Pencil drawing of girl surrounded by musical instruments

Is she sleeping? I’ll leave that thought to you. Maybe she is dreaming. That could also be true. Or is her mind thinking, of all sorts of things? If she is being creative, we will hear that, when she plays her strings. All music can be beautiful, I am sure you can tell. But, creativity from our minds is beautiful as well. So be creative, as much as you can. You don’t have to be a girl though. You could be a man!


Our LocSecs

Pencil drawings of our six locsecs.

Lively Lincs heads our branch, And Notts News follows too. More or Leicester keep us going, While Mensans in MK & Bedford follow through. Finally Hertfordshire Happenings And Mid Bucks, take their stand, But Derby, Northampton and Luton, Are missing it seems, from our merry band. Our LocSec’s do so well, Giving us the news. And of course they do put in, some of your different views. Three are missing, I am sure you know. We desperately need them, To keep up the show. Sorry but; Although I am careful with my drawings, And they can take several weeks. Unfortunately I have managed, to deplete all The colour from your cheeks. That aside and I do hear what you say. My pencils can only draw In several shades of grey!

Regional News

As I write I’ve just returned from a conference for Regional Officers and Regional Newsletter Editors. As part of the event there was the annual newsletter awards ceremony and I’m delighted to say Empress won an award. Many thanks to Maria and Lucy for all their hard work. At the conference we discussed Mensa’s 70th anniversary celebrations and a host of events are planned around the country for the actual anniversary on Saturday 1st October. Keep your eye on Mensa Magazine and/or the Mensa website as details are finalised. But to whet your appetite there should be a bus tour visiting several Scottish cities, a weekend of events in Thurles in Ireland, a balloon release on Dartmoor, a ‘wayzgoose’ in Otley, a talk in Cardiff, a Young Mensa event in the North West, a lunch with birthday cake in Ipswich and much more.

Hopefully something to suit all tastes and budgets. Not forgetting our very own 1940s evening at the Radisson Blu Hotel near East Midlands Airport. Ticket sales are going well but there is plenty of capacity so do come along if you can for this special event! Don’t forget our day out at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northants, on Sunday 26th June. Although aimed at families this event is suitable for all ages. See for full details of all the rides and attractions and book your place at but do it by 10th June to get our discounted rate of £14. Guests under 0.9m tall are free so a great value day out for everyone. All welcome!

As always, you can call me on [Phone Number] or [Email] if you would like to get in touch.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Pencil drawing of a portrait of Richard

Hi I am Richard, your editor for this month. This month’s magazine is entitled ‘June Creativity- Picture This’. The front cover has one of my pencil drawings and it truly is a pencil drawing, because I only use HB pencils, about seven all told, they are all HB, but different types.

I have been drawing for about 55 years, but almost continuously for the past year. Having fully recovered from a very nasty illness two years ago, I have used my drawings as ‘therapy’.

When I finish one drawing, I start the next. My challenge is always to get it right the first time. I do try to keep up with technology and was asked to add a ‘selfie’ Sorry, but I really thought a self-portrait drawing of myself would do!

We invite you all to dig deep as I believe ‘creativity is in all of us, but sometimes lies dormant for years. This was certainly the case with my drawings and my poetry. They both lay dormant for about 30 years, as I was busy with other things. My nasty illness sparked them both off as ‘relaxation and recuperation techniques’.

I have around 50 drawings now, but about 40 of those I created in the last year. Show us your creations. Send them in to us, digital photos or scans, and we will try to include them in Empress as and when we can.

Richard Dimmock

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.

More or Leicester

On Mon 27th Jun at 8:00pm - 4MoTM

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to The Stamford we go! A change of venue at last as we head to the village of Groby just off the A50. Details, directions & info are on their website at The food there is excellent if you want to eat. You never know, I might even treat us all to a pizza! More information, give me a call on [Phone Number] or [Email]

Paul Coulson

photo of Christine Howells

Lively Lincs

On Tue 28th Jun at 7:00pm - Eating meeting

We're going to try The Carpenters Arms at Fiskerton, east of Lincoln. All welcome but please book with me by 21st if possible, thanks.

On Sat 11th Jun at 12:05pm - Pub discussion

Meet at 'Adam and Eve' on Lindum Hill, hopefully, in the garden, otherwise in the alcove, look for MBlem. Discussion on a topical issue starts at around 12.30, food available, free parking.

Christine Howells

Contact [Email] for details

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Sun 5th Jun at 8.00pm - 5OTM

Round off the weekend with a drink and chat at the Vat & Fiddle (near Nottingham railway station) from 8.00pm until late on Sunday 5th. We should be in the Goldings Room to left of bar and a yellow Mblem will be on display. New faces always welcome!

On Thu 9th Jun at 7.30pm - Natter & nosh

We've tried the new look Beekeeper for a couple of months and decided to change venue for our future "natter & nosh" events. From next month (Thursday 9th June) we will be meeting at The Cadland, 342 High Road, Chilwell, Nottingham, NG9 5EG. We have a table reserved from 7.30pm so join us for food and/or drink. Menu at Please note the June event is already advertised in Mensa Magazine and Empress at the Beekeeper but we will be at The Cadland. (The Beekeeper had not reserved our table as promised and there was nearly an hour wait for food last time, hence our move!)

On Sun 12th Jun at 12.30pm - Events afternoon

On Sunday 12th Sally is very kindly putting together an afternoon of events in Newark. We’ll start with lunch at 12.30pm, likely to be at Zizzi’s Italian restaurant but dependant on preferences of those expressing interest. At 2.00pm we’ll meet at the castle entrance to begin a free guided walk around the historic features of the town. This will end at the National Civil War Museum where there will be opportunity to visit this newly opened attraction. Please contact Sally on [Phone Number] or [Email] for further info and to give an idea of numbers. You are welcome to join in any or all of these events.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

photo of Richard Allen

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 2nd Jun 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 available as well. 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 24th Jun 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

photo of Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

On Sat 11th Jun at 3:00pm - T@3

Our first event in June is T@3 on Saturday 11th in the restaurant at Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Fenny Stratford. We’ll be there from 3pm, probably in the conservatory area at the back.

On Mon 20th Jun at 8:30pm - 3WOTM & Quiz

Our monthly visit to the Barge in Woolstone for the quiz is on Monday 20th. 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 Sun 26th Jun at 10:00am - Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast will be on 26th 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 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 June. 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

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

On Fri 17th Jun at 10:30am - Morning coffee

Meet me from 10:30am onwards on Friday 17th June for a morning of informal conversation, chocolate and coffee. This month we are returning to Rumsey’s Chocolaterie at 26 High Street, Wendover, HP22 6EA. For further information on the venue see wendover This cafe is located in the Old Bank Building and offers a breakfast menu as well as croissants, pastries and cakes. Their luxury chocolates are also available to buy.

On Sun 19th Jun at 2:30pm - Antarctic exhibition

What is it like to live and work in Antarctica? A free family exhibition “Antarctica – Sub-Zero Science” at the Natural History Museum on Akeman Street in Tring promises to answer this question, with handson activities for children (and grown-ups), wildlife and scientific research. Meet at the museum entrance, HP23 6AP, at 2:30pm on Sunday 19th June. If you would like to join me for an Italian lunch beforehand please contact me by Sunday 12th June to confirm which restaurant we are going to and where to meet. For further details contact me as above

On Tue 21st Jun 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 Tuesday 21st June. Space is limited, so 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

Derby Diary

On Wed 15th Jun at 7.30pm - 3WOTM

Our “3rd Wednesday” get together falls as early as it can this month. Join us from 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th at the Standing Order (Wetherspoon) on Irongate in the city centre for food and/or drink. Just look for a yellow Mblem on a long table in the rear section of the pub. All welcome!

On Tue 28th Jun at 7.30pm - Eating Meeting

At 7.30pm on Tuesday 28th we’re going to Yardley’s on Bridge Street in Belper to dine on Spanish tapas Their midweek deal is 3 dishes for £12 or 6 dishes for £20. We can mix and match to sample a variety of food for a reasonable price. You may even want to try their white sangria! Please reserve your place with Maxine by 21st as this is a popular venue.

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

"Congratulations to Northants members Emma and Richard Dutton on the birth of their daughter Holly Louise on 5th April 2016."

Member Profile

Photo of Kerrin with a black an white cat resting over his shoulder
What's your name?
My name is Kerrin Tarr, but I answer to shouts for “Kevin", "Kieran", "Karen", and even "Keyring".
Where do you live?
I live in the Northamptonshire town of Corby where I moved to from my birth town of High Wycombe when I was just 14.
When did you join Mensa?
I joined Mensa on the 27th of May 2015 with my score of 149 on the Culture Fair (CF) Scale. (Top 1%)
Why did you join?
Since downloading the Mensa Brain Academy app on my Kindle I was curious as to what my true score would be. I also hoped to join so that I could meet similar minded people.
Have you attended any events?
I haven't attended any yet but I am waiting for the first rounds to commence in this year's Games Tournaments. I'll be participating in five of the events, pool, snooker, chess, monopoly, and scrabble.
Do you belong to any SIGs?
Yes - creative writers, charities, games, humour, and space.
What's your occupation?
I work night shift at Tesco Extra.
Any hobbies/interests?
Writing, drumming, and adding to my collections which include plectrums, dice, and old/foreign coins
Anything else?
By the 21st of July this year I will have six books on Amazon - genres include fantasy, dystopian, and trivia - once my NaNoWriMo winning novel is released! Also, I enjoy climbing the brutal drums leaderboard on Rock Band 4 for the Xbox One!

Thanks for reading!

Pencil drawing of a leopard, lazily on a tree branch

Answers to 20 Questions (No. 175)

The answers to the April competition were deciduous, secateurs, monkey puzzle, pistil, giant sequoia redwood, yellow, blue, lotus, roses, George Montagu Don, nectar, rafflesia, thistle, Lancelot, snapdragon, Augusta, topiary, Vita Sackville West, dibber and Turkey.

Congratulations to the winner Una Adams of Corby.

Regional Editors Conference

Maria receives her award from Jenny Gill
(left to right) Maria Falces, Empress Editor and Jenny Gill, Chairman

Maria receives the Highly Commended Service Award. It was a brilliant Regional Editors Conference (my first, and certainly not my last). The crowning glory for Maria was Empress scooping this award.

Sample of Empress pages. Captioned "A comprehensive information service to members, especially for previews and reviews of the many events on offer."

Well done Maria and Lucy, and well done all LocSec’s too. It was your superb coverage of events and news that helped to secure this award for Empress. Maria did say it was a ‘bursting’ issue in April, but it never burst, it held right to the end.Well done all!