Blog

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

Book review: Roar by Cecelia Ahern

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 7th November 2018

I’ve been an admirer of Cecelia Ahern for years. She wrote her first novel, the bestselling PS, I Love You, at the tender age of 21, and in the intervening years she has published 14 more. In the process she’s sold 25 million books worldwide and has been published in more than 40 countries. Pretty impressive for a woman who’s still in her 30s. When I heard Ahern speak at ...keep reading

Friday column: The Hoxton goes to New York

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 26th October 2018

“Have you ever stayed at a Hoxton before?” asked the charming hotel receptionist. “I’ve stayed at all of them,” I said proudly, sounding like a middle-aged Hoxton groupie. We’d just arrived at the Hoxton’s first US outpost – in the chic neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Actually, I won’t be able to keep my record of staying in every Hoxton for long because the hotel group is expanding rapidly. To date it ...keep reading

Book review: Mum in the Middle

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 13th October 2018

I’ve known Jane Wenham-Jones for years. A real life-enhancer, usually sporting rainbow-coloured hair, Jane writes novels, short stories and columns, interviews authors at literary events and often pops up on TV and radio too. It’s been a while since she wrote a novel though so I was eagerly anticipating her new book, Mum in the Middle. I’m pleased to report that it’s a cracker of a book, mainly because Jane ...keep reading

Friday column: Walking boots

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 5th October 2018

The first time I went to the Lake District with my husband I arrived in plimsolls and insisted they were fine for walking. I was stunned when he pointed at the mountain opposite the house where we were staying and said: “We’ll climb that one tomorrow.” At the time my idea of a walk was a gentle stroll through Battersea Park so Cat Bells and Maiden Moor looked like Mount ...keep reading

Friday column: The thriller to look out for

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 14th September 2018

One of the best things about being a book reviewer is receiving new novels to review (I’m not sure our lovely postman agrees). It’s even better if the novel in question is brilliant, which The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides most definitely is. Michaelides is a successful scriptwriter (his credits include The Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike) but The Silent Patient is his first novel. He was inspired to ...keep reading

Book review: Sky’s the Limit

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 1st September 2018

Janie Millman and her husband Michael Wilson are two of the most life-enhancing people I know. I met them when Janie spoke about her sparkling first novel, Life’s a Drag, at the Purbeck Literary Festival two years ago and they were brilliant company. They regaled us with the story of how they’d bought an 18th century townhouse in south west France on a complete whim after spotting a picture in ...keep reading

Friday column: The end of summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 31st August 2018

Exasperated tenants have been venting their anger about having to put up with Dickensian squalor and ruthless landlords. Members of the Generation Rent group asked renters to post their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ventyourrent and were inundated with tales of woe. They ranged from stories of damp and mould to a landlord who constructed a glass-bricked room inside the tenant’s flat to sleep in when he visited from ...keep reading

Friday column: Exam results and holidays

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 24th August 2018

It was a day I’d been dreading. The lease on my son’s rented house came to an end this week and he asked me to help him move out. He’s fiercely independent and would have done the move by himself – except he’s got mountains of stuff, a turbo trainer and several bikes. He doesn’t have a car and the insurance on hiring a van would be sky-high. But when ...keep reading

Friday column: The Sandbanks to Studland ferry

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 10th August 2018

One of the best things about living by the sea is having to catch a ferry to get home. Sandbanks Ferry clanks back and forth across the entrance to Poole Harbour three times an hour, linking glitzy Sandbanks to peaceful Studland, with its miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches and remote heathland walks. Five years after moving here I’m as fascinated by the ferry as ever. It has been operating since ...keep reading

Friday column: City walks and Enid Blyton

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 3rd August 2018

I like Brigitte Macron. She’s smart, chic and looks like she’d be fun to spend time with. She literally hasn’t put a foot wrong since she moved to the Elysée Palace – a point highlighted by her radical new approach to work meetings. Instead of holding interminable meetings around a boring conference table Mme Macron has introduced the concept of walkabout meetings. With staff from her office at her side, ...keep reading

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