We'll I have officially been living in my flat for over a week, my first flat that i have lived in away from home, and so far I've enjoyed it. OK, so I haven't really spent a great deal of time there, what with working all day and having a social life, but despite that it has been good so far. Maybe i should take a step back for a second.

This is to be my third year away from home, my third attending the University of Otago in New Zealand, but my first living in a flat. For the last two years i have been living in a Hall of Residence. Think of it like boarding school accommodation, except more freedom, and less rules and strict people in charge. Anyway we had all our meals cooked for us, we had organised tutors for certain papers,organised recreational activities, and plenty of heat and power and security. So now I have

moved away from all that and am in a flat of five guys. We technically I'm in a flat with one other guy at the moment, the rest don't move in for another month or so. The first issue we came across was getting the place looking tidy. It would seem that the previous tenants just walked out and left it in a right mess, with a lot of stuff left behind, including a full bedroom as messy as the day the guy lived in it. Well, we managed to clear enough stuff to make room to live in, but we still have a little way to go to get it all fixed up, including a lot of cleaning of cupboards and floors.

The next thing that we came across was getting all the utilities connected. The power hadn't been disconnected from the last tenants, even though they had sent their disconnection notice in. So once I had called to set up the account in my name i thought we would be right. Unfortunately no-one had told the technician, who came the next morning while I was out and disconnected the power. A few angry phone calls and waiting around for half the day and he returned to fix it, at no extra cost to me. I should think so! Luckily the phone was a little easier to get connected and we had that up and running in one day. The internet is proving a little trickier, as they believe in making people wait, saying that it takes 5 to 10 business days to get it connected. As I write this we are on day 4, so hopefully tomorrow is the day, or I may be waiting another week without precious internet at my house. It's a good thing that the university has internet and spare computers I can use or I would be in a right mess.

The next issue that has arisen is keys. Doors need keys to lock and unlock them, but the thoughtless old tenants decided to take most of them with them when they left, leaving us with several problems. Problem one, we have one from door key between the two of us. Problem two, we cannot lock our bedrooms, and cannot unlock the other bedrooms. Problem three, someone out there has a key to my house, and therefore access to my stuff. It is slightly worrying to think about the third problem, so I'm going to ignore it for the moment. Again, it is lucky for us that the landlord has master keys for all the doors, and we can get in and out now that they have been supplied. The new problem this caused is that we now have the only keys to most of the doors. Why is this a problem for us you might be asking, well it is quite simple. If we loose our key, no one has another to let us back in. Maybe we should get more cut, that would be the sensible solution, but we are merely poor students as university, and we cannot afford to do such things when we feel it isn't necessary.

One week of flatting and so far the worst thing is that I have to do some cleaning. I guess that is easily remedied by just living with the mess. But If I want to have even the smallest resemblance of a social life, that just isn't an option. maybe the tenant who left his room behind will do some cleaning when he comes to collect his stuff. At least we can get his keys back at some point, one less intruder to worry about.

It's going to be a fun year if every week is as eventful as the last one has been.