A laden cake stand, plus tea cup and saucer, jug, sugar bowl, and vase with flowers.

Tea & Talks

1pm to 6pm Sunday 9th February 2020

Holiday Inn M1 J18, Crick, Northampton, NN6 7XR

Join us for a delicious afternoon tea followed by interactive talks by Mensa members.

1pm Meet and greet. Mingle with the officers and other members of East Midlands Mensa.

2pm Afternoon tea. See menu and please advise any dietary requirements.

3pm From Daumier To Dilbert. Peter Sadd will outline some basic techniques for devising and drawing cartoons, illustrating his talk with both his own cartoons and others drawn from his personal collection. There will be opportunity to try cartooning yourself. Drawing skills not required!

4pm Hablar Espanol? Native Spaniard Maria Falces will teach us the basics of the Spanish language. Learn some essential words and phrases to enhance your travels. Don’t forget your pen!

5pm Basic First Aid. St John Ambulance trained Rachel Hargreave-Mawson will demonstrate some effective responses to domestic emergencies such as choking, major bleeds, burns and more. This session could save your life in the future!

Regional News

This month we have a mini-weekend taking place in Northampton on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February.

There was much interest in a visit to the brand new Silverstone Experience when suggested on our East Midlands Mensa Facebook group, so we have a group booking for 1pm on the Saturday with the option to meet for lunch in their café at 12 noon before admission to this visitor attraction.

It is suitable for all ages and all levels of mobility. With a good saving on the admission price as a group, if you’re interested in F1 motor racing there would be no better time to visit.

On the Sunday the officers of East Midlands Mensa will be holding their annual committee meeting at Holiday Inn M1 J18.

Following this there will be opportunity to meet us all as well as other members whilst partaking of a delicious afternoon tea. I appealed for members to take a session teaching other members a skill so must thank Maria Falces, Rachel Hargreave-Mawson and Peter Sadd for kindly volunteering. Come along and learn basic Spanish, first aid or cartooning. A very diverse afternoon awaits! We also have a break-out area if you wish to sit out of any of these sessions and socialise. Again this event is suitable for all ages and our new Family Officer looks forward to hopefully introducing some younger members to each other.

The five hour event including afternoon tea and three interactive sessions costs an absolute bargain £10 for adults and £5 for children.

The booking deadline for both the Silverstone Experience and Tea & Talks is 24th January so be quick! Accommodation is available at the Holiday Inn if needed and it’s advisable to look online for the best deal. The rate includes use of their gym, pool, sauna and whirlpool.

By the time you read this I may or may not still be Regional Officer depending on if anyone applied for the role and who was chosen by the Mensa Board.

Whatever the outcome I thank you for all your kind words of appreciation for what I’ve done over the last 20 years and for taking the time to get in touch.

I’m on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the February Edition of Empress. This is a collaboration edition where Mark, Jenny Gill and I have taken part. We have a lovely Sunday afternoon tea on Sunday 9th followed by three talks (I am doing the second one) so I would like to see as many as possible trying to say a Spanish tongue twister 🙂 while their mouth is still full of scone.

Enjoy the reading!

Maria Falces

Member Profile

Portrait photo of Joyce
What's your name?
Joyce Moore
What's your location?

Currently living in Ibstock—been here almost two years.

I tend to go to Hinckley, Leicester and parts of Nottingham quite a lot—so Ibstock is a good central location—with a friendly village atmosphere.

When did you join Mensa?
I’ve been a member of Mensa since the mid 90’s.
Why did you join?
I came across a ‘puzzle’ in a magazine—on one of many trips to London at that time—and thought I’d have a go. I was then invited to do the supervised test—which I did just as a challenge - and was very pleased to pass.
Have you attended any social events? If so, what were they like?
I don’t go to very many events—but I always enjoy those I do attend. I like anything that’s likely to be fun—quizzes nights are always good. I’ve also enjoyed some guided walks around places of historic interest—there are some knowledgeable guides Mensa. I have always found a good sense of acceptance and interest in everyone—which is very encouraging.
What do you do?
I’m an Interior Designer and Project Manager—which generally means that I produce designs for building interiors—then organise the work to make it real. I like all aspects of my work—the initial design concept work—and the process of working with contractors and manufacturers to get things made, built and installed. The local authority and legislation aspects are a bit frustrating at times—but it’s all part of ‘getting it done’ - so I work through it. Clients don’t always understand that we just have to go along with Planning laws and Building Regulations— and that sometimes compromise is necessary.
Do you have any hobbies/interests?

I love anything to do with the theatre—including taking part in opera and drama performances and directing. I also sing with a small ensemble—not terribly well but I really love it. So, my musical tastes are varied; I’ve acquired a lover of opera - having sung opera choruses for a long time—but I enjoy a lot of contemporary music too.

I do like organising theatre trips for groups —but they have proved a bit tricky to arrange as Mensa events; I think I should have a go at organising something in the New Year—perhaps it should be my New Year’s resolution.

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.
photo of Susan Graves

Derby Diary

On Sun 16th Feb at 2:00pm - Tea at Two

Join us in the Garden Restaurant at the independent, family run Swarkestone Garden Centre (DE73 7GQ) for a drink and perhaps a cake and a relaxed wander round. Meet at 2pm in the restaurant, look for the Mblem on a yellow up-ended toblerone shaped sign which will be on our table. Contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email] for encouragement and so I know to look out for you.

On Wed 19th Feb at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

We'll be on a group of tables in the rear section (beyond the bar) of the Standing Order (Wetherspoon) pub on Iron Gate in the centre of Derby (DE1 3GL). Look for the yellow Mblem. Drop in briefly or stay all evening for food and/or drink and chat. New faces especially welcome. Contact Susan on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions and encouragement.

Susan Graves

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

photo of Steve Thomas

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 6th Feb at 8:00pm - FThOTM

Once again, we are at the Three Magnets, Leys Avenue, Letchworth. Thursday is traditionally curry night, but other food is also available (standard Wetherspoons fare). Leys Avenue is the main shopping street in Letchworth and is just a few minutes' walk from the rail station (Kings Cross to Cambridge line). Call me on [Phone Number], or email [Email] for further details and encouragement.

On Thu 20th Feb at 6:45pm - Theatre Group

Cyrano de Bergerac. Live transmission from the National Theatre at the Broadway Theatre, Letchworth, starring James McAvoy. £18. Price includes a glass of wine, a string trio playing beforehand and a mint chocolate afterwards. Friends and family welcome. If interested, please contact me on [Phone Number], [Phone Number] or email [Email]

On Fri 28th Feb at 8:00pm - LFOTM

As ever, we are at the Cowper Arms, Digswell. The pub is next to Welwyn North station and is served by stopping trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge. Good food, beer and conversation guaranteed! Please call me on [Phone Number] for more details and a spot of encouragement to come and join us.

Steve Thomas

Contact [Email] or [Mobile Number] for details

photo of Haydn Starkie

In Leicestershire

On Mon 17th Feb at 8:00pm - Pub Social

Join me for a drink and a natter at the Cradock Arms, 201 Knighton Road, Leicester, LE2 3TT. We usually gather in the lower part towards the rear of the bar. New faces are always welcome. You are also welcome to bring a friend. Look out for the magazine or Mblem. For directions or encouragement, please contact me on [Phone Number] or by email at [Email]

On Sat 29th Feb at 7:00pm - Pub Meal

This month we are dining at The Gate Hangs Well, Lewin Bridge, Syston LE7 1NH. This is an Everard's pub and has its own car park. New and old members are welcome but booking in advance is essential so please let me know if you would like to come along by Mon 24th Feb. Contact me on 01949 861356 or e-mail [Email]

Haydn Starkie

Contact [Email] or [Mobile Number] for details

photo of Jacquie Harrison

Lively Lincs

On Thu 27th Feb at 7:00pm - Indian restaurant

Join us as we try out the Castle View Indian Restaurant, 11 Union Road, LN1 3BJ. Car parking nearby at the Lawns (evening charge applies). Extensive menu, good reviews on TripAdvisor. Friendly company and good conversation guaranteed! All very welcome, and, as always, you can bring a guest. Booking essential, so please contact Jacquie by Monday, 24th February, on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Mon 10th Feb at 8:00pm - Indoor Games

Join Dave and Alison at their home in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, for our regular monthly evening of indoor board games. All members and friends welcome. Space is limited, so please contact Dave for directions and to discuss what games you would like to play on [Phone Number] or by e-mail at [Email]

On Fri 14th Feb at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

Come and try Costa upstairs at the Next superstore on Crest Road in Cressex by junction 4 of the M40, HP11 1UA. Join me there for coffee. Free parking & a bus stop right outside. No need to book, but if you want to let me know you are coming phone [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Sat 29th Feb at 4:00pm - Pizza

Join us at Pizza Express in the Eden Centre, HP11 2DB. We are eating early before the cinema, but you are welcome to come just for the meal if you wish. Menu and details at https://www.pizzaexpress.com/high-wycombe-eden-centre/our-food/restaurant-menu Please let me know you are coming by Saturday 22nd February so I can book a table. Contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Sat 29th Feb at 5:55pm - Agrippina

Live HD cinema transmission from the New York Metropolitan Opera. Handel’s tale of intrigue, impropriety and the abuse of power in ancient Rome stars mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina. Please buy your own tickets from Cineworld, Eden Centre, High Wycombe. Adults £18.85, some concessions available. For full details see Cineworld - MET Opera 2019-20: Agrippina

For further details or encouragement contact me on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

Val Hinkins

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Wed 5th Feb at 7:00pm - Turkish meal

Join us at the Olive Tree restaurant on Midsummer Boulevard. Please confirm attendance by Monday 3rd so I can book a table - [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number].

On Mon 17th Feb at 7:45pm - 3MOTM Quiz

Our monthly quiz outing to The Plough at Simpson. Meet from 7.45 for a 8.00pm start - cost is £1 per person. Please let me know if you are coming so I know if we will be one team or two. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Sun 23rd Feb at 10:00am - Breakfast

Join Christine and others at Brown's on Midsummer Boulevard from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink. Contact [Email] for directions/encouragement.

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 this month. 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

News from Northampton

On Sat 8th Feb at 10:30am - Pub Walk

Lovely mixed walk through glen, farmland, bridle way, and ‘Nene Way’. Meet near pub and church. NN11 3BL (594 578) OS map 207 9km (3.5 hrs). Drink afterwards at 1.45 at ‘The Plough’ (01237 361 606). For help or encouragement [Phone Number][Email]

On Sat 8th Feb at 1:00pm - Silverstone Experience

A group visit to the brand new Silverstone Experience at Towcester (NN12 8TN). An exciting 3 hour journey through the past, present and future of Silverstone and British motor racing. Interactive displays, iconic cars and motorcycles, immersive show with commentary by Murray Walker, walk around the heritage track and much more. Suitable for all ages with the whole site fully accessible. Discounted rates of £17.50 adult, £8.75 child (age 5-15), £14.00 concession (student, age 65+, unemployed). Optional pay-as-you-go lunch at 12 noon. Book via www.mensa.org.uk or by phoning the Mensa office by 24th January.

On Sun 9th Feb at 1:00pm - Tea & Talks

Our regional event at the Holiday Inn M1 J18, Crick, NN6 7XR. Meet the officers of East Midlands Mensa. Enjoy an afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, scones with jam and cream, plus tea or coffee. Then learn cartooning skills, basic Spanish and first aid taught by Mensans. Break out area for families and/or socialising too. All for a bargain £10 per adult or £5 per child (up to age 12)! Book via the Mensa office on 01902 772771 or www.mensa.org.uk by 24th January. The event will end at 6pm.

On Sun 16th Feb at 10:30am - Brunch

The Zapato Lounge, Welsh House, 2 Newland Walk NN1 2EB will again be hosting our brunch/breakfast meeting where we'll review our progress with our New Year resolutions and also any future theatre outings during the year. Look for us seated in one of the window seats either side of the door or at the large noisy table at the back directly facing the entrance. Contact Marianne on [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for encouragement.

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th Feb at 8:00pm - 5OTM

A midweek get together at the Vat & Fiddle pub, Queensbridge Road, NG2 1NB. Pop in for a soft drink or beer from 8 until late. Yellow Mblem will be on display likely in the Goldings Room to left of bar. New faces always welcome! Directions/encouragement from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] if needed.

On Thu 13th Feb at 7:30pm - Natter & Nosh

Good food and good company available at The Cadland, High Road, Chilwell, NG9 5EG. We have a large table reserved at far side of bar. Join us for a meal or later for just a drink. Large car park at rear of pub. Further info from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] or just turn up on the night and seek yellow Mblem.

On Tue 18th Feb at 7:00pm - 3TuOTM

Join us for food and/or drink at the Fox & Crown pub, 4-6 Appleton Gate, Newark, NG24 1JY. Reasonably priced menu and interesting conversation. What more could you want? Contact Pete on [Phone Number] or [Email] for any encouragement to come along. All welcome!

On Tue 25th Feb at 7:30pm - Eating Meeting

Enjoy a Lebanese meal at Ana Bedouin, 67 Haydn Road, Sherwood, NG5 2LA. This small restaurant gets excellent reviews. See menu at www.anabedouin.co.uk and reserve your place with Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] by 18th please.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

20 Questions (No. 220)

Just one entry to our December competition with Nigel Bryant winning the £10 book token. The answers were Ginger, Angelica, Tiffany, Marge, Hazel, Clementine, Saffron, Veronica, Honey, Olive, Cherry, Flora, Heather, Rosemary, Victoria, Madeleine, Jasmine, Brandy, Clover and Lavender. Too cryptic even for Mensa brains!?

Last month was all about biscuits. This month is all about fruit! Send your entries to arrive by 20th February to ‘20 Questions (No. 220)’, [Address] or [Email] remembering to include your name and address in case you win.

1. A loganberry is a cross between which two berries?

2. Kiwifruit is native to which country?

3. Which fruit has the highest oil content?

4. The liqueur cassis is made from which fruit?

5. Which country is the largest orange producer in the world?

6. What is the national fruit of Scotland?

7. Cloud, crab and fleshman are varieties of which fruit?

8. What is the fruit of the blackthorn?

9. The flowers of the peach are produced in which season?

10. Which fruit is used in a Christingle service?

11. A stone statue of which fruit outside a home symbolises hospitality?

12. What is the state fruit of Georgia USA?

13. Which fruit is the main ingredient of guacamole?

14. The pluot is a combination of plum and which other fruit?

15. Which type of apple originates from Southwell in Nottinghamshire?

16. Which pungent fruit is banned in public places in South East Asia?

17. Alderman, orin and rubinette are varieties of which fruit?

18. What is the name of the red pigment responsible for the colour of tomatoes?

19. What type of cherry is used to garnish cocktails and ice cream sundaes?

20. Which is the only fruit where the seeds grow on the outside?