Eleanor’s Blog – 13 March

Hello again, spring is in the air this week!

Something a bit unusual has been occurring in manchester recently…SUNSHINE!

Although the temperature hasn’t quite raised enough to get the summer wardrobe out, the sunny weather has made everyone in a good mood. Well, me at least!

This week, I’ve been sorting stuff out for the house next year, yet again. You have to have what’s called a guarantor, where someone responsible like a parent has to sign to say they’ll pay your rent for you if for some reason you can’t. Hopefully it’ll never come to that but it’s something you’ve got to do anyway! As my mother is absolutely hopeless with computers and somehow managed to delete the form that the estate agent sent her to be my guarantor (and the fact it was her birthday) I went home at the weekend yet again. I do feel a bit like I’m missing out on stuff here with going home so often, but as I’ve mentioned before it’s got to the stage in the year where I don’t feel so much like a ‘fresher’. I’ve made friends now, and sampled a bit of the nightlife Manchester has to offer so I’m alright with missing a night out or two. 🙂

As I was home for my mum’s birthday, I decided to make her a huge cake to celebrate the occasion. I found a recipe online for an amazing-looking chocolate cake, that caled for 4 bars of posh expensive dark chocolate and lots of fancy sounding ingredients. With my student budget in mind though, I think I managed to make a pretty yummy cheaper version!

400g of Tesco Value dark chocolate,(35p for 200g)

melted together with 200g margarine (£1.35 for 1kg), added to

about 200g of Self Raising Flour, (52p for 1.5kg)

200g sugar (99p for 1kg)

a massive spoonful of cocoa powder, (£1.95 for 250g)

a couple of spoonfuls of milk (89p for 2 pints)

and 3 eggs (£1.25 for 6) all mixed together and in a cake tin in the oven at gas mark 3 for about an hour.

The topping was 300ml of double cream heated up in a pan with 400g chocolate melted in and a spoonful of sugar. I also chopped up some white chocolate and chucked it on the top, although it looked a bit like I’d just grated some cheese on it. Not the healthiest but it was flippin’ lovely.

I know seems like quite a lot of money listed like that, and maths was never my strong point so I don’t know exactly the price for making the cake (as obviously you don’t use all the ingredients up in one go) but it’s definitely cheaper than the recipe I found to begin with and just as nice I’d bet. I made it for my mum but it’d be something good a group of us could make for a fellow student!

As well as being a goddess in the kitchen this week, I’ve been buying clothes for my summer holiday, despite it being about 3 months away. It’s good to be prepared! Booking it now meant it was cheaper, but we had to work the dates around things like essay deadlines and the exam period which will be at the end of May. At uni you’re told the dates of the exam period in advance, so there’ll be no nasty surprises and I won’t find myself sat in an exam hall when I should be on an aeroplane. Charity shops are pretty much already my second home (or third, if I’m counting halls and my house back in Derbyshire) and it’s a good way for people who love shopping, like myself, to be able to buy stuff without spending loads and loads. I also do a bit of sewing -nothing particularly fancy and my stitches have been known to break halfway through the day, but it’s good for maybe altering or fixing something rather than throwing it away and buying new!

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