“Eat and Greet” successful meeting in Belper

On Saturday 13th April, we drank hot drinks, ate cakes, browsed info from the Mensa office about Brightspace, upcoming national events and SIGs, and had a good chat.

We hope to arrange another in October, as part of the series across the East Midlands. This time it is likely to be in or around Derby, on a Saturday afternoon and we need to find a venue. Room hire needs to be very cheap (or ideally free if we purchase food/drinks).

Please let Susan Graves know if you have any suggestions.

Check the Derby Diary for more notices.


Regional News

Thank you to my Mensa friends for all the cards and kind words of condolence upon the recent death of my mother. They are very much appreciated and I’m grateful to have such wonderful friends within Mensa who have supported me over the past few difficult years.

Looking ahead, please keep an eye on www.mensa.org.uk for details of this year’s British Mensa Annual Gathering. It takes place in Reading 13th-16th September and will be the first time the Central region of Mensa has hosted this event.

Base for the weekend will be the lovely Penta Hotel in the city and events will include an icebreaker, gala dinner, day trip to Windsor, river cruise, talks, guided walks and much more. The dates have been chosen to coincide with the heritage weekend where many attractions will be open to the public that are usually not and Mensa have been able to pre-book some exclusive visits.

As ever, feel free to use our Facebook and email groups if seeking car shares or room shares or wanting to arrange to meet up with other members from the East Midlands region whilst there.

I’m on [Email] or [Phone Number] and always happy to hear from you.

Maxine Bates

Regional Officer


Welcome to the June Edition of Empress. This is my last edition for now. Mark is back for the following three months. I’ll be back in October.

Lots of events happening now the days are warmer and longer. I am writing this editorial during the hottest Easter weekend ever! I hope it lasts.

Enjoy the reading!

Maria Falces

Member’s Profile – Peter Leeson

Peter, looking relaxed in shades, in colour against a monochrome backdrop
My name is Peter Leeson, and I have been a member of Mensa for nearly 15 years (I think, how can one really be sure of the past, it is but memories). I was out of work at the time and playing around in a magazine, took a test and got a good score, so I took an official test and got a better score. Slightly embarrassed about that, possibly the result was wrong, and it is embarrassing for Mensa.
While I have put Mensa on my CV, I am not active in the events, mainly because I am not naturally sociable: I place myself somewhere between misanthrope and enochlophobic – and even that I hesitate in writing down as it sounds like I fear Enoch Powell and rivers of blood (which would be true, but beside the point).
Professionally, I am a management consultant, focused on helping companies improve their quality, by focusing on the organisational culture: quality is produced by people, not by processes, standards or technologies. I believe that the primary role of a manager is to motivate the people into doing better work. I have given many talks (including one TEDx) on this subject in various international conferences, some of which can be found online*, and written one self-published book called “Orchestrated Knowledge”. My job has led me to work on every continent except South America (still hoping) and Antarctica (not hoping for that one any longer).
Outside of work, I have a lovely wife, two adults (former children) and one beautiful baby grand-daughter. They have learnt the lesson and moved far enough away from me so that my wife and I will never show up without warning, but close enough so that we don’t have to spend the night when we do visit.
The rest of the time, I devote to painting (my therapy) and studying anything that catches my interest. I am passionately curious about things I don’t understand, on all topics and usually manage to fit them into various articles and talks – chaos theory, string theory, engineering, the nature of time, anthropology, sociology, cybernetics – basically anything somewhat scientific except chemistry (I had a rubbish teacher in school who put me off chemistry for life).
I probably should also mention that I live in Milton Keynes, a town designed by engineers to be “more green than the surrounding countryside”. Apparently, J.G.Ballard said that “if infinity had a form, it would look like Milton Keynes”. More specifically, I live in the part of Milton Keynes called Bletchley, famed for its war-time park.
*If you do search for my talks online, I need to point out that I am not Peter T Leeson, professor of economics and law at George Mason University – though he and I both tend to like bow.

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.

In Leicestershire

On Mon 17th Jun 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. 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 Jun at 7.00pm - Pub meal

This month we are eating at The Cheney Arms, 2 Rearsby Lane, Gaddesby near Melton Mowbray LE7 4XE If the weather is nice we might be able to sit outside at this delightful pub. There is a car park at the front of the building. Booking in advance is essential. Please let me know if you want to join us before Monday 24th June calling [Phone Number] or e-mailing [Email]

Lively Lincs

On Sat 8th Jun at 12:00pm - Pub discussion

Second Saturday meeting at the Adam & Eve, 25 Lindum Road, (opposite Pottergate Arch). All welcome to discuss: “Do you think that life as we know it began on Earth, or, like Francis Crick, that it was seeded from outer space?” Decent ales, hot drinks, pub food, car park. Look for the Magazine on the table. Contact Helen or Paul on [Email] or [Phone Number] for a welcoming word beforehand.

On Sat 15th Jun at 11:00am - Eat and Greet

This meeting is aimed at the Mensans in this part of the region who have little chance to socialise locally but all members are welcome. Please join us for a free breakfast or just coffee at The Fox and Hounds, Old Somerby, Grantham, NG33 4AB Please contact Jacquie on [Phone Number] or [Email]. after 10th of month for more details./encouragement and so that she can book a table.

On Tue 25th Jun at 7:30pm - Eating meeting

The Pyewipe Inn, Lincoln, LN1 2BG. Access is down a single-track lane off A57 just west of A46 bypass roundabout – clearly signposted to the inn. We'll sit outside if the weather is fine. All welcome! It gets busy in summer so we need to book a table - please contact Jacquie by Thursday 20th June: [Email] or [Phone Number], also if you have any questions or need some encouragement.

Jacquie Harrison

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

photo of Maxine Bates

Notts News

On Wed 5th Jun at 7:30pm - 5OTM

Join us for a midweek drink and chat at the Vat & Fiddle pub, Queensbridge Road, NG2 1NB. We should be in the Goldings Room to left of bar. Look for yellow Mblem on table or contact Maxine beforehand on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions/encouragement to come along. Reasonably priced food is served until 8pm. Free parking outside. New faces always welcome!

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

Food and/or drink available at The Cadland, High Road, , NG9 5EG, along with a variety of conversation. This is an ever popular event and we have a large table reserved at the far side of the bar. Look for yellow Mblem and come and say hello! Large car park at rear of pub. Further info from Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] or just turn up on the night.

On Fri 14th Jun at 7:30pm - Girls Night In

An evening of fun and laughter at my home in Langley Mill. Anne-Marie will be showcasing her range of Tropic skincare, bodycare and make up with some free mini treatments on offer. Lingerie and bags also for sale at bargain prices with money going to charity. Hot/soft drinks and nibbles provided or BYOB. Please contact Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] for directions and to confirm attendance.

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

Join Newark members for their monthly get together at The Prince Rupert historic pub on Stodman Street, NG24 1AW. Come for a meal or just a drink. We are usually in the room to the right as you enter with a yellow Mblem on display. Further info from Pete on [Phone Number] or [Email] if required.

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

We return to Alaturka Meze Mangal restaurant, Compton Acres, West Bridgford, NG2 7RS, for their excellent Turkish cuisine. See menu at http://alaturkamezemangal.co.uk and reserve your place with Maxine on [Phone Number] or [Email] by 21st please.

Ciao for now!

Maxine Bates

Contact [Email] or [Phone Number] for details

News from Northampton

On Sun 9th Jun at 10:30am - Brunch

The usual breakfast/brunch will be at the Rendezvous Coffee Shop in Market Walk, Northampton Town Centre. After Pete's quiz we'll be considering our three bucket list items - and how we're planning to fulfil them. Contact Marianne at [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for advice and encouragement.

On Sat 22nd Jun at 11:00am - Croquet

We're having another go at croquet at St Andrews Hospital, Billing Road, NN1 5DG at a cost of £10 each - but less if lots of us turn up. No prior skill needed! After some coaching there will be an informal competition. Plenty of parking (toilets inside the hospital) but bring your own refreshments. Contact Marianne at [Phone Number] or email: [Email] for guidance or directions.

photo of Steve Thomas

Hertfordshire Happenings

On Thu 6th Jun 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 Fri 28th Jun 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 Peterborough and 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 Jo Sidebottom

Mensans in MK & Bedford

Sandra, David, Jo, Chris and Sue enjoying T@3 at Dobbie's Garden
Centre. Photo taken by passing client Philip.

On Sat 1st Jun at 1:30pm - Walk & tea

Meet us at the Chilterns Gateway Centre, Whipsnade Road, Dunstable LU6 2GY for a Downs walk followed by tea in the café. Parking £3.50. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for directions/encouragement or if weather is bad. LU members particularly welcome.

On Mon 17th Jun at N/A - Cancelled - 3MOTM Quiz

The monthly quiz outing to The Barge at Woolstone has been cancelled as the Barge have ended their weekly quizzes. Contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] for details.

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

Christine has kindly volunteered to host Sunday breakfast on the 4th Sunday of the month at Carluccio's in the Centre:MK. Join her from 10am for a full breakfast, a snack, or just a drink. You can still contact Jo at [Email], or [Phone Number] / [Phone Number] 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

photo of Val Hinkins

Mid Bucks

Dave and Alison at a game board

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

Join Dave and Alison at their home in Flackwell Heath, near High Wycombe, for a relaxed 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 Jun at 10:30am - Coffee & Chat

Join me at Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury for relaxed conversation, cake and coffee. See https://www.buckscountymuseum.org/museum/visit/ for location and menu. By June there should be two new exhibitions open – Samurai and Celebrating Communities. We can check these out after our coffee. No need to book, but if you want me to look out for you, let me know you are coming on [Phone Number] or e-mail me at [Email]

On Sat 15th Jun at 3:00pm - Bucks Arts Week

Join me at St Dunstan’s Church off Mill Lane in Monks Risborough, HP27 9JE to see a varied selection of artists’ work. Free parking on Mill Lane and refreshments available. More details at https://www.bucksartweeks.org.uk/open-studios Search for “Dunstan” in the venue field. Further details and encouragement on [Phone Number] or [Email]

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 Susan Graves

Derby Diary

On Tue 11th Jun at 7:30pm - Meal

Join us for an Italian meal at Pesto at the Peacock, Chesterfield Road, Oakerthorpe, Alfreton, DE55 7LN. They offer a wide range of dishes on their menu served on small plates i.e. tapas style but Italian. Please contact me on [Phone Number] or [Email] by Tuesday 4th June to book.

On Wed 19th Jun 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. 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

British Mensa’s: Androgyny SIG

Cover of Androgyny Journal

Stimulating conversation: Bringing sex and gender to the kitchen table.

The world over, we humans seemingly struggle to articulate the topics of sex and gender without a degree of embarrassment. The pang in the pit of one’s stomach, the clammy hands, an apparently ever-tightening collar as the beads of sweat form on one’s brow, the flushing of the cheeks, and drying of the throat, and a tongue which simply refuses to co-operate with the brain. Sex, gender, sexuality, and any such talk of our bodies just makes people uncomfortable and my aim for ‘British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY’ is to alleviate some of this discomfort by stimulating a conversation about them.

I took over as Editor of the Journal at the end of 2016 and we have successfully published more than 40 contributions since. As I was given free rein to revive the publication in a way I saw fit, I chose to develop a hybrid ‘journal x magazine’ which acted as a designated safe-space for controversies and current affairs to be discussed through editorials and letters, research articles, reviews, technical reports, debates, essays, and position papers.

I take particular pride over “The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section” [‘Special Androgyny News, Dates, Reviews, & Arts’], which takes its namesake from Sandra Lipsitz Bem, a prolific researcher of Androgyny and gender identity. Within this section – found at the back of every issue – you can find monographs and interviews as well as creative writing, poetry, and artworks. My view is that it is the message and not the medium through which contributors deliver said message, which is most important.

The journal is truely international and has a team of expert peer reviewers who assist in the management and revisions of contributions. This has only helped strengthen the publication’s commitment to discuss topical issues on Androgyny, and on gender differences, identity & society, and discussions of equalities & equity. In doing so, we collate a vibrant and engaging collection of works, in a quarterly publication dedicated to intellectual debate, empirical research, and artistic expression.

Contributors from all walks of life are encouraged, and we therefore engage a wide and diverse readership; bringing together likeminded people through this ‘journal-zine’, to propagate teaching & learning, generate discussion, and provide a supportive community of contributors and readers who are passionate about this field, and who can go on to talk about the issues they read in this journal over their morning coffee on a Sunday. And it is my belief that it is those conversations with which we can change the awkwardness associated with discussing sex and gender, and fully embed it into our routine conversations and daily lives. All this from a one tiny little magazine!

I hope to see many more readers and contributors, for ‘British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY’ in the future, so do not hesitate to get in touch.

Editor: Sergio A. Silverio


20 Questions (No. 212)

The answers to the April competition were The Allman Brothers Band, Dire Straits, Gary and Martin Kemp, The Proclaimers, The Walker Brothers, The Everly Brothers, Brothers and Sisters, The Righteous Brothers, The Traveling Wilburys, The Kinks, The Doobie Brothers, The Hollies, The Fureys, The Scaffold, Dusty Springfield, Jim Corr, Joe Brown, George and Ira Gershwin, The Isley Brothers and The Maccabees. Congratulations to Lynn Faulkner of Nottingham who wins the £10 book token.

Thanks to Kevin Fisher for compiling this month’s competition about homes. Send your answers to arrive by 20th June by post to ‘20 Questions (No. 212)’, [Address], or by email to [Email] remembering to include your name and address.

1. In Chinese Feng Shui what is the best colour for a door?

2. Which mineral gives bricks their red colour?

3. What material would you keep on your threshold?

4. Where in the world are the most expensive houses to buy?

5. In a Viking home on which day of the week would they bathe?

6. The word bungalow originated in which region of India?

7. In which area of England are you most likely to fall down the stairs?

8. What is the best shaped house to withstand an earthquake?

9. Bubble wrap was originally created as what household use?

10. Which Mexican artist lived in a Blue House?

11. Door handles made from what material kill the most bacteria?

12. From which country did the word ‘yurt’ originate to describe a Mongolian dwelling?

13. The first bath tub was found on which Greek island?

14. Inhabitants of which British city have the most wine chillers installed in kitchens?

15. Which building material would have an indent called a ‘frog’?

16. What is the best animal to control a lawn?

17. In ancient Greece the gynaikon room was used solely by which gender?

18. The word sofa originated from which language?

19. Which room harbours the most germs on the floor?

20. In parliament which colour represents the House Of Lords?