Claire Scobie | A Baboon in the Bedroom
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A Baboon in the Bedroom

Imagine driving off into freedom and camping under the star-filled sky of the Sahara.

In Stan, their trusty Land Rover, kitted out like a home away from home, Tony and Patricia Scobie do exactly that. On the eve of the Gulf War, the 50 year-old English couple leave their London life for an extraordinary journey across Africa.

Relying on maps and a compass, not mobile phones and satnav, they are determined to realise their dream. But when faced with the world’s worst roads, will Stan be up to the challenge?

After navigating the desert’s shifting sands, the pair face gun-toting militias, have a rare glimpse of a black rhino and watch in awe as wild herds thunder across the Serengeti.

With Tony and Patricia, explore places that are now too dangerous to visit, experience life on the road in Stan and enjoy a time when you truly could get away from it all. 

‘After many years reporting on the politics of African countries, I never thought I would fall for a travelogue from the continent. But I did. This book is tremendous – full of love, family and adventure.’ Mark Doyle, former BBC Africa Correspondent 

Patricia Scobie was born in England in 1939 and educated at Surbiton High School for Girls. She obtained a Diploma in Catering and Dietetics in 1960 and worked as a hospital dietitian before marrying her husband, Tony, and having their three children, Jane, Sarah and Claire. Patricia went on to teach Catering and Nutrition at Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). After studying in the evenings, she obtained a PhD in Nutrition and moved to the University of Surrey as a lecturer in the Department of Catering Management, where she worked for six years before leaving for Africa. She has been a keen gardener, traveller and journal-writer all her life. A Baboon in the Bedroom is her second book.

Claire Scobie is the award-winning author of Last Seen in Lhasa and The Pagoda Tree, published by Unbound in the UK in 2017. She has lived and worked in the UK, India and now Sydney. She writes for numerous publications, mentors writers, and runs writing courses in Australia, Asia and the UK. Through her consultancy, Wordstruck, Claire advises companies and leaders on how to harness the power of storytelling as an effective communication tool in business. In 2013, she completed a Doctorate in Creative Arts at Western Sydney University. For more information, visit her websites: www.clairescobie.com and www.wordstruck.com.au.