I had first thought of creating a piece of textile art for you when I learnt that you had your eyes on Billy’s quilt which I made for your mother. I also wanted it to reflect the young man I know.
I first met you when we visited Cornwall at the time of Joe’s birth and you were living in Newquay. By then you were already well travelled and I imagine the love of the sea and surfing was already there. I remember an already confident being who had a reputation for climbing through windows according to the story I was told
Not long after that you moved with your parents into a mobile home in Treguerrian above Watergate Bay while your father built Hamlyn Cottage. Rob and I visited a number of times, usually at Easter, travelling from the North Sea coast across the country to your Atlantic coast of Cornwall. It was great to watch you growing up.
The sea, surfers and the sky with Cornish sunshine – that is what inspired this quilt, your quilt. I remember once going into Newquay and you showing us the surf at Fistral. You wanted us to understand this magic of the motion. I also saw the closeness of your relationship with Joe and how you wanted to look after him. I remember on one walk telling you that Joe was your parent’s responsibility. I can see how that strong relationship is still a major factor in your life and that should the time come you want to be able to play your part in ensuring that Joe gets the appropriate care and support he needs.
One of my happiest memories is of playing Pictionary with you, Billy, Dave and Rob. Your desire to win meant that you chose me as your partner – and we did win more than lost! I was flattered.
Surfing became ever more important in your life and your skills were recognized in national success and sponsorship. When the financial crash made sponsorship deals harder to get, I admired the way you faced this and moved on. Cornwall, the sea and life here matter – so you then started an apprenticeship as an electrician and continued with your surfing.
As I reach the completion of your piece of textile art – For Josh - I hear of plans to build a home for you further up the field of the land behind Upper Deck and this has prompted me to make this gift.
There is a saying – give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man. My memory of seven year old Josh does match with the Josh I now know. It has been a privilege to be a small part of your story so far and look forward to the next stage of your life journey unfolding.
And please do now let Billy keep her own quilt!