Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers



Well this week has been exhausting!

I turned 22, handed in my first assignment this year, lockdown ended and advent started. It’s been manic.  Tier 3 doesn’t offer us much more opportunity than in lockdown, but I’m glad to be able to get back to rock climbing. I’m starting to get excited for Christmas, my playlists have switched and when I came home today my housemates had covered the house with tinsel.

I think this December is really needed. Christmas and New Year give us a chance to put 2020 behind us and start getting back to our lives. I’ve been told by many of my friends that I’m a huge pessimist and I worry too much, but right now I’m definitely hopeful for the future.

But before the future there is the now, so I thought I’d write about things I plan to do in Tier 3 Christmas time:

  1. Bake. In December the days are short and the nights are long, and in these dark days we tend to crave the things we love. In my case that’s food. I don’t want to experience a single cup of tea this month which isn’t accompanied by a mince pie, a gingerbread man or some shortbread. Plus it’s so cold when you go outside, your body needs the extra energy in order to keep you alive, so really it would be irresponsible not to make anything! I’ve included a really easy dark chocolate and ginger cookie recipe that I think is perfect for this time of year.
  2. Go on walks. We still are living in a world where staying safe from coronavirus is the top priority, so to safely socialise outdoor activities are the best option. Maybe the icy winds and rain put you off this though, but the solution is simple, get a big thermal cup and fill it with hot chocolate, preferably with Baileys in it too. Now the walk is no longer dull, it’s cosy, and instead of being cold you are now festive.
  3. Send out Christmas cards. Usually I’m terrible at writing cards, buying presents causes enough stress and I often leave it too late. This year however what else am I doing really! It’s often hard to know what to write in cards and this year there’s really not much to say, I plan to just put terrible jokes in mine to deflect.
  4. Go carolling! I’m kidding, ain’t no way I’d force my voice onto the innocent people of Birmingham like that. I just included it because the government specifically allowed it recently.
  5. Lock myself in the library and write as much dissertation as I can before I go home. There’s no way I’m going to achieve anything when I get back home, I’ll be too busy cooking turkey and drinking Buck’s Fizz. My plan is to just plug in ‘A Kylie Christmas’ and crack on with my dissertation before I can go celebrate.

Ginger and Dark Chocolate Cookies


  • 125g butter
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1tsp ginger
  • Half a tsp of mixed spice
  • 100g dark chocolate cut into chunks


  1. Mix the sugar and butter together, add in the egg, flour and spices and mix until it forms a smooth ball of cookie dough.
  2. Add in the chocolate chips so they are incorporated throughout.
  3. Place the dough in a plastic bag or cling film, then place in the fridge and rest it for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough into 16 even balls.
  5. Place four balls on a tray spread out and bake at 170C (or gas mark 5) for around 10 minutes.
  6. Cool them on a rack and eat them!

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