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

Will I get talked into buying a 2CV?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 20th July 2011

As building work continues apace on the House with No Name, the question of how we’re going to get around the rural back roads of southern France without a car is rearing its inquisitive head. We can bike to the nearest village for croissants and milk but for trips further afield we’ll need four wheels rather than two. If I am going to buy a car in France then the ...keep reading

Why journalists need proper training

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 18th July 2011

We’re living through extraordinary times. After the dramatic events of last week I assumed last week’s media storm would die down for a while over the weekend. Hopping on the Eurostar on Friday night I decided to abandon Twitter and enjoy spending time with my teenage daughter in Paris (see above). But the minute I arrived back on Sunday night I sneaked a quick look at the latest tweets and discovered the story hadn’t let ...keep reading

Harper Seven – where did that name come from?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 13th July 2011

It was obvious from the start that Posh and Becks were never going to call their new baby daughter something plain and simple – like Mary or Jane. But how on earth did they come up with Harper Seven? I know her name had to match up to Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, her three big brothers, but Harper Seven sounds like an upmarket washing liquid. Even though the Beckhams themselves say they named ...keep reading

The Chipping Norton Set

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 11th July 2011

Until recently, Chipping Norton’s main claim to fame was that it’s the highest town in Oxfordshire. Oh, and that Jeremy Clarkson can often be spotted shopping in the high street. But that’s all changed in recent times. Chipping Norton, known fondly to locals as Chippy, has suddenly hit the headlines for the powerful people who have weekend places in its environs. Dubbed the Chipping Norton Set, they live in stunning Cotswold ...keep reading

Sylvie Guillem at Sadler’s Wells

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 8th July 2011

I stopped and did a double-take when I spotted the news on Twitter. Halfway down Oxford Street to meet my teenage daughter from work, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. After 168 years, the News of the World was being shut down following the appalling phone hacking scandal. The death of one of our oldest newspapers was still buzzing around my mind when we walked into Sadler’s Wells a couple of hours later. ...keep reading

The book of the summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 4th July 2011

The audience listened with rapt attention as Alan Hollinghurst read an extract from his wonderful new novel, The Stranger’s Child. Sitting in the wood-panelled Assembly Room at Oxford Town Hall, we all hung on his every gravelly-voiced word. Everyone, from the Waterstone’s chap charged with interviewing him (who’d read the book twice) to the two students sitting next to me, knew that we were hearing something special. The Stranger’s Child, ...keep reading

My royal reporting career

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 2nd July 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 11-day tour of Canada and California has got me thinking about my own brief sojourn as a royal reporter. Apparently more than 1,300 journalists are covering Kate and Will’s visit, including hacks from as far afield as China and India. My sympathies are with them. For a start, they’re having to be more fashion writers than newshounds. Knowing their Issa from their Erdem and their ...keep reading

The latest Lynda La Plante novel

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 1st July 2011

Crime has never been my favourite fiction genre. I’m absurdly squeamish and hate reading anything gory. But over the last three years I’ve become hooked on Lynda La Plante’s compelling Anna Travis stories. I was gripped the moment I read the first one, Above Suspicion, and have snapped up the rest the instant they’re out. I’m in luck because the seventh in the series, Blood Line, was published last week ...keep reading

Sticking up for Liz Jones

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 26th June 2011

Columnist Liz Jones is a mass of contradictions. She’s forever complaining she’s broke, yet buys Prada, Bottega Veneta and most recently a top-of-the- range facelift. She splashes out on a rambling Victorian pile on Exmoor, complete with 46 acres, then gets fed up and puts it back on the market, saying: “It’s too big. I’ve got seven bedrooms and six bathrooms and about 400 animals.” She finds the men in her ...keep reading

Finishing novel number five – a work in progress

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 23rd June 2011

Jess Barker trudged purposefully up the footpath. It was seven-thirty on a chilly April morning and the new summer term was due to start in less than an hour. But before the frantic onslaught of lessons, meetings and marking, she needed time to think. At least it was Thursday, so she had 7B, her favourite class, first lesson. Unlike some of the older children, the eleven and twelve year olds ...keep reading

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