Hidden Lanes Festival

Loving Bec’s reviews and pics of some great music and locations.

Bec's adventures in music

Fortitude Valley – Saturday 13 October 2018

Let’s not beat around the bush, it was a really wet weekend in Brisbane on the weekend of the inaugural Hidden Lanes Festival. As I gathered my wet weather gear and went to the Valley, I thought that this little festival might just be washed out.

Hidden Lanes Festival had put out some smart messages in the days leading up to the event, once the weather decided to be uncooperative, letting festival goers know that all the music would be undercover and go ahead, the rummage sale would move to The Zoo and the masterclasses were being held indoors. Armed with that information, a good-sized crowd crammed themselves into every sheltered spot on the festival map.

The Hidden Lanes Festival was created to celebrate the laneways of Fortitude Valley, Winn Lane, Bakery Lane, Lucky Lane, Little Valley and newly renovated California Lane.


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Movie Review: Ladies in Black

5 stars

Director Bruce Beresford doesn’t put a foot wrong in this movie adaptation of Madeleine St John’s best-selling novel.

This is a joyous exploration of Sydney’s and Australia’s cultural landscape in the late 1950s as the Ladies in Black discover life, love, themselves … and olives.

Magda is the cultivated “reffo” who takes unsophisticated Lisa under her wing and, with the help of a belt and some lippie, helps her blossom into a young lady. Along with her refugees friends, Magda adds a little European colour to the lives of those she meets, and beyond.

And where, might you ask, is Melbourne in this movie? It’s humourously relegated to 2nd place – although its coffee does get a mention.

5/5 stars. I’ll be watching it again.

Recipe: white chocolate and Bailey’s ice cream


This recipe makes a lovely, soft ice cream that’s easy to serve and even easier to eat.


600ml pure cream

395g can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract

100ml Baileys’ Irish Cream or similar (optional)

200g good quality white baking chocolate



  1. Combine all ingredients except chocolate, ensuring they are well blended.
  2. Gently heat white chocolate in a double boiler until just melted. Do not allow it to get too hot.
  3. Slowly incorporate melted chocolate with the other ingredients, stirring constantly so that chocolate does not solidify and go lumpy.
  4. Ensure everything is blended and lump free. Strain if necessary.
  5. Optional: Churn to ensure everything is well incorporated. (My churn does not freeze this mixture but it does blend it well.)
  6. Cover and freeze.
  7. Don’t forget to lick the bowl.

(If you don’t use a churn I recommend stirring the mixture at least once during the freezing process to ensure it stays evenly mixed.)

Hint: If some of the chocolate has not melted properly, or if it solidifies while blending, strain and place it in a microwave-proof container, incorporate a little of the liquid and microwave for a few seconds at a time, stirring in between, until completely melted and pour back into the rest of the mixture.

This may freeze quicker, or even harder, if you leave out the Baileys’. If you do, let me know how it goes … because I’m never going to leave out the Baileys’.

I freeze some in small ramekins and share with friends. But let’s be honest … most of it goes into a larger container to keep for ourselves.



Mini-series review: Loch Ness (The Loch)


I thoroughly enjoyed this 6-part, made-for-TV mini-series. I found it light enough to not need 100% concentration 100% of the time but also gripping enough to have me looking forward to the next episode.

Views of the loch and the surrounding countryside were featured and used to advantage to contribute to the storyline in a way didn’t feel forced.

The action plays out as a fairly standard murder mystery drama, with the predictable conflicts and plenty of twists and turns without becoming too convoluted.

The climax and conclusion were surprising though perhaps just a little unbelievable but not so unlikely as to detract from my enjoyment.

3.5/5 stars



Book Review: Barrel Fever (David Sedaris)


A book of two halves.

Or, perhaps more accurately, 3/4 and 1/4.

I’ve heard David Sedaris reading his essays and have always found his stories honest, entertaining and sometimes quite raw, so I was looking forward to this book.

The first part of the book is a collection of short stories. I will admit I didn’t read all these. In fact I ploughed my way through one and a half before heading to the essays and the end of the book.

The short stories I read seemed ridiculous and pointless. Not funny; not entertaining; not believable. Yes, I know it’s fiction, so obviously not true, but fiction – no matter how outrageous – needs to be believable.

The essays, on the other hand, were everything I’d hoped for. I thoroughly enjoyed his amusing take on these personal stories.

I’ll definitely read more of his work but will be a bit more discerning about which book I buy next.

3 stars out of 5.


Film review: Crazy Rich Asians

You know the story. You know how it ends. There’s no weird twists; nothing to strain your brain. Just a great excuse to relax and eat some popcorn.

It’s a RomCom.

Fun, funny, predictable, entertaining.

Sometimes that’s all you need.

Great to see this classic story line played out by different faces and in a different location. A great way to showcase Singapore, even if most of us will never enter the crazy, rich world of the movie.

4/5 stars for being an enjoyable interpretation of a classic theme.

Upcycling … The shirts off our backs

Do you have a favourite t-shirt you no longer wear but can’t bear to part with? Why not upcycle it?

Have you ever watched one of those Facebook videos and saved it for later, only to forget all about it? Yep, me too.

Or I’ve gone back and looked and thought, “That’s too hard”. Continue reading Upcycling … The shirts off our backs

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