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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.