First assignments set out for a new scarfie year

Things to do:

The predictable essentials: Clothes, shoes, toiletries. How much clothing? How many pairs of shoes? Which coloured face-cloth? Oh, year after year, such questions plague me.

Nail polish: Should this belong in toiletries? It can be difficult to decide which few bottles to bring, but with three shades of pink you can never go wrong.

Calendars: Both the inspirational and the funny one. Wall planners are also helpful, and a great way to hide large areas of ugly paintwork.

Stationery: Felt tip pens (perfect for prettifying notes and for procrastinating study); plastic sleeves for protecting assignments and for easy identification of marked work during the return process (the departmental receptionist will thank you); highlighters (all colours).

Dunedin Public Library card: For those occasions when the Central Library doesn't quite satisfy.

Flora: Pot plants literally add life to any interior space. Undoubtedly, my gerbera and my peace-lily will be making the trip back to Dunedin with me. As for the Aloe vera ... Well, it's charmingly practical in a quirky kind of way, but it's just so visually unattractive. Herbs are a better choice, because they provide a positive, "home away from home" aroma. Lemon basil is a personal favourite.

A dainty tube of hand-cream: Essential for my scarfie lifestyle ... Nothing lessens mid-lecture desk-drumming boredom quite like drumming the desk with Sugar Rose Tiger Lily scented fingers.

Smart-looking glasses: To supplement the geek with some chic (oh, I wish).


Fly spray: For all the big hairy spiders that decide to hide inside when winter bites. Copies of room key (several): It's a good idea to give one key to a trusted friend, in case the spare keys get locked inside the bedroom. Ensure that the friend is a tolerant person, as unfortunately keys can be lost outside working hours.

Carpet cleaner.

Net curtains: They provide the solution to road-facing bedrooms and inquisitive neighbours. They're also a lovely way to improve the look of any dreary bedroom. Wondering how to blend and match with existing decor? Simply tie them back with a coloured satin ribbon.

Luxury toilet paper.

A room diffuser: Handy for ridding the musty odour of last year's occupant and the staleness of a summer-closed house. It's important to acknowledge any bedroom flora when deciding on the diffuser's scent. For example, I'll be seeking a fragrance which complements the gerbera and the peace-lily.


Proper (i.e. non-'eco') light bulbs: The ridiculous seven-minute warm-up before casting half-decent light is intolerable, regardless of greenie brownie-points.

Multivitamin tablets: It's almost impossible to make it through a Dunedin winter without one a day.

A new duvet cover: Will invigorate any tired, student-wary room. The duvet cover also provides the main matching colours for further decor (see aforementioned net curtains). One again, take note of existing flora and try to match any floral prints accordingly. Consistency is always desirable.


Katie Kenny studies English at the University of Otago.


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