Regional Rove 2006 Review

Following the success of last year's regional rove it was decided to hold a similar event this year, only this time we did things the other way round, so instead of going from north to south we started in Letchworth on the Friday and ended in Nottingham on the Monday.

Picture of the group enjoying a well earned rest in the pub.

Richard kicked things off by hosting a party at his home on the Friday evening. One or two of us, like Ursula from Coventry, had travelled a fair way to get there. Richard had provided some special 'proper' English cider from the Biddenden estate in Kent, which I sampled, and a member brought along a cake made in the shape of a locomotive (appropriate, as Richard is a self-confessed transport fanatic, see pictures of him cutting the cake).

On Saturday five of us, Ursula, Gwen, Richard, myself and Alex Bell from St Albans braved the awful weather and went on a walk near Ayot St Lawrence. The original intention had been to visit George Bernard Shaw's house in the afternoon, but the weather was so bad that we decided to have lunch in the Brocket Arms, a very charming Tudor pub and get back and dry ourselves for the trip to Milton Keynes that evening. (The village is part of the Brocket estate; yes, it is the same Lord Brocket who featured in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!)

Jo and Chris hosted the Milton Keynes section of the event. On Saturday evening there was another party with games (Connections and Cluedo) thrown in, on Sunday we took in the (in)famous concrete cows and then went to Airkix where several of us tried body flying.

Body flying is for the adrenalin seeker. Having put on a flight suit, goggles, helmet and ear plugs (having nearly all your ability to detect sound taken away is interesting) you enter the flight chamber and wait your turn for two one-minute sessions. Fans are started and you step into an air column which takes you clean off your feet and more or less forces your body into the flying position. Your first thoughts are 'am I going to be able to breathe?', the wind is that strong. When you discover you can, you realise how stiff your arms and hips are becoming with the effort of holding the flying position and with the force of the air against them. Some managed to crash into the chamber walls, one rocketed well up the chamber, but everyone agreed they were glad they'd done it.

After lunch at Nando's we drove to Leicester and visited the Eco House. I was impressed at the amount of audio material available and the staff seemed enthusiastic and knowledgeable but feelings were mixed; while some of what you learn about ecological kitchens, carpets and toilets is within the reach of most people, the cost of solar panels led Richard and myself to conclude that it wasn't too surprising that people weren't as ecological as the more determined activist might like. Richard and I then drove to Hinckley rail station (not part of the Rove!!!), where he snapped a soon-to-be-replaced mechanical signal box in action (due to be replaced by power signalling in a very short time). History caught in the making!

On Sunday evening we hit Langley Mill for the third party in as many evenings. There was a quiz where we had to guess the price and country of origin of five wines. I got three prices right. A lot of the conversation was taken up with the pros and cons of internet dating (I'm going through an anti stage), which was interesting for me as Singles SIG Sec to listen to.

Guy Whitehouse

Picture of Richard Allen with his railway engine shaped cake.

I would like to thank Maxine for suggesting the event and organising a very interesting wine tasting evening at her house on the Sunday night; I did one better than Guy and got four questions right (out of a maximum of ten!). Also for her hospitality, even if I did liven up the proceedings the following morning by falling down the stairs (fortunately with no harm except to my ego!).

On the Monday morning, Maxine had organised a treasure hunt in Nottingham city centre but seriously over-estimated how long it would take us to do it; Jonathan Mole and I came second having completed it in about 50 minutes and we were narrowly beaten by Ian Sargent, who did it in less than 40! The consequence was that many of us got to Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem before Maxine did!! The Rove was ceremonially ended by a very enjoyable lunch and (in my case) tram ride, before hitting the M1 back south to God's own county of Hertford.

Thanks to everyone who organised and participated; it was a great weekend and see you all again next year?

Richard Allen

Regional News

This month we're hosting a 'family fun day' at the American Adventure theme park in Derbyshire (easy access from M1 J26) on Sunday 13th August. This is aimed at Mensans with children who might usually be unable to attend our social events. Though adults without children are just as welcome! Get wet on the river rapids, experience the 4D motion master, ride the twin loop coaster, fly on Europe's tallest Skycoaster (additional charge), see wild west shows and more. Scooby Doo and Wallace & Gromit will also be in attendance that day! Group discount is £9.50 per adult or £4.99 per child under 1.04 metres if booked with me by 29th July.

At the time of writing the Mensa office had received nearly 400 registrations for the Diamond gathering. This takes place Thursday 28th September to Monday 2nd October 2006 based at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham city centre with activities throughout the county. Several events are sold out so if you intend joining in the fun please check availability via www.mensa.org.uk/diamond if possible. Accommodation options for all budgets are also listed on the web site or contact me.

If you would like to be involved with our 60th anniversary celebrations we are seeking members to 'meet and greet' at various events throughout the five days. We will also be raising money for RNIB Talking Books by selling charity 'AG Mags', staging a sheep racing event at the icebreaker and holding a raffle. For the latter we are looking for unused unwanted gifts. If you can donate goods please contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email]. Thank you!

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer

20 Questions (No. 59)

The answers to the archeological quiz set by Tara Morgan were Anthropology, Artifact, Daub, Sherds, Radiocarbon dating, Strata, Mummy, Excavation, Amphora, Ring ditch, Tony Robinson, Dendrochronology, Samian ware, Stonehenge, Basilica, Iron age, Knapping, Amphitheatre, Hypocaust and Tesserae. Thanks to Andy Cole of Cleethorpes, Michael Warren of Derby, Roger Plant of Nottingham, Squirrel of Enfield and Richard Pecout of Hertfordshire for entering. The winner of the Diamond logo mug was Andy.

This month we have anagrams of holiday destinations. Solve them and send your answers to '20 Questions (No. 59)', [Address] to arrive by 20th August.

1. ORCA JAM

2. MINOR BED

3. ABBA'S ROD

4. OLD FAIR

5. SPRUCY

6. ALL CROWN

7. DAME AIR

8. UK TYRE

9. SLY LEECHES

10. FINE LOAMS

11. HAT OF ICARUS

12. ALAN WED ZEN

13. SMART DAME

14. BUXOM GLUER

15. CANAL ROBE

16. ACORN MOTEL

17. OPAL BLOCK

18. DINER'S WALTZ

19. SPA REGION

20. ABUSE TENOR

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all non-online events listed here are susceptible to being cancelled, if not already marked as such. If you intend participating in any event listed here, please contact the event organiser beforehand to confirm that the event is still on.

Notts News

On Sat 5th Aug at 8:00pm - 5OTM/New Members

As this month's get together at the Vat & Fiddle falls on Saturday 5th we're combining it with a new members evening. If you are new or have never attended one of our fun social events do pop along to the pub from 8.00 pm to find out more about the benefits of Mensa membership. The venue is on Queensbridge Road which is near the railway station, Broad Marsh bus station and has free parking right outside. Look for the yellow Mblem on the table or call me on [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement to come along.

On Wed 9th Aug at 7:00pm - Chicks & Flicks

Meet us at 7.00 pm prompt on Wednesday 9th inside the doors to the Cornerhouse complex in the city centre. From there we'll decide which film to watch at Cineworld and buy tickets before dining at nearby Nando's chicken restaurant. At the June event we split into three groups in order to cater for everyone's film preference! There's 10% discount at the restaurant and 2-4-1 cinema tickets. Contact Andy on [Phone Number] to find out how!

On Fri 18th Aug at 7:00pm - Greyhound Racing

On Friday 18th it's our annual trip to Colwick greyhound stadium. £10 gains you admission, race card, £2 worth of tote bets, two drinks (Carling, Reef or J20) and pie and pea supper. Always a fun night out even if we don't win! Please book with me before 4th August. Under 18s are welcome but can't partake in the group deal. Sorry!

On Tue 29th Aug at 7:30pm - Postcode Pubcrawl

Our "Postcode Pubcrawl" event on Tuesday 29th takes us to NG11 and The Crusader on Hartness Road in Clifton. Join us at 7.30 pm for a meal or later for their bingo night! The venue belongs to Hardys & Hansons so has a wide variety of dishes on their menu. Find us in the non-smoking section.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Peak District

On Sun 20th Aug at 10:30am - Curbar to 'Colditz'

Join me for an easy 7 mile walk starting at Curbar Gap car park (SK263747) and taking in Curbar Edge, Froggatt Edge and part of the Dervent Valley Heritage Way. Also on the route is Calver Mill, which doubled as Colditz castle in the TV series "Colditz" from the Seventies. Good walking footwear recommended, as usual. Pubs at Grindleford and Curbar. Call [Phone Number] or email [Email] for details.

Mark Sloan

Lincoln

On Tue 22nd Aug at 7:30pm - Chinese and Chat

Join us for a chinese meal at the Beijing Palace, Spilsby which has been recommended by local members. Please telephone Jacquie on [Phone Number] by 12th August to book or for more details. Everyone very welcome.

Jacquie Harrison

Derbyshire

On Wed 16th Aug at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

Our regular third Wednesday meeting at the Standing Order on Irongate in Derby city centre. Hot and cold food and cheap drinks. More info on [Phone Number] or [Email]

On Thu 24th Aug at 8:00pm - Around Derby Meeting

The annual visit to Ashbourne will be in Boswell's Bar at The Green Man in the middle of Ashbourne this year. Last time I went there the food looked great but I didn't try it so I'll not make the samemistake this time. More info on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Bernard Briggs

Leicestershire

On Sat 12th Aug at 7:00pm - Pub Meeting

Join us for a meal and/or drinks at The Red Cow on Hinckley Road in Leicester Forest East. Ample car parking is available. We will be sat to the left of the bar. Look for the magazine on the table. New members welcome! Email [Email] or phone [Phone Number] for directions.

Rebecca Mawby

Northants NNotes

On Thu 3rd Aug at 9:00pm - Pub

For one month only our 2nd Thursday meeting at the Dusty Fox in Harlestone moves to the 1st Thursday, so don't get caught out by the date change. If you've been away why not bring along your holiday snaps so that the rest of us can see what you've been up to (the sillier the better).

On Thu 31st Aug at 8:00pm - Roadshow

The Roadshow goes back to Kettering for the last day of August. If you should find yourself in the vicinity make your way to Meadow Road and join the rest of us in the Lounge of the Talbot Inn.

The Mensa Mag will mark our presence at both meetings, First time visitors can contact me for further information on [Phone Number] or [Email].

Ian Sargent

MK & Bedford

On Thu 3rd Aug at 8:00pm - FTh: Movable Feast

Continuing our First Thursday Eating Meetings, at Chiquito's Mexican restaurant in Midsummer Boulevard. See www.chiquito.co.uk for menu. Booking essential by Tuesday 1st - contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/ encouragement.

On Sun 6th Aug at 8:00pm - Jools Holland

We're planning to go and see Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra in Bedford Park - gates open/optional picnic 6 pm, concert starts at 8. See http://www.easternbreeze.co.uk/events.asp?EventId=12 to book yourself a ticket, then let us know if you fancy going in a group. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number].

On Wed 16th Aug at 8:00pm - 3WOTM

Join us at Wetherspoon's in Midsummer Boulevard, CMK (the one next to Chiquito's, NOT the Secklow Hundred). Look for Mblem, probably in non-smoking area left of entrance. Contact Jo for directions / encouragement, [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number].

Jo Sidebottom & Chris Lonsbrough

Hertfordshire

On Thu 3th Aug at 8:00pm - FThOTM

Regular first Thursday of the month meeting at the Old Bull, High Street, Royston. Good food and good beer both available! Call Dan on [Phone Number] or Richard on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement. The pub is about ten minutes' walk from the railway station and is also handy for local bus routes.

Dan Ormsby

On Wed 9th Aug at 8:30pm - Pub quiz

We've been competing at the monthly quiz at the Plume of Feathers, Little Wymondley, fairly regularly (and doing pretty well so far - we've never finished worse than second!), so why not come and join the fun? Food also available. The pub is in Little Wymondley village and is served by bus 101 (Luton - Hitchin - Stevenage). Ring Helen on [Phone Number] or Richard on [Phone Number] for further details and encouragement!

On Sun 20th Aug at 1:00pm - Pub lunch and Shaw's Corner.

Join us for a pub lunch at the Brocket Arms in Ayot St Lawrence followed by a visit to Shaw's Corner (former home of George Bernard Shaw, now owned by the National Trust). The village is not served by public transport; the nearest stations are Harpenden and Welwyn North and I can arrange lifts if necessary. Ring me on [Phone Number] for details and encouragement.

On Fri 25th Aug at 7:30pm - LFOTM

Join us in the lounge of the White Horse in Hertingfordbury to chill out at the end of the month. The mag will be on the table. Ring Gwen on [Phone Number] or Richard on [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement. The hotel is about 20 minutes'walk from Hertford North station or alternatively bus 724 (Harlow - Hertford - Hatfield) stops outside. Meals are available. We are considering changing the location of our venue to somewhere more easily reached by public transport, so if you have any suggestions, please do come along.

Richard Allen

On Every Friday at Evening - Cinema

I go to the cinema (Cineworld) in Stevenage Leisure Park (16 screen) on Friday evenings; if you wish to join me please call me on [Phone Number] or [Phone Number]. There is usually plenty of choice! Stevenage Leisure Centre is next to Stevenage station, which is also served by local bus services.

Helen Rees

High Wycombe & Amersham

On Thu 10th Aug at 8:00pm - Mexican Restaurant

Join me for some Mexican cuisine at La Haceenda at 15 Frogmoor in High Wycombe. Call Alistair on [Phone Number] to reserve your seat or email [Email]

As I write this I have just returned from my holidays and only just caught the publication deadline. Accordingly I have only arranged one event for August.

As usual this is an eating meeting and I would ask that anyone wishing to attend lets me know by Fri 9 Aug. Attendances have been rising of late and it is helpful to know how many people are attending.

Looking ahead I am thinking of organising a river boat cruise on the Thames in September. This is in its early stages of planning but is likely to be on a Saturday. The 16th is the date I have in mind. A meal may follow the trip. This is still very tentative and may require liaison with Mensa colleagues in the Central Region. It would be useful to know if anyone would be interested in attending such an event. As always any suggestions for future events are always welcome.

Alistair Blackett

Berkhamsted

On Wed 30th Aug at 7:45pm - LWOTM

Do come and chat, drink, or eat and be merry. We hope to meet sitting in the garden at The White Horse Pub Bourne End, on the Hemel Hempstead Road (the old A41) half way between Hemel and Berkhamsted.

Jenny Habib

Oasis Weekend 1st-4th December 2006

A weekend of partying, walking, sightseeing, dining, activities and relaxation at the CenterParcs village near Penrith in the Lake District. Do as little or as much as you wish!

Cost of £85 per place (if booked by 31st August 2006) includes three nights accommodation in a wooden lodge in the forest, unlimited access to the water dome, programme of events, three buffet meals and three parties with free bar!

Further details from www.mensaatoasis.co.uk or the organisers Maxine Bates and Andy Farrell on [Phone Number].

Non-member family and friends very welcome!

Meet Rosalie ...

Picture of Rosalie Boswell-Dorrn

Rosalie Boswell-Dorrn originates from Florida and now lives in Derby. She is married to Patrick, a retired engineer from Rolls Royce.

When did you join Mensa?
I'm not sure when I joined Mensa. It was in America and probably about 1975.
Why did you join?
To see if I could pass the test. I was amazed when I did.
Do you belong to any SIGs?
I subscribe to Astrosig, Mystics and Scientists, Genealogy, Lingua, Super Natural and Travel SIGs.
Have you attended any events?
I have attended a few events. Dinner at the Houses of Parliament, Mensa at Malvern, a weekend at CenterParcs, the '3rd Wednesday of the month'at the Standing Order in Derby and some meals together with other members in Derby. I have lived in Derby since 1982 but because I was working for the American Air Force in Huntingdon I really had little or no opportunity to participate in any of the events. It is nearly 100 miles from Derby and I drove there every weekday and then drove back to Derby.
Do you have any hobbies/interests?
I have been studying Classical Greek for some time now and hope to get a Masters Degree in the subject. I'm a member of various organisations, e.g. Friends of the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby Civic Society, Scottish and Burns Society, Member of St Mary's Catholic Church and the English Speaking Union. I am a Fulbright Scholar and hold a Masters Degree in Biology from an affiliate of Harvard.

Spotlight On... Collector

There are about 60 members in the group which has been running for about five years now. I took over as Secretary about two years ago when the previous Secretary had serious health problems.

Communication is by a quarterly newsletter in March, June, September and December. This is made up of contributions from various members giving anything from details about the latest addition to their collection, to some of the stories behind items in their collection to historical backgrounds to manufacturers.

Some of the subjects collected are postcards (by the thousands), stamps, squirrel related items, buses, printed items like money and magazines, Citroen 2CV mementoes, crystal, keys, eyebaths and words. I myself collect anything Volkswagen, toys, models, brochures, etc. You name it we probably have someone who collects it.

General discussions often include topics about where to store our latest acquisitions and how to keep peace with the stressed out family members who despair at our hoarding. It has been mentioned about having members meetings but due to the widespread locations of members has never really taken off. Some members live in France and Germany.

Contributions to the magazine are always accepted but are not compulsory although if nobody sends any articles it could be a bit boring! Contact Mark Johnson, [Address] or email [Email]

Editorial

One of the great intellectual challenges of our time is solving the challenge of navigating from the home page of the British Mensa web site to any given regional web site.

Nevertheless, in keeping with the other regions, the East Midlands has its own site and, in fact, has a goodly amount of content on it. Maintained in recent times by Mark Graves, responsibility for it was recently passed on to me, and naturally I thought that a revamp was in order, to place my stamp upon it.

Essentially, I wanted to change the web site to give it a new look and make it easier and quicker to navigate around. In particular, I wanted to exploit the nature of hypertext to allow events to be found easily and quickly regardless of whether the visitor to the site wanted to search by date or by location.

Another goal was to ensure that the site looked and behaved the same regardless of which modern graphical browser the visitor preferred to use, but to do so without compromising the page look that I wanted. At the same time, I believe that you should be able to use whatever browser you prefer to access the web, so in keeping with the principles of web accessibility, the pages "degrade gracefully" on older and less featured browsers, meaning that the site should continue to work with such browsers but may have a poorer look and feel.

Behind the scenes, a content management system allows quite complex web pages to be constructed and maintained easily, whilst ensuring that every page on the site looks and feels the same.

Please take a look around the site, which can be accessed via http://www.mensa.org.uk/eastmids. Click on the link about halfway down the page or wait 30 seconds to be taken into the east mids site. Then let me know what you think. Likes, dislikes, whether I've succeeded in my goals above, all feedback is welcome.

Nick Stimpson