Having arrived in London at 9:30am after spending the entire night travelling back and forth on a Megabus coach, I was feeling…refreshed, and excited, probably due to the excessive amount of energy drinks I’d already consumed.  I was carrying a rather large and annoying bag, so avoided my usual ramble through London in favour of getting the tube, which was perhaps even more annoying than having to carry it through the streets. Anyway, I arrived at Euston and walked across the road in the direction of the British Museum. My friends and I had a rooms booked on Bloomsbury Street and although we weren’t able to check in till 3pm, I went there anyway to drop off my bag, then walked over to the Conference which was being held in the Senate House, part of the University of London, a short distance away.

Due to the invariably long amount of time it takes to get from place to place using the London public transport system, I missed the initial registration and opening welcome speech, arriving by about 10:50am. This was, however, just in time to sneak into one of the lecture halls. There were four rooms in total, each with talks and presentations going on simultaneously, in groups of three. Once you got into one session, it was pretty difficult to sneak out and attend another, unless you were sat right near the door and wouldn’t look to conspicious. So, for most of the weekend, we ended up attending the full three presentations in each session. This made for some difficult decisions, as it meant having to miss other lectures we might have quite liked to have seen.

I knew that each lecture was around 20 minutes long, and I could see by the timetable I had been given that one had started at 10:30am, so I worked out that I could sneak in and see the next two lectures, which is exactly what I did. Thankfully, I managed to find a seat although the place was completley packed out, I think it was the last seat available. The two talks I ended up seeing were “Holmes/Watson: Homosexuality, Fandom and the Case of Johnlock” by Atesede Makonnen and “As Solemnly as a County Cricket Match at Lord’s: Dorothy L Sayers and Holmesian Scholarship” by Nathan Murray.

The first one was discussing BBC Sherlock in particular and the rise of internet fandom and slash fan fics and fan art. It was interesting and amusing with some lively responses from the audience who were very much on board – there were quite a few of the younger fans in the room, giggling in appropriate places. The second was discussing the way Sherlockians “play the game” and was delivered by someone who wasn’t a Sherlockian, which was therefore quite interesting to see an outside perspective on the whole thing. I disagreed with a lot of the things he said but maybe that’s because I’m constantly playing the game.

Afterwards I met up with my two friends Ed, and Morton, whom I would be delivering my talk with the following day. We hung out for a bit and went through our presentation whilst sat out in the corridor and skipped the next lot of lectures, chilling out until lunchtime where there was a sandwich buffet. Very good cheese ploughmans!

The three of us went to the third session at 2:10pm where we saw “Empty Attics and Mind Palaces: Visualisation of Sherlock Holmes’ Thought Process in Contemporary Adaptations” by Elizabeth Nielsen, “Biopolitical Sherlock: Information Technology and Liquid Modernity at Risk” by Chung-Jen Chen and “Being Sherlock Holmes: How Guy Ritchie Lets Us In” by Rima Bertasaviculate. The first one was by far my favourite. She used a lot of examples with slides which made it a visual experience and lots of fun. The second one was quite hard to follow for me in places and I got a bit bored. Same with the third, which was slightly better but it really drove home the point for me of how much better talks/presentations are when the speaker uses slides to illustrate their point rather than just speaking.

Then we went to our hotel and checked in because it was now after 3pm. Our rooms were fairly basic but good enough considering the cheap price we were paying. We only stayed there for ten minutes or so then walked back to join everyone for free drinks at 6:30pm, mingling with people and making new friends. I got a few e-mail address, Twitters and Tumblrs. Then we left to head across town towards Trafalgar Square and attend a violin concert at St Martin In the Fields – very Sherlockian of us. I felt especially Sherlocky as I was in my Sherlock-at-Irene’s-house cosplay. It was an excellent concert and afterwards we went for a Chinese in Chinatown, stopping by the Criterion beforehand to look at the plaque. We headed back to the hotel for around 12am and got a relatively early night.