24 February 2024

The Turning World

Looking for a sense of perspective.....

Birds scrawl across the sky above the muddy flats of the Wash, dots on my vision, each to his or her own.  Distant trees and pylons speak of the old and the new.  

Conflated ideas of time rise towards the clouds.

It is the first time I have been out for three weeks.  My world is flat and empty.  It has rained.  The winds have thrashed against my walls and the roads have been under water.

A brief respite and I walk down the broken concrete path towards the flood bank. To one side I see a Muntjac pointing her dark eyes at me.  

A Marsh Harrier strafes the muddy field for hapless prey.

Along the hedgerow the blackthorn fires its salvoes, frosting the scrub in thousands of bright flowers, luring sleepy bees from their winter repose.

In the lagoon I spot a lonely young male goldeneye, diving amongst a waggle of heavy greylags.  The best is yet to come; I wish him luck in his watery life.

And not far away a pair of wigeon float along, bobbing sedately in the security of their partnership.  

The pink-feet have gone from the Wash now, making their ways to the deep north.  I miss their chattering skeins at dawn over the village, families of geese that whiffle together to the sugar-beet fields inland.  And I miss their returning flights in the dusk, their voices quieter as they slip toward their sleep. 

But there are plenty of waders out on the mud and at the tide line.  Bar-tailed Godwits:

Swarms of them, flickering above the Shelduck, Oystercatchers and Curlew that are not quite so flighty.

It is peaceful here.  Many times I walked this way with Amanda, and last Autumn I brought her here in her wheelchair, no longer able to support her own weight.  I am sad as I watch the world turning, as the cycle of life revolves.  But that is the way it is.  I am not alone.  We will all lose someone, or they will lose us.  There is no other way.

I know that.

But it doesn't make it easier.....

The clouds build up.

And then they will disperse.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

T.S. Eliot
Burnt Norton

And as the darkness intensifies, peace comes dropping slow.  

Take my hand. 

 God is love.

Or maybe, Love is God.....

18 February 2024

Farewell my lovely.....

In loving memory of 

Amanda Jane Blacknell Gibbs


March 5th 1954 – February 1st 2024

La Voce Del Silenzio,’ [The Voice of Silence] Andrea Bocelli


Welcome – Richard Gibbs

Welcome all, and thank you so much for gathering here today to celebrate the life of (my wife) Amanda Jane Blacknell Gibbs.  The entrance music was sung byAndrea Bocelli, and Amanda loved his music since, in June 1997, we were guests of Kiri Te Kanawa at a gala evening in Hampton Court where Andrea was the support act..... (forgive the name drop, but it would have tickled Amanda....)


Try not to be sad, but please feel free to cry – we may - and I have alerted Anglian Water who are used to dealing with floods round here (though it may mean that the road will be closed for a few days....)


You may perhaps have expected a priest in this place, but Dan, the Vicar of Snettisham, was away and David Stancliffe, the retired Bishop of Salisbury, who married us almost forty years ago, is unfortunately officiating at another funeral today so could not be here.  Although Amanda did not often attend church during much of our married life, she was brought up by Dorothy and Bernard to be a Christian Scientist.  Then, following her diagnosis, she found her faith in God an enormous help to her, so today, as I know she would appreciate, we are using the traditional Christian format and words to honour her.


We meet in the name of Jesus Christ,

who died and was raised to the glory of God the Father.

Grace and peace be with you.

We have come here today

to remember before God Amanda Jane Blacknell Gibbs;

to give thanks for her life;

to commend her to God our merciful redeemer and judge;

to commit her body to be cremated,

and to comfort one another in our grief.


Address by Sarah Blacknell Gibbs

What mum wanted was this to be a celebration.

I'm not a good public speaker and I'm very upset; please bear with me....

I'm going to share some good memories I have of mum and some of the things she taught me.

First mum taught me about art, and led to my lifelong love for the subject. She used to take me down to The Licensed Victuallers’ pond and we would sit on the grass and paint and draw the water lilies. I remember being on the grass slope in the sun laughing with her and her encouraging me and praising my childish attempts saying, "Isn't this fun!" She would take me and Hannah to the Tate Modern, always saying that Edgar Degas’s ballerina statue reminded her of me.

One thing mum was always persuading me to do, and it took years and three tests, despite getting the wrong day for one! And I finally passed my driving test. I never wanted to as I found it so stressful but now, I'm forever grateful she encouraged and enthused me. She taught me the importance of independence and perseverance, and I remember her happy tears when I came home with my pass! I first learnt in Granny Dorothy’s little blue mini! She taught me to drive and have drive at the same time.

Another thing she taught me was kindness. I only ever remember seeing her angry once in my whole life. We were at Harpenden station I was waiting in the car. She came out from trying to book some advance tickets with a strange atmosphere. I didn't recognize it because she was never mad!  She then let out the only time I say her swear, the f word! Although she quickly calmed down after telling me the man had been 'quite rude.'

Even when I had problems with a teacher or student at school and came home upset, she would never take my side even when I wanted her to. She would always say think about them and what they might be going through, which as I grew up, I have taken on and it has helped in many situations. That's the kind of person she was, always empathetic, rational and always thinking of others.

The most important thing she taught me was love. I was always surrounded by a warm blanket of pure love. She always supported me; she always encouraged me and she always would listen. She showed me what a wonderful pure marriage should look like, with my wonderful dad Richard. She was an amazing daughter to Granny Dorothy, dropping everything when she was in need, showing me despite life's stresses and ‘over-importantised’ appointments; Love and family come first. She was an amazing sister to auntie Joy, always on the phone or in Bristol listening and aiding. She was the perfect mother.  I'm so incredibly grateful for every second I spent with her cuddling watching the Simpsons, or cooking delicious food, walking around the common and picking flowers and on girls’ trips to London laughing by the Thames, or swimming in the Mediterranean or reading our books in the sun. I just wish we all had more time but the time we had while she was well couldn't have been more perfect.

To my mum.


Hymn: ‘Make me a channel of your peace’


Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love;
where there is injury, your healing power,
and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace:
where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, only light,
and where there’s sadness, ever joy.

O, Spirit, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace:
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
in giving to all that we receive,
and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.



Address by Hannah Blacknell Gibbs

It is hard to choose what to say in a situation like this. I probably started planning what I would say six years ago, and I used to say things out loud to mum when I took her for walks, although she didn’t understand, or at least that’s what I told myself to explain when she didn’t find it funny.

I thought I’d describe some key things about her. She was very loving, quiet but organised. She liked animals, big views, nature, Rod Stewart. She was creative and kind. She had what she called a present box, which was a collection of things available at any time for Sarah or I to use for last minute birthday presents for our friends. She also, when she was ill, made years worth of cards, that some of you might remember receiving. So Sarah, dad and I, as well as our family and her dear friends, have birthday and Christmas cards until 2029.

She was never extravagant. She was subtle and gentle. She liked dressing well like an Italian. She liked matching jewellery, keeping tidy, and her kind example steered Sarah and me without forcing us, to be gracious and care about beauty. She felt very supported by some Christian Science beliefs; she was interested in Buddhism; she felt everything was connected.

She also had a great sense of mischief and cheekiness. For her 55th birthday celebrations the four of us were in Anguillara near where we used to live in Italy. We were walking down a jetty on the lake to a restaurant in the evening, and I had just rolled and lit a cigarette. She took the cigarette out of my hand, and initially I thought she was going to throw it in the lake, but then she looked closely at it. I said mum, “I thought you’ve given up smoking,” and she said “of course!” And then she took a long drag.

Mum was present in my life in two key ways. She was a source of comfort and consolation when I was sad. She was a model of kindness to me. I hope I can convey in my own life the generosity and genuine interest in people she showed. The second way, was when I helped look after her. In doing that she, without knowing it, taught me a new kind of kindness. When I took her for walks, helped her eat, washed her hair, and got her dressed, I learnt how to be kind in ways I never knew I could be kind. 

The main way she was present in my life was through her joy in life. She was happy and almost always smiling and laughing. I really enjoyed sharing time with her and my friends and many of you. Thank you to all of you here who helped make her life what it was. I hope she made you all happy because she made me so happy. I miss everything, the good and the bad. I miss taking care of her, but we will learn to have fun again. 

Thanks for everything mum.  


Hymn: ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise,
in deeper reverence praise.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace,
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm
O still, small voice of calm!


Address by Richard Gibbs

Some years ago, Amanda gave me a note that was headed, “If (& when!) it’s time for my funeral.....”She then put that she didn’t really like that word (funeral), “So could it be a celebration of life around here please?”


She added, “A few suggestions which might be helpful to whoever has to put it all together (Good luck to you!)”


So here we are.  To celebrate a wonderful life, which as we now know slipped gradually into oblivion over the last twelve years and came to a sad end a fortnight ago.  Yes, we are so very sad, but let us be glad that she is at rest now and let us be so very grateful for all the happiness and love she gave us in her (almost) seventy years.....


She wanted, “A nice picture of a smiley me” – well, I have trawled my collection - on my phone alone there are over ten thousand pictures of Amanda. And they are ALL SMILEY!  


And she wanted, “Lots of thanks for such lovely times, so much fun experienced, very dear lovely family (including furry members!) kind friends & colleagues throughout life.  Wonderful times in Italy & here!”


Then she wrote, “Dear family and those who [are here now], Try not to feel sad, but happy & grateful for all we’ve shared & learned together.....”


Amanda was born in Bristol on March 5th 1954, then was taken, with her sister, Joy, by their parents to Birmingham for a few years before returning to grow up in Bristol, where she attended the Red Maids School, with her dear friends Sal and Rache.  She went on to gain a Certificate of Education (for the age range 2 – 9 years) at Bishops Otter College in Chichester. 


I first met Amanda in 1978.  On June 19th, 1978, Roberto Sciò an Italian businessman, who had employed Amanda as nanny for three of his children, wrote her a reference.  “Through her steadiness and reliability, Amanda has given my children the security and confidence they need and has proven that she is absolutely capable of accepting complete responsibility for them with dedication.....”


“We have no hesitation whatsoever,” he concluded, “in recommending Amanda to anyone.....”


I completely endorse these words.  Our own children could not have had a better mother.  I could not have had a better wife.  So, as Amanda left us on the first of this month, I immediately forwarded Roberto’s reference to St Peter at the Pearly Gates, using express delivery, and have every confidence that she will have been admitted to the most deserved heaven without question.


One of my first memories of being with Amanda, was on a date in Rome.  I was struck by her natural charm and on that particular evening something she said struck me as being crystal clear, intelligent and enlightened.  It was an epiphany.  The sad thing, however, is that I have no idea what it was that she said.....  I have racked my brain for years, but all that remains is her smile.


Early in our relationship, her friend Hilary lent Amanda her car, and we sped up to Monte Amiata in Tuscany for a weekend by the fireplace in my friends’ David and Sarah’s house.  It was a perfect time, and over the years we returned to that enchanted place, in due course taking our two girls with us again and again.


Another magical time was when she had just returned from a holiday in the United States with her friends Hilary and Penny.  I was house-sitting a villa with a pool in Casal Palocco, and she came out to see me.  There was some kind of football match on, and then - as Italy won the World Cup - we drove back into Rome, with every car horn blaring and huge flags flying from the backs of Vespas.  It was joyous bedlam and we felt that the cheers, the happiness could have been just for us....


We loved Italy together, and especially Tuscany.  On a particular, warm evening in the Campo in Siena, having had dinner and wine, a strange feeling came over me, and I asked her if she would like to be married?  I wasn’t actually thinking of me, but for some reason she agreed....


So, in 1984, we married.  Then we spent a year back in Burton in Lonsdale as I took an MA.  Amanda, resourceful as ever, worked as a waitress in the Snooty Fox in Kirkby Lonsdale.  One night we drove our red Renault 4 to see a film in Kendal.  For some reason a police roadblock flagged us down in the dark and a young PC tapped on Amanda’s window. When he saw what a charming young signorina was driving, he blushed and apologised and waved her on....  Not realising that it was a left-hand drive car and I was actually at the wheel.....


And then there was the dancing.  She was nimble, and had such delight in moving to music.  Sadly, I am not graceful, and so there were times when she danced alone – to Madness, on the TV, to street musicians in the Forum in Rome, with complete strangers in a square in Tenerife or Almeria, or just spontaneously with her daughters.  I tried, but as ever she was too light and fresh for me.


Since her passing, we have had literally hundreds of messages of condolence and love.  Some have come from people she taught in Rome, many years ago now.  Some have come from boarders she cared for when we were at the Licensed Victuallers’ School in Ascot.  Some have come from colleagues of Amanda’s at the schools she taught at since our move to Harpenden.  Others from dear friends and family who cannot join us today.  It is so heart-warming (though also heart-breaking) to know that she was so loved.  Thanks to everyone who is here now and to those who are here in spirit.


And she also wrote; “Note that I will have moved on somewhere and look forward to seeing you all there some time.....”  and she concluded by quoting one of her favourite prayers, “Everlasting arms of love are beneath, around, above – God it is who bears us on. His, the arms we lean upon.  The joy that none can take away, is ours.  We walk with love today.”


Farewell, my lovely.  Rest in peace.  Ci vedremmo subito....



Support us, Lord,

all the day long of this troublous life,

until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,

the busy world is hushed,

the fever of life is over

and our work is done.

Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,

a holy rest, and peace at the last;

through Christ our Lord.




The Lord’s Prayer


Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
The power, and the glory, 
For ever and ever. 



We have entrusted our sister Amanda to God’s mercy,

and we now commit her body to be cremated:

earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust:

in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life

through the Lord Jesus Christ,

who will transform our frail bodies

that they may be conformed to his glorious body,

who died, was buried, and rose again for us.

To him be glory for ever.





Have I told you lately that I love you?’ – Rod Stewart 




After the funeral service we gathered in the Rose and Crown, Snettisham, for a reception in Amanda's memory.  It was a happy and very friendly occasion, with lots of local people who had not been able to come to the Crematorium joining us.

Final words


Thank you for coming and gathering here.  I apologise for the crush - to be honest I did not anticipate such a turnout, but Hannah, Sarah and I are very grateful for your love and support, and I know that Amanda herself would be delighted, and would dance with each of you.  We realise that not everyone met her, and certainly many will not have known her before the decline set in, especially those who have only encountered us since our move here, but in the early days in Snettisham, still locked down, Amanda loved our walks around the village, to the church, and beyond, and she, and I, were well cared for by many of you in differing ways.  


Thank you again, and let us raise a glass to her everlasting spirit.


And now, Hannah would like to read a short poem she has written:


And, if you will permit me, I would like to sing my last words.  This is a sweet little song by Johnny Cash, which I used to sing occasionally to and with Amanda when we were young.  

It is called, “I still miss someone.”


At my door the leaves are falling

A cold wild wind will come

Sweethearts walk by together

And I still miss someone.....

Hannah also prepared a Book of Remembrance, which everyone signed.

And, with many thanks to those who have already contributed to The National Brain Appeal in Amanda's memory (we have now reached over £5,000 which will go to assist research into rare dementias and to help people, like us, who have suffered) all were invited to add donations if they wish.  The link is:


1 February 2024

Amanda Jane Blacknell Gibbs

A nice picture of a smiley me.....

My little squirrel is snuggled up in her drey, safe in the arms of her god.  After a wonderful, though sadly not as long as we hoped, life, she has finally given in to the torments of dementia.

Around twelve years ago, during her menopause, Amanda suffered from an auto-immune infection and I later learned that this could well have triggered her dementia. Subsequently she began to have trouble with finding the names of things. It became frustrating and we consulted our GP, who referred her to EMDASS (Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service - Older People's Mental Health Services in Hertfordshire, where we lived at the time.)  

Amanda was visited at home and asked to complete a number of tests and then we were invited to see a doctor who specialised in ‘older people,’ (Amanda was then about 58).  He decided that Amanda was suffering from Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and prescribed donepezil for a year.  He told me that the problem I had, was that she might live for twenty years.....


I made a note that day, Friday 15th October, 2012.  

Diagnosis – Amanda has Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  She returns to work.  Later she says if she had not got her faith that she is being taken care of she would have been in tears all day.


I think we are both in shock.  The details are unimportant.  The fact is this is a ‘life sentence’ and may also affect the girls: their future health may be shadowed by this.


In 2014, although Amanda was still working as a Teaching Assistant in a Preparatory School, and was driving and, to all intents and purposes, living a normal life, it was clear that she was having serious problems with words and I was not convinced that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s.  The doctor referred her to a neurologist who arranged for her to have an MRI scan.  This showed asymmetric (left) temporal lobe atrophy with prominent inferior loss and relative preservation of the left superior temporal gyrus, in keeping with a diagnosis of Semantic Dementia.  Following this, and further exhausting testing, including a whole day at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, the doctor insisted that Amanda should discuss her diagnosis with her Headmistress.


Prior to that meeting in November 2014, Amanda made a few notes which she gave to me at the time:


·      I have recently had to have a Head Scan at the Hospital and then some further testing.  I have recently been told that my left side is a little bit narrow! And I have been told I have ‘semantic dementia.’

·      I feel very well!

·  I did complete my First Aid Course Training!

·      I have no illness or difficulty.

·    I read Bible lessons every day and know that God is with us all the time!

·     I do take some medication (Donepezil) but I have no problems and am very happy to be continuing working here as a T.A. and doing Pre-Prep After School Care.

·   I did mention that I thought I would be retiring at the end of the year, which I will then do.


Amanda continued working at the school until the summer of 2015, when, reluctantly (she would have no pension for some years, and she loved her work and her colleagues and the children) she took early retirement.


Amanda built up a series of pictorial aides.  She cut pictures from magazines and papers and stuck them on sheets of A4 paper, organised into logical groups.  So, for example, she had pages of farm animals, then pages of wild animals, then of birds.  She had pictures of her friends, with their families and details, to remind her if they called.  She had favourite foods so that she could interpret menus in restaurants.  And then she had maps of where we had been on holidays, so that if someone came to see her, she could get out the map and show pictures of places.

In addition to this, she began meticulously labelling items around her – her bedside clock, for example, had a little label saying “clock” stuck on the back.  She had made explanatory cards, which showed her what the things in the bathroom were for: for example, “Passion body spray – in summer times I have to add, to clean this up, to keep it well,” with a little drawing of a girl with her arms uplifted; an interdental brush has the label, “This is useful for my teeth!” and one sheet is headed, “Things to take abroad!” and has neat little sketches accompanied by notes.  One picture is a self-portrait with an arrow indicating “This is my eyebrows (and I clear these things each day!)”  

A doctor at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London monitored Amanda.  We went to see him every six months at his Cognitive Disorders Clinic and then in 2017, in the autumn, following repeated advice from that doctor, Amanda had an assessment of her driving.  That year she was deemed to be safe on the road and so kept her licence, and the independence this accorded her.  She had been driving for forty-five years and she loved her little car but in November 2018 she had to be reassessed and this time the assessors had to take her licence.  Amanda could not grasp this and for perhaps the first time in our married life I found her becoming emotionally upset.


She became convinced she could buy another car, and she would get me to take her to car dealers, carrying a bag containing several hundred pounds cash and once she got herself to a Jaguar Salesroom and the concerned staff called the police to bring her home.


On October 14th 2019, we saw another doctor in the London clinic, who reported that Amanda:

remains in good health and positive spirits.

However, she has very little comprehension now and [her] verbal output is limited to stock phrases.


Overall, it is clear that things are progressing slowly.  This is naturally stressful; however, Mr Gibbs and the family are obviously supporting [her] very well......


In many ways, our life could have been worse. Amanda needed attention, and was no longer able to cook, but she could dress herself and could take herself to the toilet and, providing I monitored the temperature, have a bath.  She watched television, and we still went swimming twice a week and I would take her for a country walk every morning, rain or shine.  I managed to employ agency carers who gave me a little respite.  It wasn’t as I had hoped our retirements would be, but it could have been much worse.  

Then came the pandemic and the world (with one or two exceptions) shut down.  We could no longer have visits from friends or relatives and for someone like Amanda this was crushing.  The swimming pool had to close – and she couldn’t comprehend it.  In addition, she could no longer attend her beloved church on Sundays. We were locked down, locked in, isolated, and, to a certain extent, frightened. Amanda couldn’t amuse herself by reading, for example, though one thing she did like doing, as an ex-primary teacher, was cutting and pasting, and she would spend hours with her glue sticks and coloured pens, scissors and cards.  I discovered later that she had made cards for Christmas and Birthdays for all her friends and family, neatly packed in envelopes and then in plastic wallets and then in boxes, labelled Christmas (or Birthdays) 2020, and 2021, and 2022.....  all the way up to 2029!

For various reasons, one of which was the need to have more space for family and carers to stay with us, I arranged to move, and in January 2021, just before my seventieth birthday, with the pandemic still keeping things closed, we moved to Snettisham, a village in Norfolk. 


Amanda was very confused, and for what seemed an eternity she wouldn’t settle.  She had her bag with her precious things (glasses, iPad, phone and wallet) and she sat at the foot of the stairs with her coat on, sporadically getting up to try the door.  


I fairly soon managed to engage some help from agency carers to give me a little time to devote to sorting the house out.  But Amanda was not settling and we had to resort to diazepam, which was a mistake, as it caused her to have a horrendous accident in her bathroom.  Medical intervention changed diazepam to lorazepam to help calm her, and then another doctor prescribed memantine.  Fortunately I was able to employ two independent carers as well as the agency staff, which helped enormously.


By November Amanda had become doubly incontinent and was in need of constant supervision.  She could no longer communicate, and she was getting up in the night and sometimes falling.  A doctor managed to prescribe her melatonin, which did help, but then the prescription was disallowed as NICE had not licensed it (although I did manage to get it legally from America, Australia and Italy).


I began to look into Care Homes while trying to look after her at home.  On May 21st 2022 I noted in my diary:  

Memantine, risperidone and zopiclone with supper then to bed by 6.30.  Reappeared at 7.00 ish so gave her a drink with a second zopiclone.  Changed pants and put her back to bed......  Half an hour later going downstairs again (unsteady).  Gave her water and helped her back to bed (very unsteady).  Then ok til 4.37 am, down for water, changed pants.  Then up again at 5.13 – made it back upstairs unaided.  7.30 am fell getting out of bed.


Reluctantly, in September 2022, I arranged for Amanda to become a resident of a nearby Care Home.  I felt horribly guilty for letting Amanda go, but, as friends and experts advised me, I needed to try and reclaim a little of my own life, while that lasted.  


Over a year later, we had our routines and I was still taking her out in the car, but she could no longer walk, nor talk, nor feed herself and she was often very sleepy.  I lift her into a wheelchair and we take fresh air, but otherwise she is simply wheeled from bed to breakfast to the lounge to lunch to the lounge to supper to bed.  She is cared for and cleaned but it’s not great....


I have a sheet of A4 paper covered in Amanda’s neat handwriting in black ink.  It is undated, but I know she wrote it many years ago.  She has put her initials in the margin – AJBG and written beside that “ABeeGee!”  


If (& when!) it’s time for my funeral don’t really like that word so could it be a celebration of life around here please, there are a few suggestions which might be helpful to whoever has to put it all together (Good luck to you!!)


A nice picture of a smiley me would be good.

Lots of thanks for such lovely times, so much fun experienced, very dear loving family (including furry members) & very kind friends & colleagues throughout life.  Wonderful times in Italy & here!





Note that I will have moved on somewhere & look forward to seeing you all there at some time later!


(Dear family....)  Try not to feel sad, but happy & grateful for all we’ve shared & learned together & know that God is always guiding & taking care of everyone & showing everyone where to go at the right time & sending love


Everlasting arms of love are beneath, around, above

God it is who bears us on, His, the arms we lean upon

The joy that none can take away, is ours.  We walk with love today.


Some nice happy hymns/songs


Lovely Italian music at the start – don’t like coffins coming in in silence, and also at the end.


The lord’s prayer somewhere.


Whatever else suits you.


Try to make it a good, happy, warm, time for support for those who might need it.


In loving memory of my dear wife

Amanda Jane Blacknell Gibbs

March 5th 1954 


February 1st 2024