Image of tin can with fruit

Whether they are fruits of the forest, Or fruits from a tin. However, we know that we like what’s within. Maybe you prefer to call all these fruits canned. Whatever, there is fresh fruit there? And it can all be drawn by hand.


Regional News

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” wrote George Gershwin.. But I’m not sure your LocSecs agree as they have been busy putting together a range of activities for you! Including a mini-weekend of events in Notts/Leics/Derbys from 5th-7th August featuring sheep racing, pub socials, train rides, buffet meals, cable cars, caves and much more! See the appropriate sections in this issue of Empress for full details and contact the host (either myself or Paul) to book your place. All welcome on any or all events.

We have a steady flow of bookings for our 1940s evening on Saturday 1st October and you can find full details on both the main Mensa and our regional website. Paul and I are also putting together some daytime events on the Saturday and Sunday to entertain those travelling from further afield or staying overnight at the Radisson Blu Hotel near East Midlands Airport. So why not join us to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Mensa on the actual day? You are most welcome to bring non-member guests to this special event featuring a 1940s themed dinner, big band, wartime singer and disco.

Don’t forget the British Mensa Annual Gathering taking place in London 23rd-26th September too. See for programme/booking form.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Hi and welcome to the August edition of Empress. This is my third, and last issue for three months, when Maria takes over again. We continue our theme of ‘creativity’ this month. ‘Keep it fresh’ is our subtitle. Once you have decided on your creativity, keep up to date with it. In a very short time things can ‘date’.

Remember, it is the way you present things that can become ‘out of date’, yes the digital age is well with us, but use it to ‘display’ things rather than ‘instead’ of. Drawings, paintings etc. are your creations and you should keep them that way. Keeping everything up to date keeps you ahead. Your creations are one-offs and unique to you, be proud of them. I, and many of my generation have ‘embraced’ the digital age, it is where we are at now! However we remember where we came from. Ccomputers were not invented when we were young.

.And finally ‘Guard your Work’. Your work is unique, look after it, and keep your originals in a safe place. We all like to show people what we can do, and I did take a drawing pad abroad with me once, but it was a fairly new one, and I have not done it since. However I have scanned my drawings and keep copies on my Kindle Fire. They are un-retouched scans and include the coil bindings and are obvious that they are from my drawing pad. Keep on creating, see you in December.

I was going to tell you about my blunt pencil, then I realised it was pointless

Richard Dimmock

Feedback (Thank you)

Well I did ask the question ‘What ‘do you think?’

Your answers came back to me via my personal email, and yes you liked what you saw in the June and July issues. There were a few ‘negatives’, but the positives far outweighed them.

It is generally expected that we do not get feedback. So firstly, thank you for reading Empress and secondly, thank you for taking time to give feedback.

Member Profile

Events and Meetings

In the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, the expectation is that all events listed here are likely to be 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.
photo of Christine Howells

Lively Lincs

On Sat 13th Aug at 12:05pm - Pub discussion

Meet at 'Adam and Eve' on Lindum Hill, hopefully, in the garden, otherwise in the alcove. Discussion on, "Which prisoners, if any, should be denied the right to vote?" starts at around 12.30, food available, free parking.

On Tue 23rd Aug at 19:00pm - Eating meeting

We're returning to Wagamama on Brayford Pool, hopefully to sit outside. All welcome but please book with me by 18th if possible, thanks.

Christine Howells

Contact [Email] for details

Derby Diary

On Sun 7th Aug at 10:30am - Heights Of Abraham visit

Continuing our “H” events on Sunday 7th we’re visiting the Heights Of Abraham in Matlock. We’ll get a discounted rate of £12.00 adult, £9.00 senior and £8.40 child. The price includes a ride on the cable car, two cavern tours, film show and exhibition, Victoria Prospect Tower, adventure playground, woodland trails plus stunning views over the Derbyshire countryside. (Yes, it’s strange to go up on a cable car to go down a cave!) Bring a picnic if the weather is nice or opt to lunch in one of their eateries. Further info at We will meet at the base of the cable cars at 10.30am. I will need to confirm numbers by 1st August so book with me but pay on the day.

On Wed 17th Aug at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

As always we’ll be at the Standing Order on the “3rd Wednesday” which falls on 17th this month. Find us in the rear section of the pub on Irongate with a yellow Mblem on display and lots of happy faces around it! There is usually a good turnout at this event. You are welcome to come any time from 7.30pm until late for food and/or drink.

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 4th Aug at 8:00pm - FThOTM

As ever, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth. Thursday nights are curry nights but other food (standard Wetherspoons' fare) is also available for you. Leys Avenue is the main shopping street in Letchworth and is a few minutes' walk from the station (Kings Cross to Cambridge line). Call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement

On Fri 26th Aug at 8:00pm - LFOTM

.Last Friday is at our usual venue of the Cowper Arms, Digswell. The pub is next to Welwyn North station and is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Peterborough and Cambridge. Good food, beer and conversation guaranteed! Please call me on [Phone Number] for more details and encouragement

Richard Allen

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

More or Leicester

On Sat 6th Aug at All Day - H is for...Holidays

There’s nothing better than an English summer weekend, and there’s nothing better-y better than a MENSA English summer weekend (other nationalities are available). We’ve got a whole weekend of East Midlands fun in August, and the Leicester bit on the 6th is to re-create the first-ever package tour arranged by Thomas Cook to a temperance meeting in Loughborough from Leicester (only we’ll do it Mensastyle and go to the pub instead!). The price is just £20 which includes all-day travel on the Great Central Railway, your first drink in the pub and your authentic (ish! It depends on my Photoshop skills) ticket booklet posted out to you. Bookings (by Jul 23rd) / info / etc. please contact me as above.

On Mon 22nd Aug at 8:00pm - FMOTM

The title “Earl of Stamford” was created in 1628, so it makes sense to meet three and a half hours later at The Stamford Arms in Groby for our 4th Monday doo-dah wotsit.

On Tue 30th Aug at 7:30pm - Eating meeting

Finally, we’re off to Ashby-de-la-Zouch for a meal-de-la-Chinese on the 30th at 7:30 as Pen Penny is hosting a gathering at Wong Kwei (wonky?) on Bath Street. Please contact Pen on [Phone Number] or [Email] to book your place by 26th August.

Paul Coulson

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Sun 14th Aug at 3:00pm - T@3

On Sunday 14th August, forget the diet and join us at 3pm at Church House, Hughenden, HP14 4LA for one of their famous teas. A good choice of home made cakes, full cream teas, toasted tea cakes or delicious local ice cream is available. Church House is easy to find – just take the turn for Hughenden Manor (NT), park at the bottom of the hill and walk up through the churchyard and past the church. The tea rooms are in Church House which is just outside the gate at the top of the churchyard. Look for me inside at 3pm. For more details contact me as above.

On Mon 15th Aug at 8:00pm - Indoor Games

Enthusiastic games players Dave and Alison invite you to their home in Flackwell Heath for an evening of indoor games – possibilities available include Boggle, Enigma, Sherlock Holmes, Mid-Life Crisis and many others. Arrive for an 8pm start on Monday 15th August. Space is limited, so could you please contact Dave on [Email] or [Phone Number] for directions and to let him know which games you would like to play.

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Fri 5th Aug at 8:00pm - 5OTM

Our “5th of the month” event will feature sheep racing! Come along to the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road from 8pm on Friday 5th, place your bets (£2.50 will get you a wad of sheepy money with the real money going to Cancer Research UK), then watch as six battery operated sheep in racing silks stagger and bleat their way to the finish line! Hilarity guaranteed! Prize for the winner with the most sheepy money at the end of six races. We’ll be in the Goldings Room to the left of the baa!

On Thu 11th Aug at 7:30pm - natter & nosh

Our “natter & nosh” event has changed venue to The Cadland on High Road in Chilwell. Join us from 7.30pm on Thursday 11th for a meal or later for just a drink. We’ve reserved tables 22/23/24 which are at the far end of the bar from the car park entrance. Menu at Please see the Leicester section for details of this month’s “eating meeting” in Ashby De La Zouch on Tuesday 30th.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

New for Northampton

On Sun 14th Aug at 10:30am - Brunch

Come and join us at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop in Market Walk, Northampton Town Centre at 10.30 a.m. on 14 August for a drink, breakfast or full brunch. Bring a joke with you if you can (but this is NOT compulsory!). Contact Marianne on [Phone Number] or email: [Email] if you need additional encouragement.

Paul Coulson

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Sat 13th Aug at 10.30am - Bedford Bridges walk

On Saturday 13th we’ll be doing part of the Bedford Bridges walk, starting in the town centre and taking in the various bridges along the Embankment and back. Meet outside the Swan Hotel in the High St at 10.30am. Please let us know if you’re planning to come so we can look out for you.

On Mon 15th Aug at 8.30pm - 3MOTM Quiz

Our monthly visit to the Barge in Woolstone for the quiz is on Monday 15th. Meet from 8.30 - the quiz starts at 9pm and costs £1 per person. Please let me know beforehand if you’re coming so I can bag a large enough table.

On Mon 21st Aug at 10:00am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast will be on 21st at 10am at Carluccio’s in the Centre:MK. You will probably find us in one of the red booths just in front of the restaurant. Come for a full breakfast, a snack, or for just a drink.

Just a reminder about our M-MK & Bedford Facebook group – if you would like to join please search for the group and send me a request. I also keep an email distribution list for meeting reminders and any last-minute changes, so if you would like to be added to this please let me know.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at one or other of our events in August. Do remember that you’re welcome to bring a guest with you, so if you’ve never been to a Mensa event and are a little nervous about coming along on your own, just bring a friend.

Jo Sidebottom

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] / [Mobile Number] for details

20 Questions (No. 178)

Now Euro 2016 and the EU referendum are over, how much have you learned about our continent? Send your answers to arrive by 20th August to ‘20 Questions (No. 178)’, [Address] or [Email] remembering to include your name and address so we know where to send the prize of a £10 national book token.

1. Which country is home to the largest number of 51 UNESCO world heritage sites?

2. The region of Transylvania is part of which country?

3. Which country produced a Barbie doll modelled on their leading politician?

4. Whose flag has horizontal stripes with white on top, blue in middle and red at bottom?

5. In which country do the words po and jo mean yes and no in English?

6. The Rubik’s cube was invented in which country?

7. Which is the only country to have a musical instrument as its national symbol?

8. Which country’s capital was voted the world’s most liveable city for 7 years running?

9. Locals in which country eat a grape on each chime at midnight on New Year’s Eve?

10. The Palace Of Culture And Science is the tallest building in which country?

11. Which was the most visited country in the world in 2015?

12. Which country is home to the Large Hadron Collider?

13. The Sedlec Ossuary is a UNESCO world heritage site in which country?

14. Which was the 28th country to join the EU in July 2013?

15. Tulips originated in which country?

16. Which country has the longest bridge in Europe?

17. The founder of the Nobel prizes was born in which country?

18. Moules-frites is the national dish of which country?

19. In 2009 which country closed down all branches of fast food chain McDonald’s?

20. hich country won the Eurovision Song Contest 2016?