March & April 2023

Its the end of April and Spring is finally here, what a magical day it’s been, the sun has finally warmed us up good and proper, I didn’t need to wear a sweater and I’ve worn sandals today.  Ducklings and goslings are bobbing about the canal, bumblebees are bumbling, dandelions are reflecting the sun, rabbits are playing chase and trees are looking lush with leaves…… Happy days!

Tomorrow we’re on the move again, heading East, check ‘contacts page’ to find out more about locations.

If this lovely weather continues, I’ll be getting the outside space ready, so we can enjoy keeping company with Mother Nature, while I take care of your dreads.

A reminder that JataDreads has a Facebook page, which is a great for keeping up to date with available dates, cancellations, portfolio of dreads and bits and bobs about our travelling life.  Please, simply search JataDreads and follow.

January & February 2023

We’ve been super busy and whilst sitting here writing this blog entry, I’m thinking how quickly these two months have passed.  My dreadmaking diary has been wonderfully, fully booked, feeling grateful.  The minus temperatures didn’t stop people committing to their appointments, on the contrary, their contagious excitement for the journey into the Wiltshire wilderness, trooping a sparkly frozen towpath to the boat, seeing the canal frozen and our houseboat frozen in, to stepping into our home and being greeted by a warm burner-stove, was an enchanting adventure.  Has been great catching up with familiar faces and wonderful to meet new faces, of which there have been quite a few.  

A little about our nomadic life these past two months.

The necessity to successfully living off grid is all in the preparation.  Be prepared for all eventualities.  We’re efficient at preparing for winter, tis something we pride ourselves on.  Observing the earthway around us, we’re accustomed to sussing out what weather is coming, however, we still check in with weather forecasts and I’m glad we do; as we were so prepared for the extreme minus temperatures.  

The canal froze over more than once, the first freeze was the most extreme, we were frozen in for several weeks.  We have ready, a couple of 25L containers should we have a water situation.  This winter our extra water butts froze, so did the water-point taps located at the convenience stops along the canal, which we couldn’t cruise too, because we were frozen in.  So Philip had to take the 25L containers to work everyday, fill them with water, bring them home, so I could keep the internal water tank topped up.   Wood foraging has been stepped up and I’ve been out most days sawing and splitting logs.  The burner-stove, which is our only source of heating, has been keeping us safe, warm and toasty, day and through the night; so for those of you, who might have wondered how we were doing in -13, -11, -6 freezes, we were comfy-cozy.  Taking Mia out for walks during the freezes were also restricted, it was too cold for such a young dog, so outdoor activity had to be short and sweet.  Instead of playing outdoors, we had fun and games indoors. Oh and Mia is 1 years old on 28th February.

We have enjoyed every moment of this winter, the extreme cold put us to the test, finding out what we are capable of and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved this winter.  I’ve come to favour the winter season much more, I’m almost a little sad to see it pass into spring.

Winter Solstice 2022

Thank you to the passing Earth Cycle for all the life lessons good and bad 

I release and let go of actions and experiences from the passing Earth Cycle, that have caused negative attachments.

I now prepare and welcome changes and new lessons.

I welcome new opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually.

Yogaśanti (peace in union)

Winter Solstice is a special time for us, not only do we pay homage to nature, we also celebrate our union, our wedding anniversary.

The months September, October and November are in preparation for the season and our winter holiday.  Navigating our cruises strategically so we can be moored in the area where we have the deepest connection, together with daily wood foraging for fire wood.  Our winter break, a time for some self care and tidying our dreads. 

Thank you for your support, your efforts to travel to us to have your dreads installed or maintained and thank you for your trust. Great keeping company with like minded people nourishing the day with your visit.

January and February are already looking busy, with limited available dates, so looking forward to meeting new faces and catching up with regular faces.

Solstice blessings

Philip, Anna-Marie & Mia

Winter Holiday Dates

Taking our regular winter holiday, dates this year are from Saturday 17th December 2022 till Tuesday 3rd January 2023. Also a heads up, already taking bookings for January 2023, so don’t leave it too long to get booked in for the New Year.

We won’t be putting prices up

We’ve kept our hourly rate the same for almost 5 years now and it will continue to stay at £25 per hour for the foreseeable future. JātaDreads doesn’t have desires to part of what is now a fashion industry, we are not power, popular, bums-on-seats, money driven. We do not book appointments in blocks either, we literally time the appointment, using a timer, which begins from the moment we start working on your hair, if we have to stop, then the timer stops. This makes the work on your locks affordable and we maintain virtue.

Philip and I have committed our lives to living simply and we would like this to reflect in all that we do.

JātaDreads no longer has an Instagram account

However, we do have an Instagram account called ‘livingearthway’, where we share a little more about our off grid, nomadic lives, together with crafting and land art. I will pop the odd, occasional, dread update on the account, because of artistic impression. Should this be of inspiration to you, please pop along to the Instagram ‘livingearthway account, check us out and follow for all things earth-way.

June, July & August

We’ve had a wonderful summer, what with JātaDreads being busy through out, our puppy Mia who is now 6 months growing rapidly and coming along well with her training and generally living simply, as we continue to cruise along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

June, I gave thanks to Summer Solstice by creating land art, making a sun mandala and a cycle of life symbol.  July passed by with the glorious English summer and August, we managed the heatwave with parasols and mooring under trees.

Getting up at 4.30am each morning to daylight, committing to Sādhana practice has been a blessing and now that the early starts are dark, it’s time to embrace change and prepare to slow down ready for the stillness of winter.  Our wood foraging has already started, harvesting wind fall for the fire, not only to keep us warm, also to cook on.  Leaves have started to turn gold and berries are already in abundance.  Not much in the way of bird song as the birds have now migrated.  Hares are out still feeding at dusk and dawn, they are magical to watch.

Blankets are now on beds, the heavy duty rug will go down in the next week and I’m going to treat myself to a new pair of slippers for this autumn, winter.

I’ve been busy crafting and whittling, making branch poles and blinds for the windows, to keep the warmth in and the chill out.

Not wishing the summer away, it has been wonderful, however, I do enjoy the changing seasons and I have a deeper connection to autumn and winter than I do with spring and summer.  Maybe it’s because there is much to do, ensuring we are warm, dry, well and healthy in the cold months.  Or maybe it’s because the canal is less busy with tourists and we can isolate from the Babylonian infection that disturbs our ever so quiet life.  

March, April & May

March April & May

Has been such a long break since my last blog post, which is a good thing, means life continues to be wonderfully simple and without drama.

We’ve finally cruised to our spiritual county in time for late spring and early summer.  The canal is now abundant with lush, wild fauna and flora, is healing, calm and peaceful.

We have a new member to our family, please meet Mia, who we took into our home the end of April aged then, 8 weeks.  Mia is a bred traveller dog, we are lucky to have found the travellers that gave her to us.  She is adapting to boat life incredibly well, she is a little tough cookie and ever so hardy.  Mia is growing rapidly, her character is beginning show and she is proving to be a light off contentment, although she has oodles of energy, bouncing about the tow path and scurrying about the woodlands, her favourite job is wood foraging, she is amazing.  Be assured, when visiting you will get lots of attention and puppy-dog cuddles.

My dread diary continues to be booked up a few weeks in advance, so I must be doing something right and when the weather is on our side, we’re now stepping outdoors to do dreadmaking, so we can all soak up the healing power of nature.

Please enjoy the pics and hopefully see you soon.

JātaDreads, the only dreadmaker in the UK who will not get involved with dread extensions

I am devoted to a life of Sādhana (path seeking Truth), dread extensions contradict the Dharma (virtue) that supports my commitment.

Consciousness needs less, Ego wants more.

Human hair extension industry is zero ethically regulated in protecting adults and children from exploitation. There are zero guarantees, that human hair for the purpose of extending, have been wilfully donated and exchanged in a fair trade.

Synthetic hair industry, predominately, China, Japan and Korea is zero environmentally legislated and as a result, there now exists studies, UK 2019 of cradle-to-grave manufacturing, to reduce the present waste of synthetic hair and the damaging impact on our environment.

You’d think I’d be pleased with being the only dreadmaker in the UK, who will not get involved with dread extensions, I’m not, makes me sad. I believed that dread heads around world were united when it came to humanitarian and environmental issues, how wrong am I. It seems that dreads have now been poluted by the fashion industry and the integrity of their meaning is now a thing of the past.

Well, I’m not going to sell my soul to the darker side of capitalism and it’s unhealthy ego, and the unhealthy ego of individuals, I will continue to stand for what I believe in, this dreadmaker will not now or in the future, have anything to do with extensions. One having the calling to lock up their hair for whatever their reasons, are welcome into our meaningful earth way home, however, they will have to do the journey and come to love and accept their special and unique hair types for what they naturally are.

Consciousness needs less, Ego needs more.

January & February 2022

Hey it’s never too late to wish a happy New Calendar Year to anyone, so despite now being in April and only just catching up with my blog, happy New Calendar Year for 2022, to everyone.

January and February continued to be busy with dread heads, amazing and we were busy keeping on top of winter boat chores, so we didn’t go cold or hungry.  Studies have been intense and get more intense with each assignment deadline, nonetheless, I’m meeting deadlines and passing with top grades, GET IN!

I like January, it’s a quiet month, few people about on the tow path and as we live remotely and choose to live in isolation, tis even more quiet.  With no light pollution, we get to witness the lighter days starting in January, is a wonderful feeling, when you see that, cos you know spring is just around the corner.

First signs of spring emerging and my birthday in February, didn’t do anything outrageous, treated ourselves to a takeaway, oh my goodness, what a treat it was.

Nicest things about winter; cook on the woodturner stove, heat water on the stove instead of using the diesel heater, woodturner is stoked 24/7 so the mornings are cosy to get up to, extra blankets just in case, extreme weather like the storms we’ve had are amazing when you’re living earth way and wild, wood foraging, I love wood foraging and equally love the sawing and chopping, winter peasant foods like stew and dumplings, daals and thick soups.  I do love winter, however, it is wonderful when the days getting longer, starts to get warmer and we can venture outside lots more.