When it comes to quintessential settings, it doesn’t get more British than slumping into a racing green chesterfield to watch dawn break through the window of an 18th Century pub, as you catch up with an old friend, the sound of a summertime log fire crackling in the background. But that’s exactly what made our coffee-lavished catch up with Fairfax & Favor ambassador, Josh ‘JP’ Patterson, that much more fantastic.
With the third Sunday in June right around the corner, we were excited to talk all things Father’s Day, learn what life is like as a young daddy, what traditions Josh wants to pass on to his daughter and how nerve-jangling the year ahead is going to be. And, as always, Josh didn’t disappoint.
Are we right in saying this is your first Father’s Day?
It’s actually my second Father’s Day. Although I was only two weeks into daddyhood the last time, which meant it was the most incredibly surreal feeling. It’s like, all your life, it’s an old-persons thing. It’s like your dad is old, so to then be that person and to be quite young, that was really, really bizarre.
Was it nice getting a card, though?
It was weird. It was sooooo nice, of course it was. But getting that first Father’s Day card was weird, especially as it was from India, who was only two weeks old. She somehow went through the whole process of writing me a card but hadn’t even learned how to open her eyes yet. So, yeah, it was good, but it was weird, but that’s probably because the transition of becoming a dad is quite weird.
So how has your first year as a Daddy been?
It’s been amazing. The only way I can describe it is that it’s been like an education. You are changing as a person. Again, I’m 28, so I would say I’m still a young guy, and I’ve always grown up looking at parents like they’re the oldies, so in your mind, you’re thinking, “hang on a minute, am I old?” even though you’re still pretty young.
Does that make it easier do you think?
Ummmm. Yeah. It has so many positives. The best thing about being a young dad is having so much opportunity, so much time, and you do have so much energy. The hardest part, though, is trying to find that balance. There is so much going on and yet you do need to be dad… So going to work all day, you do come back exhausted, but you have to muster up the energy to get on your knees and crawl endless miles with her, and then wipe endless amounts of dribble and sick off yourself. Then again, young or old, trying to figure out how you’re going to go to the loo when you have a baby in your care and no one around to help you is a steep learning curve whatever.
And how are you doing with nappies?
I have to say, nappies I nailed from the beginning. I was quite good with that. For me, though, it’s the poonamis that I just… You know… That’s when I have to call time and get Binks in to help me out. And now the food is getting slightly more exotic, the poos are getting slightly more spicy.
Haha. What about laughing? What’s the one thing that makes India laugh?
So the first thing that used to make her laugh was… wait. Let me start again. So weirdly, Binks’ favourite film is Dirty Dancing, and I don’t know how I did it, but I think it was to make Binks smile, I lifted India up in that iconic lift and said, “Dirty Dancing,” and India just giggled. It was the first time that she giggled and so that became something we did for such a long time. But what makes her laugh now - and this is slightly worrying - is if I hurt myself. If I slap my forehead or I lob something at myself, she goes hysterical. So I’m hoping that’s not a habit she’s going to keep developing because… ummm... it hurts.
Soo sweeeet. What about this Father’s Day. What are you looking forward to most about this one?
Seeing what India has bought me. You know, even at 11 months, she’s just so good at picking presents. I mean, just look at the pair of Fairfax & Favor shoes she’s just bought me. It’s like she knew exactly what I wanted [winks at the camera]. No, I think Father’s Day this year is going to be really special because my Dad will be there and to share it with him and then equally share it with my daughter will be amazing. Although, it will probably turn out to be Grandad and I spoiling India. But that’s fine. This will be the first time it’s just the three of us together, which will be really special.
Three generations. That’s amazing. What was Father’s Day growing up like?
Dad doesn’t like to be spoiled. Ever. But that was one day where he really appreciated the small things, like Breakfast in bed. Of course, being an Irishman, that meant a poached egg and a Guinness.
Do you have any traditions you want to pass on?
My Dad is from Northern Ireland, so that background is super-super embedded in us, so I want India to know her Celtic roots, for sure. You know, family is everything, isn’t it. It’s what makes you tick, so I would love to try and keep as many traditional values in her life as possible. I think you underestimate your responsibilities at first, like they are a sponge. Anything you want to pass down to them, they will take onboard. You just gotta get it right.
While we’re talking about your dad, can you tell us what was he like as a father?
Unconventional and barmy, but in the best way possible.
We can believe that. Okay, it’s kids movie time. What’s India’s favourite compared to yours?
I think this is where, as a parent, you can become a child again. It’s your excuse. I think even though India’s 11-months now, she doesn’t necessarily understand it, but then again I think it’s easy to underestimate just how much she’s absorbing when she watches these films. What’s really amazing though is that, Georgia, my sister, for her to be able to watch Pocahontas or The Little Mermaid is the best thing ever. These are just really, really special times because these are such iconic films that played such a massive part in our lives and are now going to become a part of India’s. You know, I can’t wait to dress up as Moana…
Yeah-yeah, again, after last week’s party. [Laughs]. I think dressing up as a princess is definitely going to be a turning point in my life.
It is liberating. Of course it is. You have an excuse to dress up like a beautiful woman. Why not?
Haha. So, next question. What’s been the most bizarre meltdown you’ve been faced with?
We’ve got a video actually, which is so sweet, where she went through a transition of temperament in the space of about five seconds. She went from crying to happy to really angry, but it didn’t make sense how she made that transition so quickly. But that’s it. There isn’t anything in particular that sets her off. It can be literally anything. One minute she will be enjoying her food so much it’s like she’s eating a gourmet meal and the next minute she is spitting it in your face. You can’t identify it. That’s the challenge. It doesn’t matter how well you think you might understand your baby, you can’t be 100% sure. There is no rulebook. It’s ever-ever changing. They are an individual unlike any other person on this planet. So accept the mystery and accept the food you’re wearing on your face.
And are you ready for the year ahead? We hear the game changes when they turn 1.
Yeah, apparently so. You know, right now, I quite like that India’s not really doing a lot. I can literally just plonk her down, give her a wooden spoon and a cardboard box and that’s her set for three hours. The minute she starts to move, we’re in trouble. She’s already testing the resilience of our nerves and trying to work out what will scare mummy and daddy. Luckily, me and Binks are a good team.
And, lastly, when India grows up and no doubt asks about the shoots you’ve done with us, what will you tell her?
Whenever I speak about Fairfax & Favor, I do so with such pride. But it’s not just because we’ve become friends over the years, it’s the quality of the products and how they are revolutionising an industry. That’s what I love about them. They are bringing in so many different ideas. There are a lot of established brands out there and yet none of them are doing what these guys are doing and I think that is something that deserves to be commended. I love the fact they are a rural brand, and they are literally in the sticks, and yet they are becoming one of the powerhouses of this industry. You don’t have to be in London to be a success and I think that’s a real eye opener, so I would like to think that there are generations coming up that can be inspired by these guys and their team. Where they were 5 years ago compared to where they are now I think Is great, and I think what’s nice about them is they celebrate the team that they have around them; they are constantly learning from the new positions and just the relationship that they all have with one another I think is really special so, for as long as I can, I’ll always support these guys 100%.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks, Josh.
We also want to say a really special thank you to the Bedingfeld Arms for letting us shoot there, and for feeding us all the coffee and steak-wraps we could handle. And to Quinny for supplying us with the Longboard Strollers you can see in the video. We had a lot of fun.
And with all that said and done, we hope you enjoy a great Father’s Day (and that your Dad loves his Fairfax & Favor shoes).