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Suzanne White

Author • Adventuress • Astrologer

Life on the Run


by Suzanne White - on Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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As most of you know by now I live in a small city in Provence by the unlikely name of Draguignan. There is only one Draguignan in all of France whereas there are at least 5 Chambons and maybe 6 Bellevues. Draguignan is unique. Some Dracenois lore lays claim to a Dragon who has lived there since the middle ages. I never saw him swanning around downtown. But some insist he is there.

Poor Draguignan. She is a nowhere city of 40,000 people.Although 40 kms north of St Tropez and 70 kms west of Cannes Draguignan is anything but a cultural center. The monuments are non descript, the fountains spurt up from incongruous sharp-edged basins and the people are shrug-shouldered nonchalant. Draguignan’s chief industry is the National Artillery School. The trendiest fashion color is khaki. The women decorate themselves with masses of clanking baubles and toddle around on high-heeled shiny sandals. Glitter is all the rage.

I use to hate living in Draguignan. But thanks to this article, written (in French) by a native Dracenoise, to counter all the criticism that Draguignan is subjected to by its grouchy citizens who are never satisfied, I have come to see why it’s really an ideal place to live. Bottom line? I know the Rolling Stones will never come to Draguignan. But now that I think of it, maybe the terrorists will pass us by as well. sw

MY DRAGUIGNAN By Roxanne Sara (a native Dracenoise)

In light of the harsh criticism that Draguignan has fallen victim toI will state my point of view as a native right here on Facebook. This entry is for those of you who are interested. If you are not interested, don’t take the time to read this as I intend to write long!

First of all, like any youngster born "in this backwater" I felt that living here was boring. So I went to live somewhere else. I lived in many different cities where finally I never found better. Everything was expensive and I had live with pollution andconcrete.

Here in Draguignan, living between the sea and the mountains, being able to commune with nature only steps away, to watch my daughter play at the edge of the river and take her to hunt for mushrooms in the forest seems so much more essential than eating at Macdonald’s, Going to Fun City or visiting other vapid attractions which help maintain our planet’s problems and affect everyone: overconsumption, pollution and capitalism.

Today, our day began by finding a parking place in the shade at the Jarre parking lot in less than a minute. Then we took a walk in the park which is so very pleasant since it has been re-arranged and embellished.

Then we walked over to the Boulevard Foch to buy a book. Wecrossed Mireur street, which I particularly like for the authenticity that emanates from it. I passed some people with kindly eyesand smiled back at the merchants who greeted me. (Of course some folks don’t respond. But even though there are jerks everywhere there lots of nice people too.)

My mouth watered as we stood in front of the “Cook’s Helper” showcase window which displays their delectable food in glass jars (To avoid waste and the use of plastic, the jars are returnable.)

Then we went over and past the he Wood Tree Toy store. I couldn't help but smile when I saw my daughter's eyes light up looking in that window.

From there, we went up the street past the church and took the old market street. There we came upon a pretty grass square where we sat for a bit. After that, we went to see Trans street which has recently been dressed in Technicolor to offer new pleasure to our eyes. There we stopped to buy some delicious spring rolls at Anh Dao for lunch. We took the little street that leads to the market place and we stopped at a shop to buy a bottle of fresh water from a very nice lady. We continued to the market square where we bought a small pot of fresh homemade cream at the Légal cheese shop. We continued on street by street up to the beautiful new Boulevard Clémenceau. It’s very sunny on that street. We will have to wait awhile for trees to grow up again so we can enjoy some shade.

From there, we went up the street of the République where we stopped at the children's clothing shop and found a cute hat at -50 %off (3 EUROS). To our great surprise, we were able to view the museum project that promises to embellish the city centre. Goody! The Photos and the description of the project really charmed us!

A huge congrats to the municipality which is always fighting to improve my city, our city. So far the results are spectacular.

It's been a year since I've seen so many smart improvements in such a short time. Congratulations to them because in these difficult times they still manage to invest in great projects . Can’t help but wonder where the money was going before Mr. Strambio (our mayor) took charge.

Our little walk was very pleasant, except for the heat, so we decided to stop at the municipal swimming pool. We enjoyed our lunch on the lawn in the shadow of a tree. The paddling pool and its slides are really perfect to delight little ones.

Later, when it cools down,we will probably ride our bikes down to Aups bridge or along the river which has finally resumed its proper bed thanks to the work done (once again) by the municipality. After the disastrous floods in 2010, much work had to be accomplished so we could go back to respecting nature.

We are quite happy to live the simple, safe life that Draguignan offers.

This month of July has been busy. We benefitted from our walks to the farmer’s market that offers such high quality products on Saturday, Thursday morning strolls on the Boulevard, And picnics and concerts in Haussman Park on Tuesday nights. We participated in the great patriotic party of July 14 with a very successful fireworks And we danced to the musical group that played for us on Cassin square. We ate some delicious pesto soup and I will stop there as there are too many other events to mention.

We are not far from the sea and we go there to picnic some nights. We are not far from the Ste Croix Lake where we go to watch the shooting stars raining in the night sky in August. Or we go there andfind a private beach corner during the day where we can enjoy the calm of nature calm and go swimming in the refreshingly chilly green water from the Verdon river.

I won’t make a list of the fabulous treasures that surround Draguignan or I will never get this written.

You can add the great programming at the city’s theatre and all the cultural events at Chabran Center.

So no. Idefinitively do not understand people who get bored and feel uncomfortable here. If you only love Macdonald’s, theme parks, discount houses and supermarkets and see those places as indispensable, you won't feel well here in Draguignan.

If you are alone you may not feel well either because all these wonderful things I mentioned are for sharing. For the others, I simply believe that chronic critics are merely dissatisfied people, who will never feel well anywhere.Thank you to all the positive people who think like me (you help to spread good vibes). Thank you to the municipality that amazes me and allows me to rediscover my native city in a new and better way. Thanks to the administrative team who must work hand in hand with the city’s leaders to achieve such beautiful changes. Thanks also to the very nice,smiling merchants I passed this morning and every other day. Thanks to the daily life of Draguignan that offers me this great quality of life that cannot any longer be found in large cities. Thanks to life. Thank you.

#PositiveAttitude #Bonheur #Simplicité

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Author Suzanne White

About Suzanne White

Suzanne White is the High Priestess of Chinese and Western Astrology. She's American and has lived in France for 50 years. She spends some months in America every year on house swaps. Suzanne says: One day I'm a rip-roaring Yankee and the next day I'm an dainty, elegant Parisienne My totally bi-lingual life is a kind of "managed schizophrenia". It's fun. I live for fun. I will probably die of it too.

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