Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss with some of my favourite people in the world, close family and oldest of friends. Hot and exposed in the field for 3 days we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery I have banged on about before the Wild Swim Map and the Wild Guide and found Wallers Haven was our nearest swim spot to the field.
It is a little difficult to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road and waited for a gap in the traffic and headed over to the bridge to investigate. We took the most difficult route in which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is a ‘proper’ access by path a bit further up the road each way!
We walked on until we round the concrete jetty described in the map. It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside. Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky water surface of the river. Minerally (?) tasting water refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles almost falling in the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water one of our party stated that they were just there to watch. However….it was inviting enough to get all of us in having fun. This is despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived and jumped in and generally messed about. A lovely spot. Much fun. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and happier. I highly recommend. Take your haramaki – you will need it whatever the weather after the cold water. Keep that core warm and the rest will follow 🙂
We have been enjoying lovely sunny and warm weather for November. However, according to the weather forecast the temperature is set to drop with snow and sleet to hit us this week. An Icy Cloud from Europe… and mention of a mini Beast from the East.
So keep warm out there. Keep your core warm in one of our belly-wraps – the Japanese idea made in the UK.
Our new ultra warm Angora haramaki will work wonders, keeping you warm from your core.
Daruma is a traditional Japanese character based on the monk Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen tradition of Buddhism. Daruma is a cute way to help someone you love focus on their dreams, wishes and goals through the power of visualisation. My daughter was sent one by her Grandma – a beautiful white one -as she tackled her GCSEs this summer. It sat on her desk wishing her well while she revised and reminded her that her family were rooting for her even if far away.
We love this Japanese concept so we decided to branch out from our haramakis and offer a limited edition screen-printed version with our friend Kat from InkyKat Studios.
Daruma reminds us to never give up on our goals. The Japanese say it shows them to “Fall down 7 times get up 8 – Nana Korobi Yaoki” – the never giving up spirit so valued in Japan. Usually Daruma is a small doll made from Papier-mâché the recipient colours in 1 eye while thinking of what they want to achieve. They then crack on while focussing on their goal with Daruma watching from the sidelines and reminding them of the goal. Once the goal is achieved then the second eye can be coloured in and kept as a reminder of success to motivate the person onwards.
Our Daruma is the perfect ‘Good luck’ present. The recipient colours in one eye while thinking about what they want to achieve. They then hang Daruma on the wall or prop them up on their desk to guide them while they strive towards their goal. Once they have achieved their goal they colour in the other eye and keep the print as a reminder of what they have achieved (we advise using fabric paint or Sharpie).
A handmade papercut screenprinted in water based ink onto white cotton fabric and mounted. The print of Daruma is red. The print itself measures approximately 15x17cm and comes in a high quality white 30x21cm (A4) mount cut to fit a ready made frame.
Each print is signed and dated, has a backing board and is wrapped in cellophane and carefully packaged flat to ensure safe arrival.
Introducing the ultra-warm Angora Haramaki in grey and black. Made in the EU from ethically sourced Angora. Snug and stretchy.
Angora wool is a very soft and luxurious fibre. The fibres are hollow, making angora a fantastic natural insulator. It is one of the warmest natural fibres you can get – up to seven times warmer than sheep’s wool – making it ideal for use in thermal underwear and in our haramaki! As it is so warm, and has a natural cushion it has beneficial therapeutic effects for back problems, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or any other pain affecting your joints. It is, however, a little more expensive than other fibres. These Angora rabbits are not harmed for their wool, but are sheared regularly and their welfare checked by Orkney Angora’s William Sichel.
NukuNuku Haramaki do include lycra. Without it your haramaki would not be stretchy enough or keep its shape and last you a long time – leading to more waste! Which is not what we want. There is no alternative yet readily available or affordable (lycra made from recycled plastics for example?). Most of us cannot afford to choose only natural fibres on an everyday basis – it is just too difficult and too expensive – especially when buying for a family etc.
However, while we all try to limit our plastic use and waste where we can until the industry changes and offers viable alternatives These are fantastic inventions we recommend for limiting your plastic pollution when washing your clothes – the guppy friend washing bag and the cora ball which will catch your micro-fibres as your clothes shed them in the wash.
We can also recycle or upcycle our clothes when they have given up the ghost – there are vouchers available to save you money in some shops if you take your used textiles in. They will be then reworn, recycled or reused as insulation or mattress stuffing for example.
What are your top tips for reducing waste and pollution?