bikes while Isla Fisher’s Marge in Charge is the ...keep reading

Book review: The Brontes: Children of the Moors

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 9th July 2016

If I was in charge of a primary school library I’d make sure we had a copy of every single book by Mick Manning and Brita Granström. The award-winning pair have produced children’s books on all manner of subjects, including Shakespeare, Dickens and Darwin. My favourite up until now was The Beatles, which tells the story of the Fab Four through a series of captivating cartoons, drawings and text. I thought ...keep reading

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living dangerously

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 8th July 2016

A career in journalism can take you to some extraordinary places. My highlights include interviewing Sir Richard Branson 40,000 feet above the Atlantic on Virgin’s first flight to Miami, sitting in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the Saudi desert with Prince Charles and Princess Diana and driving across the Equator in a battered old Land Rover. Last week was another example of the eclectic nature of journalism. After ...keep reading

The nation falls silent

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 1st July 2016

Today is the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. At 7.28 this morning the nation fell silent, commemorating the moment on July 1 1916 when British and Commonwealth soldiers were ordered to go over the top. It was the start of the bloodiest day in British military history and the beginning of a campaign that would claim one million casualties over four months. As I observed the ...keep reading

Carrying Albert Home: Exclusive extract

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 28th June 2016

Today I’m delighted to be running an extract from a wonderful new novel – Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam. Marie Claire magazine has described Carrying Albert Home as a “must-read… a funny yet tragic tale of a husband and wife’s car journey across the US with Albert the alligator in tow.” The story has three key ingredients. A journey of 1,000 miles. An alligator on the back seat of the car. ...keep reading

Birthday visit to Brassica

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 26th June 2016

What a horrible few days. I still can’t quite believe that the UK has done something so crazy. Like most people I know, I’m shocked and devastated at the catastrophic decision made by the British electorate on Thursday. I keep hoping that the whole thing will turn out to be like Bobby Ewing’s “death” on Dallas – that we’ll wake up in a few days time and find that the ...keep reading

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