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

Chewing Gum and the multi-talented Michaela Coel

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 6th October 2015

It’s 18 months since I went to see a play called Chewing Gum Dreams at London’s National Theatre and wrote the following words: “Michaela Coel – remember that name because she’s heading for great things.” Today I feel totally vindicated because the first episode of Chewing Gum, her new six-part TV comedy series, goes out on E4 at 10pm. It’s funny, rude, pacy and definitely not for the faint-hearted or prudish ...keep reading

Jilly Cooper talks to Rachel Johnson

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 5th October 2015

Horses, dogs, David Cameron, Boris Johnson and that notorious Riders cover – all this and more featured in Jilly Cooper’s hilarious, hour-long conversation with Rachel Johnson at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than listening to wonderful Jilly. She is 78 now, a slim figure in a white trouser suit, a glass of white wine in her hand and ...keep reading

Your twenties – a golden decade?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 3rd October 2015

Your twenties are a golden decade – the time in your life when you’re free as a bird and blissfully happy. That’s the view of an Australian academic whose research hit the papers this week. The timing was particularly apt for me because a couple of days earlier I’d pitched up at a reunion with university friends I hadn’t clapped eyes on for thirty years. We’d all studied at the University of York ...keep reading

Friday book review – The Queen’s Handbag

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 2nd October 2015

The Queen’s Hat by Steve Antony was one of my favourite children’s books of 2014. I wasn’t the only one to love it either. Children were bewitched by the tale and it deservedly won Oscar’s First Book Prize, a prestigious new award launched by the Evening Standard. Now Steve has created a follow-up, The Queen’s Handbag, and it’s every bit as enchanting as The Queen’s Hat. This time round the ...keep reading

Book review – After You by Jojo Moyes

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 24th September 2015

Fans of Jojo Moyes (and I’m one of them) have been on tenterhooks for months, waiting for the publication of After You, the long-awaited sequel to the mega-selling Me Before You. Well, today is the big day and After You is out at last. Writing a follow-up to a book as loved as Me Before You is no mean feat but Jojo has accomplished it with style and aplomb. She ...keep reading

R-Patz and ordering drinks

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 23rd September 2015

I’ve never seen a Twilight movie but I do like the sound of Robert Pattinson. In an interview with Ben Machell in The Times this week R-Patz comes across as unassuming, modest and – yes, refreshingly normal. But the detail that convinced me that he must be a lovely human being was his admission that he and most of his family are all “terrible at getting a barman’s attention.” “With the exception ...keep reading

Marvellous Marseille

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 4th September 2015

Spectacular. That really is the only way to describe the Museé de Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerannée in Marseille – or MuCEM for short. A rectangular building on the water’s edge, MuCEM is the stunningly bold vision of architect Rudy Ricciotti, who studied architecture in Marseille in his twenties. Covered in intricately-cast concrete that’s designed to look like a lace veil, Riccioti’s creation not only looks beautiful but ...keep reading

Monday book review – Friday on My Mind by Nicci French

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 31st August 2015

On the first day of my holiday in France I sat down with a literary treat. The fifth of Nicci French’s gripping Frieda Klein series has just been published and it’s a belter. I didn’t look up again until I’d whizzed through its 375 pages. Frieda Klein is one of my favourite fictional detectives. To be strictly accurate, she’s a psychotherapist rather than a detective but she has the uncanny ...keep reading

Monday book review – Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 24th August 2015

The brilliant Sophie Hannah appeared on BBC One’s Breakfast earlier this month to promote her new novel, A Game for all the Family. As always she was witty, engaging and pretty self-deprecating for a writer who’s sold stack-loads of books. One particular anecdote stood out for me though and that was a story about her favourite crime writer, the late Ruth Rendell, who insisted that a novelist’s job is to grip ...keep reading

The happiest place in the UK

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 17th August 2015

Another day, another survey – only this time round I reckon that researchers have got it just about right. A new study by estate agents Hamptons International declares that if you want to combine affordable living with high levels of happiness then Allerdale in Cumbria, which covers the area around Keswick, is the place to go. Close behind in the happiness and affordability stakes is the Ribble Valley in Lancashire – ...keep reading

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