Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Memoir- Into Africa: With 3 Kids, 13 Crates and a Husband (Book 1) by Ann Patras

Delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore, Ann Patras with her memoirs of life in Africa. I am going to feature the first book in the series, Into Africa: With 3 Kids, 13 Crates and a Husband,  to introduce Ann and her story, and there are two follow up books, with the most recent published on January 11th 2020.

About the book

When Ann and Ziggy Patras uproot from England in 1980 and head off with their three young children to live and work in deepest Africa, they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for.

While prepared for sunshine and storms 13º south of the equator, the Patras family are ill-equipped for much else.

Interspersed with snippets from Ann’s letters home, this crazy story describes encounters ranging from lizards to lions, servants to shopping shortages, and cockroaches to curfews.

One of the many reviews for the book on Goodreads

Claire Bates rated it Five Stars.

I really enjoyed this memoir. I’ve never read any by Ann Patras before,also I usually steer clear of books on Africa. Not my continent of desire.

I was so surprised at just how much I enjoyed Anns move from Burton on Trent in England to Kitwe in Zambia. With her husband,3 children and 13 shipping boxes of house hold stuff. The contents of which,after their long awaited for arrival,made me laugh so much,sorry,but I just would never have thought of transporting 90% of it for a 2 year work placement.

The system the Company her husband worked for implemented for their initial stay,then the big house,servants, security even. They thought of everything.

The holiday to the big game viewing was very descriptive. I found it very interesting,even though it wouldn’t be for me. So I was pleased to share that.

The day to day life seems hard for an expat,not at all what we are used to in the western world. Queues resulting in comparatively useless items only in the shelves. No washing machine. Flies laying eggs in your washing whilst it dries in the African hot air. The many challenges I’ve not read of before in Sunny Spain and France memoirs.

I shall be reading more of Ann Patras books. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and their determination to make things work in a diverse environment.

Read the recent reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

The other books in the series

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Ann on: Goodreads

About Ann Patras

A long time ago Ann Patras was born in Burton Upon Trent, England. Actually that’s a lie. Ann Johnson was born, but she married a weirdo named Ziggy and became Ann Patras in the mid 1970’s. She was quite normal until she married him, or that’s what she’d have you believe. At one point she actually went to live in Canada to get away from him but he dragged her back by the hair (well, maybe a slight exaggeration) to England to marry her. Then, after the rather rapid arrival of three kids he hauled her off, kicking and screaming, to Africa! Well that’s a lie too really, as she was quite keen to take on that adventure.

Apart from strange sounding men and three wild children she also loves dogs and horses. (Absolutely nothing should be read into the fact that all of the dogs have been named with an alcoholic theme). She wears garish-coloured nail polish, sings along to loud music when she’s driving and likes to live in sunny places which might account for why, what started out as a two-year contract in Zambia, resulted in her living in Africa for 31 years.

The onset of those 31 years came with some surprises. She didn’t know anything about the place they were moving to (1980 was light years before the internet), if she had known she might not have agreed to go. Within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find they didn’t have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species, ants were the size of small cats and there was a fly whose larvae ate you from the inside out if you didn’t iron all your laundry. Yes, even socks!

Because of all these oddities, as well as various strange, scary and hilarious things which happened to the family, she wrote scores of letters home to relatives and friends who all thought it was so crazy she must be making it up.

Maintaining the sunshine theme she now lives in Spain, with the same weird-sounding husband and writes books about all their crazy experiences.

Connect to Ann

Website: Ann Patras Author
Facebook: Ann Patras Author

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Ann’s books. Thanks Sally.

49 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Memoir- Into Africa: With 3 Kids, 13 Crates and a Husband (Book 1) by Ann Patras

    • Hi Darlene, We live in Alhaurin el Grande, a town I think many people watching UK tv might have heard of. Having lived in South Africa for 22 years before moving here in 2011, I didn’t know it at all, but expat friends David and Heather, who are mentioned aplenty in my latest book, live just a few kilometres away, so when I was thinking of leaving SA I stayed with them for a month, on a recci. I fell in love with the inland area of Alhaurin. We’re in the campo.
      Do you live in Spain, given your question?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Darlene, I just checked out your blog and one of the books you read instantly caught my attention, as it is referred to a monster close to my heart – and my house – the processionary caterpillar. So I checked it out on Amazon and as I took a look inside couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that the couple in the story actually lived in MY town. I instantly bought the book, which looked right up my alley even before I got that far! Thanks for the intro. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Ann. I love how this blogging world works. My dog had a run-in with a procession caterpillar last year, resulting in a quick trip to the vet. We live on the Costa Blanca, near Alicante and have been here for 5 years. Love it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re just up the roads from us then 🙂 (relatively speaking, in Spain). I’m thinking you must have met Lucinda already, as she’d only a tad further north than you. If not, you must, she is one of us in the sense of humour stakes. After being pals on FB for several years, we actually met up for the first time last year. It was a hoot. She featured on Smorgasbord last year, if I remember rightly.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Hi Ann now this blog would not be complete without a comment from me. Ha Ha. Ann’s books are great fun to read and show readers what life was like on Africa for a wandering Brit. I could so relate and the humor makes them perfect. We’ll be driving over to bother you and Ziggy again Ann so be very afraid. Darlene let me know where you are it would be fun to meet up. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – January 19th – 25th 2020 – Music, Food, Guests and Humour – Enjoy the Party. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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