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.

November & December 2021

I’ll write this blog update starting with December.  Philip and I got married.  A beautiful sweet little ceremony, held at Trowbridge registry office, accompanied with only our two witnesses, on Winter Solstice, 21st December 2021.  Winter Solstice being an important date in our earthly diary, we don’t celebrate Christmas, we put all our efforts into the Winter Solstice.  Anyway, we then went to Glastonbury and spent a few hours celebrating at George & Pilgrim a 15th century pub.  The staff there, spoilt us rotten with a banquet of food, laid out on a beautifully dressed table.  We felt so special, the day went far too quickly and was wonderfully romantic.  We’re both still enjoying our little flashbacks of such a magical day.

Our home was moored in the middle of nowhere for 2 weeks and we honeymooned in deeply, with Mother Nature, not seeing another human soul.  We feel blessed.

Now too November.  We’ve been preparing ourselves for winter from way back in August.  Winter is a time to slow down, rest from the hard work of summer and autumn.  The season shows us that we need to hunker down in the warmth, sleep a little longer and maybe tidy up some small jobs that get put to one-side, during the busy months of light.  JātaDreads was busy in November tidying up locks, had one fresh head.

Back to December.  Only a few dread-heads because of marriage plans and honeymoon.  Also school wrapped up for December giving me time to chill out with my husband.

However you spent the winter festivities, I trust the season brought you stillness and peace.  Blessings to all for nature’s new earth cycle and see you soon xxx Mrs Anna-Marie Semturis-Anderson.       

September & October 2021

Autumn, getting prepared for solitude and hibernation, I love this time of year.  Autumn is a splendour of colour and dramatic changes, as the tree sap goes down in preparation for the deep sleep.

The preparation includes Philip and myself.  We’ve got our woodpile stocked up already and the wood-burner stove is not only keeping us warm but is a source for cooking.  Soon, we will also have the fire pit to keep us warm and cook on, then we can continue to enjoy being outdoors and appreciate nature even in the winter months.

Our solar panels are not so efficient now, so we have to rely on the engine charging the batteries (recyclable batteries).  This is working out well tho, we had new batteries fitted in October, so the engine doesn’t need to be on as much, as if the batteries were old and not holding their charge. New batteries, if we look after them well, should last us 4-5 winters.

Dreadmaking is going well, it’s wonderful meeting new people and seeing old faces.  I enjoy your visits to the boat; the walks from the car parks to the boat, the happy faces and your exciting energies as you embrace the purity of your endeavours, giving your dread path integrity.  I am immensely grateful.

I’ve now gone back to school, started mid October and already enjoying it a lot.  I’m finding the modern psychology within the study, a challenge, as it does conflict the ancient psychology, that I’ve been studying since 2014.  Nonetheless, the objectivity is all positive and will help with my personal growth, so that in the future, I can help others.  My dreadmaking will continue through the study years, as it gives me a little pocket money and helps take the pressure off Philip, who is supporting me with this commitment for the next 3 maybe 4 years.

Photos are of all sorts, wood sawing, chopping, wind storms, our home cosy and warm, us on our travels to new moorings and recent dreads from September and October and of nature changing around us, as we go into Autumn.  I’ll post again to the blog in December with some very exciting news, stay tuned and pop back again soon.

July 2021

Busy month, only not so much for JātaDreads. We successfully cruised to Reading, ahead of time, to take the boat out at a marina on the River Thames, for the hull to be blacked. Managed to fit in one JātaDread appointment before leaving the boat for a week, to go and have a chillout stay with friends. Felt strange living in a house, with a garden, not having to be mindful of our water levels and stranger feeling, not composting the loo contents, Hahahahahaha. Still the novelty of the week was fab and we’re grateful to our dearest friend Max Light Bearer and his family, for making us feel comfortable and welcome.

Getting back to the boat was exciting and we timed it well; the engineer craning the boat back in was running a tad late, and so we got to watch the whole process, fascinating. I took another week off, to put our lives back in order and get ready to end the month, with a couple of JātaDread appointments. The weather has been great, which meant setting up outside so I could play with hair, either making dreads or tidying them up. Summer fauna is stunning, butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies, hungry Canada geese, jumping fish, countless tree critters and nosey friendly cows, and all of this energy, I lock up in the dreads, and that’s how it should be.

We’re now back on the Kennet & Avon Canal and slowly making our way through Berkshire and eventually into the lands of the ancients, Wiltshire. Check in ‘Contact Page’ for location updates. Locking diary is busy, limited available dates in September and October. November has more available dates.

June 2021

We’re now in Berkshire, nearest town is Reading. We’ve managed to find a perfect place to moor, giving us the isolation we crave. We’ll be close to Reading for another week, after which we’ll begin cruising back to Wiltshire. We’ll take it pretty slow on the cruise back to Wiltshire, it’s been a mad one getting here, to be on time for taking the boat out of the water, the hull needs blacking. We’d like to chill out the rest of the summer, soak up the beautiful Berkshire countryside and be back in Wiltshire for Autumn.

June has been a great month, fully booked with tidy ups of epic matty-natty messy lockdown locks. Also a treat doing a full head of fresh locks, managed to get outside with some locking and a couple of dreadheads wanted to learn how to maintain their own locks, love sharing the skills.

Synthetic Hair Extensions – The Dark Truth

Following on from my blog post ‘Human Hair Extension Industry ~ Human Exploitation’, I have now researched and found some concerning facts about the Synthetic Hair Extension Industry.

Synthetic hair for extensions (and wigs), are typically manufactured in China, Japan and Korea.  This makes it impossible to determine how the fake hair is manufactured, thus a product unregulated and without proper informative and efficient health and safety legislation, for the manufacture, use and disposal.  Despite fake hair being low priced and therefore, accessible, the Synthetic Hair Industry, doesn’t take into account the true cost of chemical pollution, waste and health impacts, through manufacturing, use or disposal.

Synthetic, means combining chemicals to make a product that mimics a natural thing.  Although it is impossible to determine how the fake hair is manufactured, investigation has revealed that the fake hair is made from 10-15 chemicals.  The chemicals are used to synthesis plastic strands of hair, which consist predominantly of acrylics, polyester, silicone, PVC, Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polyacrylonitrile, resulting in disposal of large amounts of waste material and environment problems.

Synthetic materials make up a lot of waste in landfill, and research is underway to promote reuse/longevity and recycling of wigs.  At present, the same not being sort, for the disposal of fake dreads.

There is no way of guaranteeing the quality of Synthetic hair and so same, in not being able to determine how long the fake hair will look and feel good in dreads.  However, according to the resources of my research, fake hair deteriorates quickly, 6-12 months, and needs to be replaced to continue the required effect; in the case of dreads, that’s a fuller volume and length.  It’s also interesting to learn, that Synthetic hair matts and tangles easily with natural hair, in the context of dreads, this means that fake hair will have to be cut off.  Therefore, the continuing disposal of fake dreads, undermines the productive research and action in contribution, to the immediate need to protect and preserve our environment.

Other alarming information from the resources of my research, is the risk to health.  The majority of Synthetic hair is dyed with Synthetic dye.  The Synthetic dye contains components that are carcinogenic, which can penetrate skin easily.  For those with sensitive skin, this can become uncomfortable and at worst, painful.  Studies have also linked acrylic and nylon to cancer; the study by France Labreche MD of the Institut de Recherche Robert Sauve Montreal, have exposed facts, that young women exposed to the Synthetic fibres, acrylic and nylon are at a greater risk of breast cancer.  Further research has exposed that Synthetic fibres treated with several flame retardant chemicals and delustering agents, also have carcinogenic properties.

Consciousness needs less, Ego wants more. 

Therefore, what is the intention and attention in the action 

– Anna-Marie Semturis JātaDreads 

Dreads are now an industry and whether I like it or not, I’m a part of that industry; the thing that sets JātaDreads apart from everyone else, is that I will not get involved with dread extensions, human hair or synthetic.  Nor do I get involved with the retail of accessories or hair products.  I lock hair purely for spiritual reasons, I’m devoted and committed to Sādhana, hair extensions contradict the Dharma that supports my devotions and commitments.  However, there exists a responsibility to be open to the needs of others’ and in doings so, I find myself researching both industries of Hair Extensions.  

The dilemma I found myself in when giving consultation, to someone who chooses to dramatically change themselves, was the 3 choices in which they are going to represent themselves:

  1. Unethical dreads
  2. Unecological dreads
  3. Embracing their natural hair in dreads

Continuing my research for a solution, there is good news, for those who are going to add extensions.  Raw Society Hair is the world’s first ethical, 100% compostable and recyclable hair extension manufacturer, the fake hair is made from banana fibre, yep that’s right, plant-based hair extensions.  There’s more, the 2 inspiring sisters who set up Raw Society Hair, who have devoted their lives to doing right by the ecology of our environment, have also created business for small-scale plant farmers, what is not to love and support this?  Obviously, I will continue to lock only one’s natural hair and I am biased in the choice ‘C’. However, when I have to accept that one is hell bent on having extensions, at least I can now point them in the direction of a kind alternative, for them then, to find someone to lock in their plant-based extensions and I remain within the Dharma of Sādhana.

Reference Links:

Capturing the life cycle of false hair products to identify opportunities for remanufacture

The Ugly Truth About Our Wig & Hair Extensions Habit

Occupational exposure to synthetic fibers – a possible link with breast cancer

Exposure to Certain Chemicals at Young Age Linked to Increase in Risk – BreastCancer.Org

Raw Society Hair

Over due tidy up Fri 11th June

Long day giving these beautiful locks love. My dear friend Dinesh, been 2 years since we last spent a day together. Sharing all things Indian as he reflects on his root home Bombay, transporting me back to a place where I left a little piece of my heart. Love you Dino xx

No Dread Extensions No Dread Fillers

Full head of fresh new locks

Wonderful 2 days installing these locks. We were moored in a peaceful place, where we could fully appreciate the nature surrounding the canal. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, allowing us to have the french doors open, letting the outside come inside. The lovely lady you see in the photos is in fact from my tribe or community if you like, and having now known her for a while, I was aware of the significance of having these locks. I feel it’s important to mark such events of change in oneself with memories that can be favoured for a lifetime. I do this with food and this occasion was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing time with this lovely lady, installing her locks and preparing fresh lunches to celebrate the start of her journey. We laughed, listened to music, shared mind expanding theories and philosophies and became friends.