Halloween House Parties

Some of you who have followed me since the beginning may remember my post last year about Halloween (if not you can see it here), which was actually one of my first posts! It’s quite strange to think how much has changed in a year, and even more strange how much hasn’t. For instance my housemate Joe still wore a fantastic costume for our Halloween house party which you can see below.

Alice in Zombieland??

Alice in Zombieland?? (2014)

Joe as a demon!

Joe as a demon! (2015)

Keeping up traditions, we decided to throw another party ourselves for Halloween. The city is an expensive nightmare on big occasions like these, and trying to find a ticket for the Halloween LCR was as rare as finding a unicorn. It was much better having the party in a house rather than flats like last year, there was a lot more space and no noise complaints because we didn’t have to worry about disturbing the rest of the building. Our house is detached with a huge lounge, much more suited for parties!

We held a competition for the best outfit, and I’m sure you can already guess who won. Ed (dressed as an old lady with a bottle of sherry) walked for about an hour from his house to ours on his own dressed like that. He of course won the prize of a bottle of vodka .However, he seemed a bit disappointed to then find out it was only about 2 inches tall…

vodka

It is well known that student Halloween parties are some of the best, so make sure if you’re not hosting one yourself, go to one!

Now’s the time to keep an eye out for fireworks and Christmas parties. For those of you who are american or have american linkages, you may even be thinking about thanksgiving. One of my housemates is planning on cooking us all a thanksgiving dinner, so that might be something you might want to start planning. As for Christmas, the cheapest way to keep everyone happy is to set up a secret Santa. My house has already set up ours – now we face the challenge of actually keeping who we have a secret!

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Top 5 Places to Eat in Norwich City Centre

Norwich is home to an abundance of famous places to eat, so the real tough decision when you’re planning to eat out is ‘where should I go?’. From extravagant restaurants to cute little cafés, there’s somewhere to go for every occasion and for everyone’s tastes, and here’s my top 5!

Grosvenor Fish Bar

Image courtesy of Grosvenor Fish Bar.

Image courtesy of Grosvenor Fish Bar.


You will hear about this place a lot, and for good reason. They sell undoubtedly the best chips for miles. Whilst not suitable for vegetarians in the slightest (my friend was told by staff that they even cook veggie burgers in beef fat?), it is a must for everyone else! You can find a copy of their menu here.

Amaretto

Image courtesy of Amaretto.

Image courtesy of Amaretto.

If you’re looking for a delicious bite on the go, Amaretto is the place to go (the cheesy rhyme was totally intended, sorry). They serve some really healthy dishes, but my favourite is their really cheap and tasty pizza slices. They’re served fresh every few minutes and are just so so worth trying. They also serve tons of home-baked cakes and pastries.

Orange Tree

Image courtesy of Orange Tree.

Image courtesy of Orange Tree.

The Orange Tree also offers a take-away service but I find this is a really nice place to go for a fair priced lunch. Perfect place to take your family when they’re down, or when you’re having a day out in town with friends. Their selling point is their sandwiches, they have some amazing fillings and let you mix and match to your tastes! Their website can be found here.

Biddy’s Tea Room

Image courtesy of Biddy's Tea Room.

Image courtesy of Biddy’s Tea Room.

I think I’ve mentioned these guys before, but they definitely deserve another mention. Whilst space is often limited (book if you can!) they have the best selection of tea’s there are. You can choose to have a quick pot of tea and slice of cake downstairs, or head upstairs for the restaurant side of things. Honestly, just read the menu and your mouth will water.

The Library

Image courtesy of The Library.

Image courtesy of The Library.

My most extravagant of choices, definitely not a casual day-to-day place to eat. If it’s a big occasion, this is for sure the place to go. I visited a few weeks ago and it blew my mind. Absolutely beautiful food (at high prices, unfortunately) and a fantastic setting. Possibly a good place for a date if you’re really trying to impress. You pay for what you get, and you will never forget your visit here. The menu can be found here.

SSLG – Why Should You Care?

Some of you may or may not already know about the SSLG (Staff Student Liason Group/Committee) that runs within faculties at UEA. More likely, some of you may not even care to want to know what it is or what it aims to achieve, but I’m here to explain why it’s something you should definitely be more aware of.

In summary, every school within UEA will have an individual SSLG committee. I am part of BIO, and I stand as representative from my Biological Sciences course as a first year. As a student representative, it’s my role to ensure that I am expressing any complaints or praises specifically about the course from fellow students to the SSLG in order for it to be actioned upon if appropriate. Most committee’s will elect a student chair, who stands as a representative for the school. I am currently appointed chair elect, meaning I am kind of a deputy chair this year, moving into chair next year for BIO. We are trying this out for some continuity. So for anyone in BIO reading this, you know who I am!

It’s important that you know who your representative for your course is, as this is often the most comfortable way to pass on complaints for students as they are carried forward anonymously (if you choose to be) through the rep. It may be the case that your course does not have a rep yet, if so I strongly encourage you to put yourself forward! As well as being a great thing to put on your CV, it’s really important to take an active part in your learning and know that changes are being made.

Student representation structure.

Student representation structure.

I’ve borrowed this illustration from the Student Representation Code of Practise, just to show you how the hierarchy of student representation flows within the university. Whilst the SSLG is student led, the clue is in the name that there are some staff members who aid the discussions and offer another view to some issues if needed.

Flow from SSLG to LTC

Flow from SSLC to LTC

On a much larger scale, this illustration (also taken from the code of practise) shows the flow of feedback through the entirety of the university. It’s important to be aware of this so you know how things are dealt with and by whom.

Even if you don’t get the opportunity to be a part of the SSLG directly, it’s important to know your value as a student on your course. Every student is a representative in their own right, as shown on the first image. This system can only work with your feedback (positive and negative) so it’s always important to put forward anything you may feel is worth while to your course rep!

Student Night and Discounts

Thursday the 8th Oct was the day of the long awaited student night. Hosted at Chapelfield, the event exclusively offers students absolutely TONS of discounts in favourite shops! For those of you who might not know, Chapelfield is one of the two main large shopping centres in Norwich City Centre.

Intu Chapelfield

Intu Chapelfield – intu.co.uk

Discounts included up to 20% off in shops such as H&M, River Island, Schuh and Superdry; with opportunities for up to 50% off in some restaurants. This was not all that was on offer, however, Desperados were in the centre of the mall giving out free drink freebies and there was a DJ from Propaganda (an indie club night hosted at UEA owned ‘The Waterfront’) making the night more lively! Some people were able to get more than one free drink by going up to different staff each time they walked past the stall, but that of course didn’t include me. Absolutely not…

If you missed it this time around, or are looking to come to UEA next year, make sure you keep an eye out for when it’s happening! It will always be around this time of the year, so save some of your student loan and wait for student night. There will be something you will want by then, trust me. In the first month I’d managed to ruin my pair of trainers so desperately needed some more, especially with winter coming round the corner.

New Trainers                                      New Trainers

I may have bought a new pair of boots too…

IMG_4452[1]

Aaaaand some jeans…

IMG_4454[1]

But be assured, I did really really need them.

“What about the rest of the year?” I hear you ask. Do not worry, if you get an NUS extra card for £12 for the whole year you can discounts in absolutely loads of places. Honestly, buying this card was one of my best decisions as a student. It allows you to get 10% off in our own student union shop on campus; a discount on a railcard; discounts in hundreds of clothes stores and restaurants and money off lots of miscellaneous shops too. You can buy them online at NUS.org.uk or you can get one straight away if you head to Grab and Go in the hive where they can print them for you.  Take a look at the list of discounts they offer online if you don’t believe me!

You Can Eat Better Than You Think

After taking about a week to finally figure out how to get the oven to work (turns out it needed to be reset?), my flatmate and I had a try at a few cheap recipes he found online. For those of you who followed my blog last year you’ll remember him as being a fantastic cook! However, I helped with the majority of these dishes and, as someone who is rubbish at cooking, I found them surprisingly simple.

A little tip…
To make it cheaper, we shared the price between us both. This is something you should think about doing with your flatmates – plan some big meals together! I’ll give a few examples below, but most meals will be cheaper if you buy in bigger quantities and split the price. 

To make things easier for you all, I’ve started with a list of sites that we used to get ideas for some of our meals. Make sure you check out at least a couple of these, they’re really helpful!
Sorted Food – these guys provide most of the recipes we use. Their you tube channel is better than their website in my opinion, so check out that as well!
– Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube – some very expensive recipes on here so watch out, but he brings on a lot of extra guests so this is a great way to find new chefs to follow.
– Gordon Ramsay’s personal channel on You Tube.
Food Wishes – chef John is my favourite! Watch his videos and you will see why, he’s so lovely and his recipes are super easy to follow.
Foodffs – a tumblr blogger who regularly shares lots of great recipes.

Now to the good part – the food! One of the first things we made was Eggs Benedict. Toast an English muffin, grill some ham, poach an egg and cover with hollandaise sauce. An easy way to poach eggs is to put cling film over a bowl, then add the egg, some oil and salt and pepper and twist the cling film to form a little closed bag around it. Be sure to cello tape it closed, and just put into a pan of boiling water for as long as you like your eggs done! The egg should slip straight out once you open it because of the oil.

Gordon Ramsay's Eggs Benedict

Gordon Ramsay’s Eggs Benedict

One night we had some gorgeous salmon fillets in a white wine sauce that you can just google – there are lots of variations of it so choose one that fits your taste. With this we had some vegetables and one of my favourite things at the moment – dijon mustard mash. We got the idea from online (apologies, I can’t remember where) but it’s really easy and makes a simple side a lot more exciting. Boil your potatoes until they are ready to mash, add some butter, chives and dijon mustard to taste and mix it all up! I like lots of mustard in mine but it does tend to over power some things.

Our mini roast

Our mini roast

This picture shows our try at a roast dinner. It’s missing a lot of things, I know, but my gosh it was yummy. We bought a whole chicken and used the breasts for this (read below to see what we did with the rest). I didn’t have an input on the roast potatoes but they were beyond incredible, and the carrot and asparagus was just left over veg that we used up to accompany it.

I’m having the mash again tonight – literally being cooked as I type! I must say this blog post is not helping my building hunger. Alongside it we’re having the rest of the chicken and using a chicken stock that we made from the carcass to make a chicken pot pie. I’m getting very impatient waiting for it!

Finding Your Feet

I’m sure all week that those among you who are new arrivals here at UEA have been bombarded with the endless events of welcome week. I didn’t want to be generic and write a post detailing every event come up, so thought it would be better to write a summary of how my first week as a technical ‘first year’ went and some advice for what’s ahead of you (for those of you who don’t already know, I was a foundation student last year).

Firstly, I would like to welcome all of UEA’s freshers! I was part of the team of pink t-shirts that helped move in those of you who are living in campus accommodation. I hope you were welcomed with smiley faces and were made to feel at home right away! Even as a student staff member I really enjoy when I have jobs such as these, because I know how nerve-racking the first day can be and I like to hope I can help to make it a little easier – and so does everyone else. If you feel you could contribute well to such roles, keep an eye out for job openings on the union website or on UEA’s designated career central website. Here you can find not only jobs at UEA, but across Norwich as a whole.

Career Central can be found on campus in the square as well as online.

Career Central can be found on campus in the square as well as online.

By now you will have probably have met all of your flat, or at least I like to hope you have! You will notice a difference in your selection of interests, hobbies and cultures. Use this to your advantage! University is the perfect time to learn new things and discover new interests. Don’t be put off by ‘different’, embrace it. Respect each other, some people like to party and others don’t and that’s okay! Just ensure that everyone is comfortable and find something in common that you can all equally enjoy together.

During freshers week the wildest of you will have probably spent at least a couple of nights in the LCR. You will have found out here who are the party animals and who are not. For those of you who love LCR club nights as much as I do, I’ll see you there over the term! There was lots of other things going on too in the bar and other places. I hope most of you have spent a night in the bar with some new friends, it’s a fantastic atmosphere so if you haven’t get a group together and head down there. For those of you who don’t drink or prefer quieter nights, don’t worry! The bar is really chilled and not nearly as crazy as the LCR.

Finding your feet can be hard during first week, but you will pick up very quickly where buildings and rooms are. I think once I had that figured out I felt a lot better about the whole thing. There’s so much going on and you are going to experience so many emotions over the coming weeks but keeping yourself on top of things you can control, such as work load, will help you in abundance. Lastly, remember to never be afraid to ask for help! There’s someone available to help with probably any problem you can think of at UEA, any doubts on who to go to just contact your personal adviser.

All in all, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic first week! What were your highlights? What do you think could have gone better for you? What would you like me to give some advice on? I would love to hear from some fresh faces 🙂

Moving In -ROUND 2!

Firstly I must apologise to my regular readers that I have been a couple weeks without posts. As mentioned before I finally got to move back into Norwich on the 10th and so have been busy getting things in and ready! Also, I still have no internet at my new house (boo) but I’m currently sitting typing away in the UEA library so this shouldn’t be an issue from now on. Yay for free UEA WiFi!

A bit of deja vu!

A bit of deja vu!

I wanted to start by showing you a picture of me starting to load things into the cars. Yes, it took two cars this time round. Last year I managed to get everything into my mum’s big 7-seater but as I decided to bring my own car down this year (due to having a parking space now) I then decided more stuff was definitely needed. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly if you know me well, this is not even a quarter of the amount I brought along with me for UEA round two!

I don’t know where to start with describing my new house, we have gotten really lucky. I’m sharing with 5 other students, 3 guys 3 girls, in a beautiful house in the Bowthorpe area. For now I wanted to show you all my room, which is the bit I was most excited for. I got my first ever own double bed, with a wardrobe and extra storage big enough for everything I brought along! As you can see, my room leads into an en suite that I share with the room next to me. I always love being nosey as to how people decorate their rooms so I’ll be sure to update you once everything is fully unpacked – even since taking this picture a lot has changed. I’m definitely hoping to get a new lampshade for starters!

In terms of items I’ve had to buy for the house, my flatmates and I have brought most things from home. Anything extra that was needed was shared out between us. I thought our front room looked bare and boring, so got a huge mirror from an antique store in Norwich (Looses) for £20! Personal touches such as these can be shared across your flatmates to make things cheaper for you.

My advice for those about to share houses or for those who will be next year, would be to share things such as cutlery and pots and pans. There just won’t be enough space to have multiple sets! Also when moving into a new house, there may be a few issues. I found what worked with my letting agency was to make a list of them and take it directly to them (assuming their offices are local). Most of our important problems were dealt within 2 days this way, but if you do have problems with landlords or letting agencies do seek some free advice from UEA who can help you get what you need.

We currently have a pool table in our front room that is acting as a perfect distraction from the fact we currently have no internet. I didn’t realise how much of a necessity it was to student lives! What are some personal touches you’ve put in your student rooms or houses? I’d love to see how people have coped with varying room layouts and space 🙂