East Midlands Mensa Open Day - Saturday 21st July 2007

Join us at the Holiday Inn Rugby/Northampton for an afternoon of fun learning followed by an evening of dining and socialising. Programme as follows:

2.00-2.30pm A short 'icebreaker' to get everyone mingling.

2.30-3.30pm Craft expert Merry Metcalf will teach us how to make and decorate beautiful gift boxes.

3.45-4.45pm Richard Dimmock, a member of both Mensa and the Magic Circle, will show us some magic secrets.

5.00-6.00pm Having worked for 12 years drawing topical cartoon strips for a newspaper Peter Bellingham will teach us the art of cartooning.

6.15-7.15pm Matthew Collins, once a presenter on TVs The Travel Show and now an accomplished writer and speaker, will preview the humorous talk he is to give at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

7.30-11.00pm A three course hot buffet followed by an evening of socialising with optional boardgames or a quiz. The menu is:

Coarse country pâté with apple chutney and toasted bread

Carrot and coriander soup

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Braised beef in a red wine and mushroom sauce

Sweet and sour chicken

Vegetable lasagne

Poached salmon in hollandaise sauce

Braised rice

Potato wedges

Selection of salads, cold meat platter and cold quiche

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Selection of sweets

Directions: Leave M1 at J18 and follow signs for Crick along A428. The hotel is situated on your left hand side and there's ample free parking.

Accommodation: The hotel are offering a discounted rate of £70 for a double/twin room or £50 for single occupancy for anyone wishing to stay over after our event. Price includes full English breakfast and use of the leisure club. To book phone 0870-400-9059 quoting "Mensa".

The event costs £15.00 per adult or £7.50 per child aged 12 or under and includes all materials required for the activities, three course meal and chance to meet other members.

To book please send cheque payable to "East Midlands Mensa" to Maxine Bates at the address listed in Empress by 14th July latest.

Regional News

In stark contrast to other regional newsletters, Empress is overflowing with copy. Many thanks to all the Local Secretaries for giving details of their events and to everyone else for providing reviews, photos, quizzes and 'think tank' responses.

So I will keep my column short this month and just say please come along to our 'open day' on Saturday 21st July taking place at the Holiday Inn Rugby/Northampton right off M1 J18 and in the centre of our region. For full details of the event please see the cover of this newsletter. If you have any questions contact me on [Email] or [Phone Number]. Families and non-member guests are welcome. The more the merrier!

Don't forget to book for the British Mensa Annual Gathering, Mensa At Cambridge and Scottish Mensa Annual Gathering all taking place next month. Details can be found in Mensa Magazine or contact Diane at the Mensa office. Weekend gatherings are one of the highlights of Mensa membership and I'd urge you to attend one if you get chance.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer

Picture of Lesley and Geoff Walker at the Vat & Fiddle in the evening after their wedding.
Photo of Lesley & Geoff Walker, members who first met at one of Andy's events and got together at one of Maxine's! They were married on Saturday 5th May and after a register office ceremony in Newark and lovely reception at their home, the newlyweds came along to the regular 5OTM event in Nottingham - complete in wedding attire and with balloons and leftover buffet! What a cool way to spend your wedding night!!

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.

Notts News

On Thu 5th Jul at 8:00pm - 5OTM

Join us from 8.00 pm on Thursday 5th for our regular get together at the Vat & Fiddle pub on Queensbridge Road and see if the new no smoking ban has made any difference to the venue. Look for the yellow Mblem to the left of the bar or call me on [Phone Number] for directions.

On Wed 11th Jul at 7:00pm - Chicks and Flicks

On Wednesday 11th our "Chicks & Flicks" event goes for a meal at Nando's peri-peri chicken restaurant followed by a film at Cineworld. You are welcome to join us for one or both events.

Meet at 7.00 pm prompt inside the doors to the Cornerhouse or contact Paul on [Phone Number] or [Email] if just coming to the film.

On Tue 31st Jul at 7:30pm - Postcode Pubcrawl

This month's "Postcode Pubcrawl" takes place at the historic Jug & Glass pub in Nether Langwith near Mansfield. The word 'langwith' means 'long water'. A stream runs through the village and in front of the pub. Lovely to sit beside on a summer evening. It is believed the Jug & Glass was built circa 1179 and was used as a dwelling for the monks who farmed the land around Wellbeck Abbey. Join us from 7.30 pm on Tuesday 31st for food and/or drinks. The menu and directions can be found at www.thejugandglass.com .

If anyone is interested in seeing Starlight Express at the Theatre Royal in September please get in touch so I can co-ordinate a group booking. The musical runs between 11th and 29th and I am suggesting mid-price tickets for either Monday 17th or Tuesday 18th. They cost £26.50 less 10% for 10 or more people. I'm on [Phone Number] or [Email].

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates


On Sun 1st Jul at 3:00pm - Tea, Cakes and Chat

Lincoln at the coast. The coffee shop at the Gibraltar Point Visitor Centre in Skegness has great views and decent cakes. Join us for tea and chat at 3pm Sunday 1st July. If you are interested in such things, the little terns should be on the reserve by then. Look for the magazine or telephone [Phone Number] for directions / encouragement. All welcome.

Jacquie Harrison

Derby Doings

On Wed 18th Jul at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

Join us for food, drinks and chat at the Standing Order (Wetherspoon) on Irongate. Look for Mblem to rear of bar. Contact Bernie on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions. New faces welcome.

Bernie Briggs


On Sat 28th Jul at 12:00pm - Lunch

Join me for coffee and/or a bite to eat at Caffe Nero at the Market Place in Melton Mowbray on Saturday 28th July at 12.00pm. A selection or light meals or pastries are available. Pay and display car parks located near by. Let me know if you are coming along by Monday 23rd July on [Email] or [Phone Number].

Rebecca Mawby

Northants NNotes

On Thu 12th Jul at 9:00pm - 2ThOTM Pub

We're moving back to Harlestone for our 2nd Thursday meetings. But don't go looking for the Dusty Fox as the pub has reverted to its proper name: The Fox & Hounds. Is the makeover an improvement? Find out for yourself when you join us in the bar; or possibly outside on the picnic benches if it's a nice night.

On Thu 26th Jul at 8:00pm - Roadshow

Yes, it's time to visit Paulerspury again. Look for us in the "Nook" in the Barley Mow (on the right of the bar as you come through the front door). Tonight's topic of conversation: "Thermals - an atmospheric phenomenon, or just a load of hot air?".

To find us at both venues look for the Mensa mag on one of the tables. Details from [Phone Number] or [Email].

Ian Sargent

MK & Bedford

On Thu 5th Jul at 8:00pm - FTh: Movable Feast

Join us at the Buckingham Fort Indian restaurant in West Street. We plan to link up with some of the early arrivals for the Mensa Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone. Booking essential by Tuesday 1st - [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number].

On Sat 14th Jul at 3:00pm - T@3 again

By popular demand....we enjoyed T@3 so much in April we're doing it again, this time at Dobbie's Garden Centre in Watling St, Fenny Stratford (just south of MK). Ideally let me know in advance so I know what size table to bag, but turn up on spec if you wish. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement.

On Wed 18th Jul at 7:30pm - 3WOTM

Join us at Starbucks coffee shop in Borders bookshop by the Hockey Stadium (Portway / Grafton St roundabout). Not sure yet exactly where we'll be but the coffee shop isn't too big and we'll have the Mblem on display, so we shouldn't be hard to find. Contact details as above.

Jo Sidebottom

Luton & Dunstable

On Sat 14th Jul at 7:30pm - Pub

Please join us at the Red Lion pub in Preston, Herts SG4 7UD for hopefully good food, beer or cider shandy and fun. They tell me they do food every Saturday evening, but as things do change and nothing ever remains the same, you may like to call the pub on 01462 459585 to double check on the day. I wouldn't like anyone to go hungry. A pub in Liverpool where I organised a school reunion told me they did food, then decided not to that particular day, so I am always wary!

Please email [Email] on ring me on [Phone Number] at home. Andy's mobile no. is [Phone Number] if you get lost on the day. I do need to know if you are coming, as far in advance as possible please, in case of changes. Some meetings may be cancelled if there is no support or changes in our circumstances. I hope this is very rare, but I do need to know attendance just in case.

Also, please be aware that YOU are responsible for enjoying yourself - I cannot do it for you! I used to feel guilty that way, many years ago and gave up doing the LocSec job because of it, so I'm not taking that responsibility any more :o)) New members are always welcome, please ring for support and encouragement.

Les Draper Eames

High Wycombe & Amersham

On Thu 12th Jul at 8:00pm - Indian Restaurant

By popular demand a return visit to the Bombay Palace on Crendon Street. Parking near by vegetarian options available. Call Alistair to reserve your seat on [Phone Number] by Tue 10 Jul.

Please join me at the Bombay Palace for superior Indian cuisine. Regular attenders will recall that the last time we planned to go the restaurant was fully booked as it was Christmas light switch on night. Hopefully there should be no such problems this time!

On the off chance of any difficulty I will make a reservation on Tue 10 so please contact me before then to reserve your seat.

Alistair Blackett


On Wed 25th Jul at 7:45pm - Pub

We meet at the White Horse Pub, Bourne End, on the Hemel Hempstead Road (the old A 41) half way between Hemel and Berkhamsted. Do come and drink, eat or just join us for a quiet chat.

All members welcome. If it is fine we will be in the garden. Any ideas for other meetings also welcome. Just come and explain, we would love to hear from you. The lovely weather we are having may suggest some outings?

Jenny Habib


On Thu 5th Jul at 7:30pm - FThOTM

Join us for our regular First Thursday of the month at the Millstream, Cambridge Road, Hitchin (about five minutes' walk from the station). Good food and beer (and company!) always available. Call me on [Phone Number] for details and encouragement.

On Tue 17th Jul at 7:30pm - Pub Meal and Board Games

This month we're at the Three Moor Hens, Hitchin (by the A602/B656 roundabout, about a mile from the station) for our Board Games meeting. Bring some board games along as well! Bus 101 (Luton - Hitchin - Stevenage) serves the pub. Ring Helen on [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for details and encouragement.

On Wed 11&25 Jul at 8:30pm - Pub Quiz

We're now doing the quiz at the Millstream, Cambridge Road, Hitchin (about five minutes' walk from the station); please call Helen on [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] or Richard on [Phone Number] for details and encouragement. Food and good beer are available! The quiz starts around 8.30 but we're usually there from 7.30 for a meal.

Richard Allen

On Fri 27th Jul at 8:00pm - LFOTM

Join us in the lounge (or the garden, if the weather's fine!) of the White Horse, Hertingfordbury to chill out at the end of the month - look for the mag and Mblem. Ring Gwen on [Phone Number] or Richard on [Phone Number] for details and encouragement. The hotel is about 20 minutes' walk from Hertford North station. Meals are available.

Richard Allen/Gwen Jones

On Every Friday at Evening - Cinema - Stevenage

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

Stephen Tucker And Jim Gibson appear at Madcap Performing Arts Centre Wolverton

Bob Dylan Tribute Band - 21st July

Doors and Bar Open 7pm

Tickets £5 Ring 01908 320179

Picture of Rosie and her friends enjoying T@3 in Windsor.
Jean, Jan, Rosie and Carolyn enjoy T@3 in Windsor.

T@3 Review

Picture of the walking group in front of the brickyard towers.
Picture of the group enjoying T@3 in the gardens of the Mintons tea rooms.

One Day - Three Events!

Saturday 21st April 2007

Having managed to secure parking spaces before two coachloads of wedding guests arrived at Greasley Church in Moorgreen, Notts, we set off at noon for a 5½ mile country walk. We were most impressed that Iris and Eddie Foweather had cycled an hour to the start point with the same ride home at the end of the walk. Luckily they could find sustenance at both the Queens Head pub and at Mintons tea rooms.

The walk took us across luscious fields, over the M1 motorway bridges (where we waved at drivers and got lots of friendly toots in response!) and through the four Watnall brickyard towers that can be seen for miles around. Walk leader Andy Farrell had even looked up details of the towers and was able to give us a brief history of the site. Having not known the number of walkers or their ability prior to the event nor how long it would take to be served lunch, amazingly we returned to Greasley Church at 3.00 pm prompt and retired to the sunny gardens of the adjacent Mintons tea rooms for our "T@3 event.

The tea was accompanied by huge slabs of homemade cakes and apple pie as well as soft drinks to cool off in the sun.

In the evening Andy and I hosted a whisky event at our home. Not everyone likes whisky and some were driving, so we had soft drinks on offer as well as a rival wine tasting! The weather and company made a perfect day. Thank you to those who participated.

Maxine Bates

Think Tank

This month's think tank is courtesy of Janie Comber from Milton Keynes.

What law would you introduce if you could?
Anti-speciesism. If children are allowed just about anywhere, as they seem to be these days, so should other critters. (I'd just love to walk into the pub with a boa constrictor....) *evil grin*.
... and which would you repeal?
The one that says parents can't smack naughty kids.
Which charity do you most like to support?
Animal charities of various sorts.
Name a place local to you that you'd recommend people visit.
The concrete cows, of course!! Or the Medicine Wheel.
Whose picture would you like to see on a bank note?
What device would you like to see invented?
An automatic bore-silencer, so that when I feel my eyes glazing over because someone's chewing my ear about a subject I know nothing about and care even less, I could just switch it on, and hey presto, blessed peace!
How would you reform parliament?
Sack the lot of 'em and resurrect Screaming Lord Sutch.
Who would you like to see in the Big Brother house?
That depends.... am I going to be forced to watch it if I nominate someone?
How can we save the planet?
Become extinct - homo sapiens is bad news for planet earth; let's bow out gracefully and let the next dominant species have a go.
Name an event at which the British could win an Olympic gold medal.
Hot air ballooning - and I'd put forward a team of politicians to ensure victory.
What song would make a good national anthem for England?
As I'm a Celt, I probably shouldn't answer this one. I'm tempted to suggest Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage".
What would you like see entered into room 101?
How much time do you have? OK, just one thing, then.... excess packaging; you know, all that horrible plastic rubbish you bring home from the supermarket and then find most of it can't be recycled.
Suggest a new question for this page.
What would you most like to be doing right now if you weren't busy answering these questions? (My answer - enjoying a quiet beer with my husband).

Now that you've seen the style, I want YOUR contribution to the think tank.

Please send your submission to [Email], or fill in the web form at http://www.nfstimpson.co.uk/empress/ThinkTank.ashx

Mensa Attracts Interest At Milton Keynes Fun Day

MK member Pete Orme organised a Mensa stand at a Fun Day in his local community on 12th May. Colin Zealley kindly helped out, and Bobby Raikhy from the Mensa office provided display stands and promotional material.

Pete reports that despite somewhat inclement weather the event was very successful, with a steady interest in the Mensa stand and about eighteen home tests and five supervised test applications given out. He was particularly pleased to have got the message across to people that we are not an elitist organisation - just ordinary people with high IQs.

As well as raising awareness of Mensa amongst local residents, the event also generated interest in having the same Mensa display at other events around Milton Keynes. Altogether a great opportunity to raise Mensa's profile in the area, and thanks to Pete, Colin and Bobby for their support.

Jo Sidebottom

20 Questions (No. 70)

The Abba hits from the May issue were Ring Ring, Dancing Queen, The Day Before You Came, Mamma Mia, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Summer Night City, Fernando, Under Attack, Chiquitita, Thank You For The Music, Happy New Year, Does Your Mother Know, Our Last Summer, When I Kissed The Teacher, The Visitors, Angel Eyes, When All Is Said And Done, Eagle, Super Trouper and The Winner Takes It All. The winner was Rita Beeson of Bedfordshire with other entries from Chris Impey of Tring, Mike Hadley of Lutterworth, Sue Pearson of Winslow, Helene Parry of Brentford, Patrick Cavanagh of Ireland, Paul Henchliffe of Nottingham, Mark Sloan of Derby, Elaine Yates of Watford, Tanya Whitehead of Nottingham, Geraldine Ellis of Nottingham and Sue Barker of Bury.

To link in with American Independence Day on 4th July, can you solve these anagrams of US states? Send your answers to '20 Questions (No. 70)', [Address] to arrive by 20th July for your chance to win a Mensa ambigram mug.