Dragana Brown – Well Connected
NAME: Dragana Brown
LOCATION: London, UK
Writer and Correspondent, Advocate of Freedom of Speech and Truth in Journalism, Working with Business Entrepreneurs and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals including celebrities
I was born and raised in former Yugoslavia, Balkan’s milieu of multiple religions and cultures.
There is a clear episode down my memory lane of being around 3 or 4 years of age at a large family gathering, where I stood up and declared with clarity and certainty that ‘when I grow up I will live in a different place where they speak English’.
This and many other unorthodox exclamations that followed awarded me a ‘black sheep in the family’ tag.
I was often described as ‘unusual’, reads ‘not from these grounds’.
Growing up in age as well as in my inquisitiveness and outspokenness particularly in the face of lies and corruption landed me another sticker label – ‘troublemaker’ and a ‘stirrer’.
I have since forever longed for order – in every sense of that word. And I’ve always loved queues – no wonder I had a knowing I was a flower destined for British soil.
Classed as a very bright pupil receiving numerous awards and only top marks from primary school day one, in my young adult education history I tempered with two years of Medicine, a year of Biology, only to round it all off with a BA in English Language and Literature – isn’t that how Science meets Humanities . . .
Whilst all roads might lead to Rome, at the finishing line of my formal education my autobahn led to London, which I made my permanent abode.
Relationship choices resulted in one brief, child-less yet colourful marriage and one no lesser in colour but longer in duration, where we raised 4 boys, now men. Both of these men I hold very dear in my heart. The youngest, very gorgeous son, at the time of writing this piece, resides under my wholehearted wings.
To keep myself away from the kitchen, which is where at one time back In the nineties you were most likely to have found me, I attended, in my hood, an array of drama and acting courses at none other than Laurence Oliver’s place of learning – The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Never was there any intention to head for the Hollywood Hills but simply to have some fun and OR perhaps to experience what it felt like to, even for a short while, take off the tablier de cuisine and the ‘I-am-a-mother badge’, a role (in hindsight), I took way too seriously.
Mid eighties brought amongst other celebrities and high profile friends, godfather to my son, winsome Boy George, into my very close family circuit with aeons of deep love for each other. We’ve cooked up some feasts together as well as a cookbook and a health food shop & café in London’s Royal Kensington quarters.
After a particular and long lasting interest in food and how what we eat might actually be killing us, a diet and nutrition adviser diploma ensued.
I have travelled extensively particularly around Europe, yet my experience has never been about this gallery, that cathedral or any other historic landmark. A photo in front of Fontana di Trevi, outside Eiffel tower, inside Monaco café de Paris, on Kloster’s ski slopes . . . never meant anything to me and neither did the aforementioned places per se.
But I always cared for the people I met and spoke with, wherever I was.
I have dined and wined in some of the worlds most posh (translates: priciest) eateries and have stayed in palatial homes where water ran out of golden taps. I have rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous as I have with those who cannot afford mortgages or even rents. And never have I enjoyed one over another.
No matter what the bank balance, how many noughts in the net worth of their home, number of Aston Martins in the garage (I do have a soft spot for them), my experience has always been that of people.
There is only one pulsing place that can build that connection, which no real estate or any top notch financier, an ultra high net-worth individual can put a figure on or make a purchase – our very own Human Heart.
Dragana writes for several publications including the Huffington Post