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The second in our series of member interviews with Head of Events, Abbie. Here's what Martin had to say about Mirthy...


How did you find out about Mirthy in the first place?

I found out about Mirthy because I’m in U3A. The fact that you existed and that you offered talks etc, and I thought “yes I like that kind of thing!”. At our monthly meetings, I enjoy the talk, second only to the quiz, and so I thought, well 2 talks a week- great! And I really am interested in almost anything. So when you have stuff like trekking across America or Magna Carta, I come along because I’m interested. Even at my ripe old age, I have this constant thirst for knowledge.

Did you do any online stuff before?

Not much. I do quite a lot now. There’s an organisation called the Amputee Association or something, and I do Keep Fit classes with them twice a week. But until Covid came, I used to go to my daughter’s Keep Fit classes twice a week, and I used to go swimming with her on a Tuesday morning. But I didn’t use to do much on the computer. I know how to do emails and I worked and all that.

Do you remember the first talk you attended with Mirthy?

I don’t actually. I’ve started keeping a list of the ones I’ve attended in the last couple of months but that’s only from July. I’ve certainly been watching since U3A told me of your existence. Sandy Leong, I’ve seen many of hers.

Do you have a favourite talk?

I like Sandy Leong - I think she’s good. She’s got many good subjects, and she puts them over well. Graham Harrison, I like his talks as well.

What keeps you coming back for more?

To see what’s happening next month. Let’s look at what I’ve seen lately. Shetlands- that guy who went round the Shetlands on his bike. Curiosities of London Streets, the guy who’s a Blue Badge Guide. Churches-that one about churches through the years, how they’re built- I enjoyed that one. Antarctica - that was good! Because it’s something different- that’s what keeps me coming back. I think the fact that your talks are so varied. And they’re not long, they last about 45 minutes with a quarter of an hour chat. That’s an hour- that’s not a lot to give up out of your day. And I really get so much from it.

Do you share the facts you learn with others?

I do! I do lots of quizzes from books and friends. I’ve got lots of trivia in my head!

How would you describe Mirthy in three words?

Entertaining, educational, informative. And if I had a fourth, fun!

What would you say to convince someone to join Mirthy?

Come along! They’re great- they have all these different talks, loads of interesting subjects. They’ve got lots of different speakers, and it’s really enjoyable, and it’s only an hour, and you get so much out of it! And for people on their own, that is something that really would fill an afternoon. Come on- it’s great, we have lots of fun and we really enjoy it!

And I’m glad I found you. I said this to my wife- without Mirthy, my life would be far less richer than it is now.

Martin can always be relied upon to ask a question after the Mirthy talks. Wonderfully curious about ‘anything and everything’, he also has a particular interest in the Anglo-Zulu war, with a bookcase that reflects that.