Emily September 2nd, 2020

I have so much enjoyed reading a wonderful range of insightful comments about dear Brenda from her family and numerous friends, in reply to Emily's invitation to "remember, celebrate, honour" her.  THANK YOU Emily for giving us this opportunity and it is strangely comforting to realise that all of her family & friends are thinking of her at the moment.  One interesting fact about these contributions is that the same authentic person emerges each time.  Brenda and I shared a flat in South London just after we'd both graduated in 1963.  What a piece of luck for me.  And, as I read the tributes, I just kept shouting [to myself, I hope - didn't want to disturb the neighbours] - "Absolutely!" I interpret this happy consensus among her family & friends as a validation of Brenda's authenticity as a human being.  Gifted, modest, empathetic, graceful, lovable and, as so many of you say, FUN.  She was kind by nature and was always ready to alleviate the dark sides of life by an awareness of the comic aspect that runs through all our behaviour.  I realise that  I was extremely fortunate to know her and to be able to keep up with her over the years through visits, letters, phone-calls and later emails.  I last spoke to her the day before her 80th birthday and it will be no surprise that, although she was in pain and knew exactly how ill she was, there was lots of laughter, even joy.  As so many in her family and in her friendship circle appreciate, Brenda was an inveterate wordsmith.  She greatly valued good writing and taught it with panache.  I can easily imagine her beautiful brown eyes solemnly reading through the affectionate words here, giving them all due attention ...  and then, putting her head back, bursting into disbelieving laughter!   Emily Martin Bristol 2nd September 2020