View from room at St Hilda’s © Ayo Onatade
Coming to St Hilda’s is always like coming back to an old haunt. It is always fun to be here and catch up with friends. This year is no different. My journey from London was without incident. The good thing was that I left a rather drizzly and wet London and arrived in Oxford to blue sky and sun. Eileen Roberts of course has put me along my favourite corridor in the South Building. She knows me well! The view from my window is perfect! I look across the River Cherwell onto the playing fields. One of the first things I always do is to open the window. It is always nice to hear the buzz and chatter of people punting down the River Cherwell and on the lawn.
St Hilda’s always kicks off with a champagne reception on the lawn before we all go in for dinner. It is also a chance to start renewing old acquaintances and catching up with friends. I managed to have a lovely conversation with Caroline Todd (who writes with her son Charles Todd). We have met briefly before at Bouchercon but not really had any long conversations. This was quickly remedied. This is the first time that she has attended St Hilda’s and as she pointed out, she has heared a lot of good things about the conference and is looking forward to it. This year the conference dinner speech was given by Sir Bernard Knight who gave a lovely light hearted speech entitled A pathologist’s view of his fictional colleagues. As per the norm, everybody wandered off to the SCR (Senior Common Room) to stay up and chat until the wee hours.
The conference starts properly on Saturday morning with the first talk being given by Tom Harper who is giving a paper on Darkness and Light: Crime, Philosophy and Search for Truth and Penelope Evans whose paper is entitled Let The Right One In: Staking a Claim for the Dead.