Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Family time

I’ve just said bye to my son Corey after he spent a few days with us here in Spain. I really don’t get to see him as often as I would like, and it was wonderful for Miki and I to have him around. Living here, you get into a routine and often don’t take the time to get down to the Playa like the tourists do, so it was fun to do that with him.

"..Jus' waitin' for da bus..." - not really, we took the car.

He starts his second year at Huddersfield University today, studying Music Production, and he already has more technical know-how than this old-school rocker! What’s great though is that it’s a shared interest, and we can talk about production ideas, gear, new music,  etc together.

We all had a great meal together at our fabulous local Chinese – anybody visiting Turre, we can heartily recommend it!

Duck in Orange sauce not pictured.

The next time I see him will probably be in the UK  when I’m rehearsing with Christie for the Estonia shows, and he’s promised to come along to watch.

Kev Moore

September 19, 2011 Posted by | children, family, fun, Kev Moore's Music, Music, travel | 3 Comments

A trip back home

On Wednesday night last week, I flew back to the UK to catch up with old friends, musical colleagues and family, and do a show in Great Yarmouth with BC SWEET, as part of a 70’s festival. Even though I’d allowed myself a couple of extra days, it was still a very hectic time!  It was great to see my son again – he’s now settled in at University in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, where he’s studying music production, and his band Jilambis have their new EP out, which is on sale HERE.


It was also nice to see Graham Oliver of Saxon, a long-time friend, with whom I’ve worked on several music projects, and who played me tracks from their forthcoming album, which sounds very tasty! Graham lives very near the old Yorkshire town of Conisboro’ which has given the world not only Saxon, but also singer Tony Christie and the larger-than-life Shakespearean actor, Brian Blessed, with whom both Graham and I have also appeared.  Conisboro’ Castle is a key location in the Walter Scott classic, “Ivanhoe”, and I managed to get a shot of it as I drove past. A real building, blurring the lines, as the novel does, between fact and fiction.

You can almost hear the clash of swords.....

I also caught up with my friend and musical colleague Stef, who played drums on several tracks on my BLUE ODYSSEY CD, and met up with Nick, brother of the great British vocalist Jess Roden, for the first time after a lengthy correspondence.

You can see some shots from the show by visiting moore:music HERE

Great Yarmouth, sits on the East coast of England at the mouth of the River Yare (as one might expect!) in the county of Norfolk, and the terrain is very reminiscent of Holland, being extremely flat. But that isn’t the only similarity it shares with our Dutch neighbours, as you can see from the photo:

.....and not a sign of Don Quixote.....

I spent the last few hours with my Dad in Derby before flying home. The sunshine giving me a chance to mess about with the camera in the garden, trying to photograph cobwebs and spiders, with varying degrees of success!

Although the sun did its best to keep shining, it was cold, and I was glad to return to sunnier climes on the Sunday, albeit with a bad dose of influenza!

Kev Moore

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, Entertainment, family, friends, fun, Kev Moore's Music, Music, Parents and Children, photography, writing | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hand-Painted Easter Eggs

My own hand-painted Easter Eggs in a handmade macramé basket

We don’t have egg-coloring kitswhere I live, and all the eggs here have brown shells, meaning a dye wouldn’t work on them.  Our solution is to hand paint eggs every year.  I got this handmade basket five years ago in an artisanal cooperative shop while on a vacation.  The small chocolate eggs in colored foil were purchased at a chocolate shop.

Here are some close-ups of our hand-painted eggs.

My Hand-Painted Easter Eggs

My Hand-Painted Easter Eggs

I painted them in stages, using poster paints.

–Madame Monet

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Art, culture, Easter, family, Festivals of the World, food, friends, fun, nature, painting, Parents and Children | , , , , , | 3 Comments


This is a collaboration with my son Matthew. He drew the lines, and I colored it in. He said it was a drawing of pipes, but it looked more like crop fields to me, seen from an airplane.

May 23, 2009 Posted by | Art, children, drawing, family, The MiniBar, travel | , , | 7 Comments

Streets of Derby

I feel like I’ve not been in the Cafe too much recently, except to post the serialisation of my novel, Atlantic Bridge, and indeed, I occasionally hear the tumbleweed blowing between the chairs and tables, and the creaking of the Cafe Crem sign as it forlornly dances in the wind outside….

Perhaps I should wander over to the jukebox in the corner and slip a quarter in, make a selection….clunk…there you go.  There just so happens to be my version of the old Ralph McTell song, Streets of London on there, only this one’s called Streets of Derby.  I couldn’t seem to stop working once I’d put the Derby album to bed, and Dave Mortimer, who has helped out with contacts in the town regarding the CD project is set to do a 10k run in aid of The Teenage Cancer trust, a charity under THE WHO’s patronage, and he asked me to put his re-worked lyrics to the song. Here’s the result. I hope it can do some good for this worthy cause.

Streets of Derby

Have you seen the young kids, bravely smiling through their illness?

So full of life, though some may not have long.

They need help fighting cancer – we can improve their chances

Let’s all get moving, to try and make them strong.


Chorus 1:

So how can you turn your face away, forget their pain – ignore the call?

I’m going to put my trainers on and run around the streets of Derby

I must do something to try and help them all.


For some, their home’s a hospice but their lives are still for living

All their hopes and dreams must surely match our own

We can use our energy to give those children liberty

From fear and isolation – they can’t fight it all alone.


Chorus 2:

So how can you say you’re lonely

And that for them the sun won’t shine?

If you can’t run, then sponsor me as I run through the streets of Derby

Your contribution means just as much as mine.

Lyrics by Dave Mortimer

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, children, education, events, family, Kev Moore's Music, life, Music, Parents and Children, Sound recording | , , , | 1 Comment

Ginger tea, and 3 hearts in a pan

When I was pregnant with my second child, nauseous with morning sickness all day long, a relative showed me how to make ginger tea. I’ve been waking in the middle of the night lately, wishing I had fresh ginger root in the house. I’m not pregnant right now, just…busy.

Matthew, my second-born, is 5 years old now. He took some pics of me a few days ago:

I signed up to make a treat for Matthew’s class for St. Patrick’s Day. The room mom sent instructions for a cute cupcake decorated with rainbows made with Airheads candy. Could I pull this off?

I had my doubts, but it worked out in the end.

Sugar, sugar, sugar!

A mom can hardly go wrong when lots of sugar is involved. I used the leftover cake batter to make a few heart cupcakes.

I was excited to finish my Sleeping Fairy jigsaw puzzle yesterday. I started it last fall, but had to put it away to use the table it was on for the kids’ birthday parties, and then the Christmas tree.

I might frame this one for Nicole’s room. It was tougher than I expected. I don’t think I’ll want to put it together again.

I’ve been working on a couple new poems. One of them, Orange Day, is almost ready to post. I still need to work on an image for the other one, Fighting Dragons.

Time for me to get back to work!

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Cafe L'Arte, children, family, life, Shelley's Creations | | 7 Comments

The Dream Van

This is what Nicole wants my van to look like.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, children, drawing, family, friends, fun, illustrations, love, Nicole, Shelley's Creations, The MiniBar | , , , | 3 Comments

Coffee for an Ex


Miki's Ski Coffee Cup

Monday, time again to have some coffee together here!

I have ordered this cup from my friends from The Bay Attic for a very special and very personal occasion.

As I left Germany some years ago, according to my everlasting habits, I went away leaving behind me most of my personal stuff, things like books, CDs, paintings, clothes, bicycle, skis, etc…  well I am normally not so much attached to “things”, and even less to “past things”, which might be the reason why I leave them behind when they belong to another part of my life. But there is something which I left behind last time, which I really regretted, and wanted to have back: my last ski suit! I don’t know why I especially love that one, perhaps because of the  happy colours, yellow and orange… perhaps also because it fits me very well, and it is rather difficult for me to find these kind of clothes for my unusual body complexion (please, no, don’t ask details!  🙂  ). And surely too because I loved the time I spent wearing it!

My ex-husband was so kind to send it to me some weeks ago, even twice, as the packet wrongly went back to Germany the first time! To thank him I had this cup featuring one of my sport paintings (ski, of course!) specially designed and  made for him. I sent it today, and I hope he will be happy about it.

But this is not all. Now I have a message to everybody: if it is possible, please try to not to keep too many grievances against former partners. For myself I could never understand how people who loved each other once, so much that they married, could end up hating and fighting one another. I can’t really explain why, but this is something which deeply hurts me. Concerning my ex, he has always behaved in a wonderful way since we divorced, although I certainly didn’t deserve it, at least from his point of view… and I still consider him as my friend, the same way as I always did. It is not always easy, I know, because a divorce is a tough thing for everybody, but with some goodwill, it is often possible!

I hope it is possible for all of you, too, who read this post… but honestly, I doubt it!  🙂

By Miki

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, coffee, family, friends, life, love, men, Miki's Paintings, women | , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Fairy Trees

The Faery Trees

The scent of the elder trees seemed to shimmer in the hot June sunshine, making a heat haze of aromatic oils and dust, as Becky flung herself down in the shade and buried her face in her hands and wept, loudly. The hard earth beneath the two bending bushes had been packed tight by the baking of the summer sun and by small feet, she noticed with some surprise. The worn footprints, made when last the ground here was muddy, were no bigger than her own would have made, and she saw for the first time that the two stunted trees leaned together to make an archway, and beyond it, she could see a narrow path, vanishing into the deeper woodland beyond. The path was barely more than a rabbit run and she wondered why she had never noticed it before.

She wished she had thought to bring a bottle of water; her throat was dry with the heat and it hurt through her wailing. A sob rose again unbidden and she scrubbed at her face as the tears began to course down her face again.

“Why are you crying?”

Becky jumped with shock, and saw to her intense surprise that a girl was standing over her, her face hidden in the mass of wild flaxen hair that tumbled round her shoulders. Becky’s own hair was tied back neatly in a tight plait to keep it from escaping and looking untidy.

“Nothing,” Becky said, gazing at the girl with awe, and rubbing the tears away hastily.

The girl came and sat next to her, her face still shaded a little by her hair and by the dappled shadows cast by the trees they sat beneath.

“You sound so unhappy,” said the girl. “Tell me about it.”

Becky drew a deep and shuddering breath.

“It’s my Gran,” she said. “She’s mean and nasty and she won’t let me have what I want.”

“That’s terrible,” said the girl, her voice sympathetic.

“So I have run away,” Becky continued. “Just for a little while, to scare her, the mean old bitch.”

“Why don’t your parents help you?” the girl asked.

“My parents are divorced,” Becky said. “Dad works abroad. Mum went back to live with her mum; that’s my Gran. So Mum goes out to work and Gran stays home with me. Only, today, we were going to get me new shoes after school, and this is what she made me get!”

Becky pointed dramatically at her feet. The sensible and comfortable shoes were coated in the fine white dust kicked up by these chalky fields in drought.

“They look…” the girl tailed off without finishing.

“Exactly,” said Becky triumphantly. “They’re hideous. I’m going to be a laughing stock at school tomorrow.”

The girl patted her arm.

“We could swap,” she said. “You look like the same size as me.”

Becky glanced at the girl suspiciously. The girl was wearing much the same clothes as herself, jeans and tee shirt, but while Becky’s jeans were a standard supermarket brand, ironed and laundered and ordinary, this girl wore designer jeans, with the artistic rips and chains Becky coveted. Her tee shirt had a neat little Chanel logo on it, and round her neck, where Becky wore a tacky Best Friends Forever pendant on a worn thong, this girl wore a heavy gold chain, bearing a suspiciously real looking diamond. And her shoes! Well, her shoes were the exact pair Becky had seen in a magazine and had begged her Gran to buy for her.

“Why would you want to?” Beck asked grudgingly.

“To make you happy,” said the girl, throwing back her hair and smiling a big broad, braces-free smile. Becky has stopped smiling properly the day they fixed her teeth with braces.

“OK,” said Becky, kicking off her shoes with speed, in case this strange girl changed her mind.

Within a few moments, the exchange was complete. The high-heeled red shores hurt Becky’s feet but after a few moments staggering around, she found she could walk just fine in them. The girl buckled her new sandals and smiled in a way that reminded Becky of her cat’s face when it had just stolen some cream.

“Drink?” said the girl sitting back down in the shade and proffered a bottle.

Becky took an experimental swig and nearly choked.

“But that’s cider!” she exclaimed.

“And?” said the girl shrugging.

“It’s nice,” Becky said meekly and took a long drink.

The sun peeped through the leaves and sparkled on the diamante trimmings of her new shoes; Becky felt the drowsy heat of late afternoon fill her and her eyes felt heavy.

She woke to hear her name being called and shivered. The sun was setting, blood red in the West and the fragrance of the elder trees had begun to smell like a tomcat had used the earth here for a toilet. She scrambled awkwardly to her feet and swayed out from under the shade of the two elder trees. Her grandmother was crossing the field, coming towards her fast.

As she caught sight of her granddaughter, her whole body seemed to spasm, as if with shock.

“Oh no you don’t,” she shouted and Becky cringed before realising that Gran was not shouting at her.

Gran seized her arm firmly and then bent to yank the glorious shoes off Becky’s feet.

“Not my granddaughter, not ever, you conniving little thieves,” she yelled and to Becky’s horror, she threw first one and then the second shoe at the narrow path between the elder trees.

“But Gran, we swapped shoes, they’re my shoes now!” Becky protested, but then stared open-mouthed, unable to believe what she’d seen.

The path had closed up, like a book shutting and now there was no trace of the way through between the two elder trees. Of either pair of shoes there was no trace at all.

Her Gran gave her a little shake, and pointed at the last rays of the sun as they dipped below the horizon.

“Just in time,” she said. “Another few minutes and I’d have been too late.”

Becky felt her tears returning but now they were tears of incomprehensible relief. Gran looked at her, and passed her a hankie.

“Well, losing your shoes is a fair price to pay, I guess,” she said. “You can walk home barefoot or I can give you a piggy back? Which is it to be?”

Becky went to school the next day in her old, worn out shoes and a much better frame of mind.

by Viv (c) 2009

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, children, death, family, literature, nature, personal, random, Viv's Short Stories, women, writing | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Love Whales

My daughter Nicole, 7 years old, drew this specifically for me to post here when I told her about the “Minibar.” The girl in the airplane is saying “Come back here with my necklace!” The mommy whale is swimming away with it on her head. Two of the fish are thinking “What is this a dog?” and “Whale alert.” One of the fish is saying “small,” and the other is saying “Spite pphh” — I think that is supposed to be spit. She probably thought it was funny for a fish to spit while already in the water. It is interesting to see her developing a sense of humor, although I wonder if she and I are the only ones laughing at her jokes.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | children, drawing, family, friends, fun, humor, illustrations, love, Nicole, The MiniBar | 4 Comments