Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Lost art treasures



I finally managed to retreive some film that had been jammed in my old camera and got the pics developed. I’d forgotten what was on it and was pleasantly surprised by the photos I found.

This one is of a very special place indeed, Creswell Crags on the border between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We’ve been a few times and enjoyed every visit. As you can see from the picture, it’s a rather beautiful place but it hides extraordinary secrets. For thousands of years the caves on either side of the gorge were used by early man. Hundreds of artefacts and remains have been found but in 2003 something even more astounding was found.

13,000 years ago, this was the place for artists to hang out and work.

Yes, honestly. In 2003, a discovery was made that shook the world of archaeology and anthropology. Until then, it was thought that the earliest European cave art was to be found in the caves of Lascaux and others in France. Creswell Crags is the site of not cave paintings but engravings and relief work. These were probably painted as well; traces of ochre and other ancient paint pigments have been found in the art.

In 2006, there were limited tours being offered of the caves where the art was found. Needless to say, we went and marvelled. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end at the sight of a carving of a sleeping bear, of a horse, a reindeer and others. Sadly, the light was too poor to take photos and I’d recommend having a look around the offical site, to have a look at both the art and the history.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Art, culture, painting, personal, photo, Viv's Art | , , , , | 5 Comments

View from a mountain top


I walked through pouring rain through a Scottish forest and up a small mountain (you might call it a hill but my legs said it was a mountain). I stood against winds that nearly tipped me over. I gazed through mist and rain at the view of the Solway Firth, obscured and stormy. And then, having gone up, I needed to go down again. The bit I hate the most; I get occasional attacks of vertigo.

As we started our trek back off the mountain, we saw in the valley below us a sight that you can just make out in the photo above: a rainbow.

For me, the rainbow is a symbol as well as a scientific phenomenon. To me it means the storms are breaking and the promise of sunshine ahead has appeared. I had a bit of a shiver when I saw this one, as if it had personal meaning for me.

This winter has been an awful one for me; I’ve struggled with depression, mild paranoia, anxiety and a host of other delights. The winter is over but the causes of the issues remain and while I know that if I keep busy and focus on other things I can keep ahead of it, even so, the issues still remain, patiently waiting for me.

After we came back from Scotland, we went to stay with one of my oldest friends in north Yorkshire. A great time was had by all, but certain things came out of the visit, that I believe presage enormous changes for me. I’m hesistant to give details, partly because details are still scanty, but if I say that I had a strong feeling throughout of history being made. Maybe only my own history and maybe also hers, but even so, in a quiet way, something momentous took place.

I especially wanted to report it here first, because Cafe Crem is extremely important to me, and you guys have all been great. I will report more as time goes on but I can simply say that for me that Scottish rainbow is a sign that some of my storms are breaking and sunshine is beginning to appear.

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Easter, God in our life, life, nature, personal, photo, Viv's Art, writing | , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments



Apologies for my absence but I’m now back at work and both the tiredness and the stress is taking its toll on my creativity… but I thought I’d share this photo I caught yesterday in London. I had one of those tearing-out-of-hair days but all was ultimately OK.

March 29, 2009 Posted by | personal, photo, photography, Viv's Art | , , , , | 6 Comments

Tree bien!

I found this extraordinary tree yesterday in the woods near the beach; I have no idea what sort of tree it is or how the marks got there, but it is “awesome”, isn’t it?pict03451


March 8, 2009 Posted by | nature, photo, random, Viv's Art | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tree Gods


Tree Gods


They wait, these trees.

Slender children of older gods,

Mighty as towers but long gone,

Fallen to ruin and leaf mould.

They wait, these trees.

Winters pass like melting snow;

The glades grow dense, with brambles

Hiding their burrowing feet.

Moss-furred stumps,

The bones of their ancestors

Remind them of past glories.

They wait, these trees.

Summers pass like blooming flowers.

The dells ring with song

And deer run in hidden paths

Of dappled sun and shade.

They wait, these trees.

The tiny child grows up,

Grows old and passes on,

Houses rise and houses fall

Towns boom, towns bust,

Kings and queens come and go.

The trees alone remain.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, nature, photo, Viv's Art, Viv's Poetry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norfolk Elephants…

I bet you didn’t know elephants lived wild in Norfolk…

I found this one wandering in the bus station at Norwich today…and the doctor’s tardis had landed on it too, poor dear.

Last year there was a massive art exhibition where huge numbers of local artists got to decorate the model elephants(they’re about the same size as a baby elephant) and they are now dispersed around the city. I think they were auctioned for charity.

I adored this one; I will post more if I come across them in my wanderings.



February 21, 2009 Posted by | Art, fun, life, nature, painting, personal, photo, random, Viv's Art | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Kissing under the…


People rarely notice this little plant, because it tends to grow up high. We see it at Christmas and kiss under it, and then forget it for the rest of the year.

I spotted this fabulous crop on a high tree in Cambridge Botanical gardens today as we walked past.

For reasons of censorship, you can’t see us having a snog underneath it but that’s probably just as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone with much love from us here in the East of England.. though that blue sky is worthy of a Greek island!


February 14, 2009 Posted by | Christmas, friends, life, love, nature, personal, photo, Valentines, Viv's Art | , , , , , | 7 Comments

a groyne…


February 13, 2009 Posted by | education, friends, fun, humor, illustrations, personal, photo, random, Viv's Art | , , | 4 Comments

Most Easterly….

As you might know I live about as far east in Britain as it’s possible to go without getting wet, and so we have a lot of things that are labelled, “Britain’s Most Easterly” often with a sign outside.

Here I present Britain’s Most Easterly amusing sign:


February 13, 2009 Posted by | friends, fun, life, nature, personal, photo, random, Viv's Art | , , | 4 Comments

A new proverb



“There’s nothing wiser than a sleeping cat!”

I came out with this gem last night; not at all sure where it came from but it has a certain ring of truth about it.

The two little sketches above are of two of my cats. The one on the left is Robin, my white and black ex-tom, and the one on the right is Clara, my dark tortoiseshell queen. Clara was a cat we rescued and while I loved her dearly, I didn’t mourn her when she died, two years ago. She suffered, we are sure now, from feline dementia and while she lived to a grand age of 16, she was not “all there” for many of the 8 years she lived with us. She did however have a great gift that continued despite her mental decline; she could make any guest feel special and privileged. She would approach someone sitting in our home and be so sweet and friendly that it put people at their ease, unlike my beloved Watson who various of our friends and relations were frankly terrified of. If Clara came and sat on your knee, you felt like a small furry angel had descended on you; if Watson sat on you, you didn’t move a muscle in case he turned into a tiger and ate you all up.

But I had a bond with Watson that I never had with Clara. We knew each other, warts and all. Watson sat with me through some of the hardest times in my life, a few feet away so as not to intrude on my pain, but close enough so I knew he was there. I sat up with both of them as they lay dying. Watson passed while I slept next to him, dozing off exhausted. Clara kept me by her side until the last moment, when, uncharacteristically, she bit me. I think I was the first and last person she had ever bitten.

I have no idea where this post came from or where it goes or what it means, if anything, other than I miss my cat still.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | animals, death, drawing, God in our life, life, love, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, random, Viv's Art, writing | , , , | 1 Comment