Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Ataxia Awareness

Way back in the mists of time, in a quiet suburb of Derby, a host of young teens saw the decade morph from the 60’s to the 70’s, and were like-minded in their willingness to be swept along by, and participate in, its musical backdrop. We were a disparate group of lads, drawing on equally disparate influences, but we had that all-encompassing entity – music – in common.  There was a whole host of us, but the main players in the very early days were myself, Adrian “Fos” Foster, Mike Emery, Tim Gadsby, Paul Bunting, Tony Billinge, Colin Hidderley and Steve Carter. Some of us hadn’t even really sorted out who would play what. I started out on drums, moving much later to bass.  I vividly remember rehearsing in Steve’s garage, running through one of his own songs, ‘September’, and Tim was on bass.  Most of us went our own way of course, and drifted towards the music that most appealed. As our tastes an dinterests diverged,  Fos and I pursued the ‘Rock’ route, and indeed still do, and  Steve and Tim leaned towards folk. It still fills me with immense pride that quite a collection of us from a small part of Derbyshire have taken our boyhood dreams to levels we probably couldn’t conceive of back in those rose-coloured youthful days. I am certain that my unwavering dedication to my musical career has its roots firmly planted in those early times with my childhood friends.  Without those experiences, I would not be where I am today. My career is well documented in these pages,  Steve and Tim went on to record as ‘Firkin the Fox’,  “Dr. Big Love’, and worked with the likes of Dave Pegg (Jethro Tull, Fairport) and a host of respected Irish musicians. Their music is a far cry from mine, but it is imbued with a deep sense of Englishness, whimsy, and romance, and optimism.  Tim blossomed into a fine bass and fiddle player. Ataxia has robbed him of the dexterity to continue, though he continues to make music with computers.  Steve felt it was high time awareness was raised about this condition. It is often misunderstood.  Watch my friend Steve’s (stage name Steve Bonham) video below, learn about Ataxia. Tell your friends, and help if you can.

Kev Moore


May 10, 2013 Posted by | education, Entertainment, friends, health, Kev Moore's Music, Music, personal, writing | , , | Leave a comment


Broken Fibula

Broken Fibula

This is the result of what happened to me earlier this week. To read about what happened, please visit my Blog at:

March 7, 2009 Posted by | Art, Bonny's Paintings, drawing, health, life, travel | 5 Comments

Mud and tears

Mud and tears


After the snow: the rain.

After the rain: the flood.

After the flood: the mud.

Snow imprisons me

And I dread the thaw:

Tears, anger and the mud.

What a mess!

But the black Nile silt

Laid thick across the plain

Made Egypt once

An Empire’s breadbasket.

Let then the ice melt:

Welcome the dancing torrents

And await the healing mud.

by Viv

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, death, God in our life, health, life, literature, nature, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Just words

Just words
No one listens to me.
But then I have nothing to say
I have not said a thousand times before.
I'm dying for someone to hear
My silent screams
And offer help.
I'm searching for the words:
The right words
The magic words.
They're just words;
They hold no power
To save or damn me.
Just words: no more.
by Viv


January 29, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, health, life, literature, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Night Shift

Alongside the current themes of life, death and what we leave behind, I thought I would post this poem.

I’ve sat with the dying a good numberof times, both animal and human, and it’s a very moving experience. One friend (who was also a client when I did feet) I saw every day until about five days before he passed, and when my stepfather-in-law was dying last March, we took turns to sit with him.

The strangest time of all is during the night, especially after about 2am. The world is a very different place at that time. It’s also shown statistically that more people pass away at night than during the day, and more babies are born. It also goes without saying that generally dying animals pass away during the night too. I do not know why.

Night Shift

(for those who wait with the dying)



I want to hold back Death:

Impossible of course,

But every time I try,

Standing in the way,

Arms outstretched

                            As if to halt

A bolting horse,

It passes through

As if I, not it,

Were insubstantial mist.

And I feel a touch

Across my face

Of trailing cobwebs

Or frosted feathers

Stiff with ice.

by Viv


January 26, 2009 Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, death, family, friends, God in our life, health, life, love, personal, religion, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An odd dream….

I’m feeling a bit haunted by a dream I had this morning, shortly before waking.

I’m a bit of a believer in dreams being the way many things(including our own unconscious) can communicate with us, but rather often the meaning is harder to fathom.

I’m not talking about those random replay dreams, where the recent past is rehashed, or those anxiety dreams where we play out our fears.

I’m talking about the dreams that seem to have no foothold in the usual run of dreams. They’re often the ones we remember when we wake, and often, like today, they haunt us for days, or even years afterwards.

I dreamed I was travelling down a river, towards my home. I don’t live near a river, and never have lived close enough to one to the scenario I knew was true in the dream, that my home was only a very short distance from the water. In real life, I’d never chose to live so close to a body of water that can be so temperamental, but in the dream I accepted this as normal reality.

Until, that is, I rounded the corner of the riverbend and where I had expected to find a short stretch of water and my home a little way beyond it, the whole topography had changed. The river had become a dead end, a lagoon of cloudy water, almost like a T junction. I could go no further, unless I took to the water, and even then, I couldn’t see my home at all. The water swirled, like flood waters, full of eddies and a milky wash of clay from the fields, and I knew it to be deep and dangerous.

I turned to the left hand side, where the arm of the T led me and found that as well as the work to change the course of the river, work was in progress to build a footpath through what were fast becoming marshes. Brand new duckboards had been laid across the mud, and a new bridge, all resinous with fresh pine and larch, ended near the duckboards, the steps rising to greet me. As I approached, a woman came down the bridge steps and told me, “They haven’t finished it yet, you can’t get through that way,” and encouraged me to try and follow where the duckboards led me. I couldn’t see where the new path led, but I climbed over the foot of the bridge and began to try and follow the wooden path.

By this stage I was feeling very frustrated that I couldn’t get home and angry that “they” had changed the route without giving me either warning of the work or any alternative route to my home. The woman had vanished and I was alone again, standing below the bridge, unable to either see where to go or make a single step forward because the duckboards had given way to thick sticky mud and no path was visible at all.

Now typing it all out(I jotted it in my dream journal when I woke) I begin to see some of the themes emerging but if anyone has any insights, I’d be more than delighted to hear them. I can get so caught up in my own head I can fail to see the obvious, and unless we really are living in The Matrix and everyone out there is somehow part of my own mind, the voice of someone beyond my own self can be a very welcome addition to the melting pot.

by Viv

January 19, 2009 Posted by | friends, God in our life, health, life, personal, psychology, Viv's Short Stories | , , , , | 10 Comments

Madness beckoning

Madness beckoning
This way madness does not so much lie,
As recline, like a patient lover awaiting
The inevitable return of the fickle friend,
Knowing that you might not write or call
But you will return downcast and contrite
To the loving arms of one who understands.
Going mad might be like going home
After being long exiled by sanity.
It might be easier than this ceaseless vigil
That watches my thoughts, even idle ones,
And scans them for the wild signs
That presage lunacy, and with the sharp kind blade
Prunes them hard back, cutting away
All hint of disease in hopes that the root
Will put forth healthy growth and blooms
That would not disgrace a Chelsea show.
Not then the strange flowers that fill my dreams,
Weird colours and malformed heads
Nightmarish and compelling in their way
As a car crash or lightning in the night.
Maybe madness is the way for me
To cultivate the crazy blooms of unchained mind
And bring to light some single thought
Never seen before today.
by Viv


January 14, 2009 Posted by | health, life, literature, love, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room



“It’s strange how some rooms are like cages…” Paul Simon in The Obvious Child.


   Not always just cages but almost like holding pens. You enter them and things stand still while you wait for the designated outcome. Waiting rooms: we’ve all spent far too much time in them. Whether they’re called Waiting rooms or whether they have a fancier title….the wings, the sidelines, the vestry, dressing room, bus stop… they’re all still just waiting areas. When you enter them you become committed to staying till the waiting is over. No one forces you to stay, there are no locks and no bars, but how often do you ever see someone walk out before their appointed time? Not very often. There’s an unspoken contract that once you enter, you stay.

   Hospital waiting areas are the one people seem to spend most time in; due to the usual policy of doubling up the number of people assigned to each appointment, while you might be expecting to see the doctor at 10.0am, so is another person. They count on people not turning up to keep the place busy and it usually works, because even if you have to wait two hours, almost everyone will wait. It’s the same with trains as well. You have a fixed object in mind and unless you change your plans radically, that object usually remains the same. So no matter how late your train is, you sit and wait.

  What a waste of valuable time I can almost hear you saying! This is certainly true if you regard waiting as a passive activity, one empty of meaning and purpose. While there isn’t much to prepare for when waiting for a train, many other events we wait for actually need the waiting time for the event to work well.

  I spent a fair amount of time in the past backstage, waiting for a show to start. Of course, some of that time was spent in practical matters, checking props, sound checks and learning lines, but there’s always a moment that dawns when all the things you have to do are done and there is nothing to do but wait. And that is crucial to the performance. That funny little jumping of your heart as you hear the distant murmur of the audience arriving and settling down is the burst of adrenaline you need to be able to step out on stage. The hugs and kisses from fellow performers and backstage crew placate the nerves and bind you together in a fellowship as old as theatre; it tells you that you are OK, that things are going to go fine and that people are behind you. I’m not involved in that world any more and I have few friends that are, but I gather that there are very few performers who can walk cold from the car and onto a stage and give their best. I’d never be one of them, to be sure.

  The relatives’ room at hospital is another kind of waiting room; the place you are relegated to when dressings are being changed and when the consultant deigns to visit your relative. It’s also where you wait after the worst has happened. Have you ever noticed the boxes of tissues? They’re there for good reason. Last year, we had to rush north when a close relative was taken seriously ill. We arrived in time to visit him in the ICU and he was lucid enough to communicate with us. But overnight things deteriorated and we were called at 5am to say come now. He’d been moved to another waiting area, a single room off the main ICU ward. He was not conscious really and after spending some hours with him, I went with my sister-in-law to get some coffee and we were directed to the relatives’ room. I’d been up since 5am and Zoe had driven down from Scotland at 6am when she got the call, so we were tired and upset. I knew this stage could easily last days and I was shocked when less than an hour later when my husband came in to say his stepfather had gone. He’d never been one for waiting around in life and in dying, he had waited till we’d all got there, and had gone, just like that. Even the staff were shocked. So we all sat together in that waiting room, crying and drinking coffee and talking and even laughing, waiting for the next stage to come. In those waiting hours, we’d been preparing ourselves, in such ways that I can hardly begin to describe, for what we knew to be inevitable. I didn’t pray for miracles; we’d had our miracle when he’d been conscious and lucid when we arrived and the things that needed saying had been said. I’d been getting my head around what was happening, so I could deal with it.

  That’s what a lot of our waiting is about, or should be: becoming ready for what is next. It’s an active process in many ways, but performed often in a passive fashion. When I wait for a hospital appointment, I am not killing time; I am preparing my mind and my spirit to deal with what is coming. When I am waiting for a class to arrive, I am marshalling my thoughts and my materials and working out what best to start with. When I am sitting waiting at an airport, I may be watching and listening and observing and above all, thinking. Even when I am waiting for a bus or a train I am preparing, thinking about the journey and the day ahead and using the time to ponder ideas and enjoy the pause in my busy day.

  Right now I am in a waiting room of another sort; it has no special physical location and is more a metaphysical place. I’m waiting for plans and hopes and dreams to start to move forward. It’s a bit like when you sow seeds in the spring. You look at the pictures on the seed packet and you dream of those flowers or vegetables or herbs as you sow them, and after it’s done, you have a little moment where you stare at the bare ground and for a few seconds, you imagine the riot of colour that will ensue in months to come. No gardener hangs around much after that; you might come back a week later to check; to ensure the seeds are undisturbed by hungry birds, or to remove the rampant growth of new weeds, or maybe to peek and see if the tiny earthquakes have started that signal the sprouting of a seed here and there. Another week and you see the tender tip of the first shoots and you sigh with pleasure and anticipation and then go on with your other chores.

   That’s the thing about waiting; there are so many things you can do while you’re doing it. And when you do it like that, it’s never a waste of time, but rather a gift of time that you didn’t know you had.    

by Viv 


January 12, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, death, health, life, love, personal, psychology, Viv's Short Stories, writing | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It doesn’t matter!


It doesn’t matter!


Honest to God, son – it doesn’t matter!!

So you’re having the drumstick,



There’s no need to correct me

as to whether I said

you would eat

the drumstick first …

or last …

There’s no rules to sweetie eating!

Honest to God, son – it doesn’t matter!!

So you’re wearing your coat,

with the hood taken off.

Its sunny – no worries!

There’s no need to correct me

as to whether I said

you could zip your sleeves

in, or take them off …

Its your coat and your choice!


Honest to God, son – it doesn’t matter!!

There are more things to worry on

than sweeties and coats

and more things to correct me on

when you’re older and wiser.

But for now .. let it go – and just trust that I know.


January 8, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, culture, education, Entertainment, family, friends, fun, God in our life, health, humor, Jenny's Poetry, life, love, men, Parents and Children, personal, psychology, women | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Love (1)

  I wrote the following poem some years ago and posted it anonymously on a friend’s blog. He still doesn’t know it was me, but he hoiked it out of the comments box and gave it a post of its own. What alarmed me at the time was the fact that he added a very graphic picture of a young woman who had self harmed by slashing at her arms; the poem was not meant to be about this issue at all but at a subconscious level my friend had picked up certain of my history that meant this was one of the ways he interpretted the poem. I was both impressed and horrified and I never owned up to him! 

In some ways it was intended to be more like John Donne or one of the other metaphysical poets who wrote about the way divine love shaped us, but it came out quite differently.

I feel rather naked about sharing the background to the poem; it somehow makes the whole thing rather more personal….

Love (1)


Love wounds us.

Like tribal scars,

Love marks us,

Shows us as new

Initiated beings.

Parallel slashes

Of raised scar tissue

Label us as different.

Love hurts us:

The brief bold cut

Dripping hot blood

Shows us changed,

Reinvented daily.

Only those who share

Our pattern of scarring

Can see and know

The person we have become,

Or see the beauty and power

Of those indelible wounds,

Invisible to those untouched

By Love’s kind blade.

by Viv

January 8, 2009 Posted by | death, God in our life, health, life, love, personal, poetry, psychology, religion, Viv's Poetry, writing | , , , , , , | 7 Comments