Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

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

Wishing Well



I have heard it said that you must throw a coin into a certain fountain in the city of Rome to ensure you will one day return there.

I’ve never been to Rome and probably never will; this photo is of What The Romans Did For Us. It’s a view of the cold plunge bath at the end of the bath complex at Aque Sulis, AKA the city of Bath. Clearly the impulse to throw coins into a watery grave is a strong one as the floor of this venerable pool was covered in a fair few quid’s worth of coins in many different currencies.

Before you ask, yes, I too hurled a coin and made a wish or two. I didn’t wish especially to come back there, though I do hope to, as it was one of the best days ever. If Fortune Favours this Brave, then I may be going back in May, assuming some Italians are daft enough to want to do a six day tour of Roman Britain, but that’s in the laptops of the gods right now!

That aside, I was thinking of worldwide wishing practises and wondering what people think…..

February 5, 2009 Posted by | culture, events, friends, fun, life, personal, photo, Proverbs and Sayings, psychology, random, Viv's Art, women, writing | , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Let’s play word association.

If I say the word MAGIC, what are the first words that spring to mind?

Harry Potter?or Aleister Crowley?

Tommy Cooper? or Derren Brown?

David Copperfield?or Paul Daniels?

I’ve always been fascinated by magic of all kinds from conjuring and sleight of hand to the kind of ceremonial magic you read about in Dion Fortune and others. I am drawn to the magical even when I know it’s a matter of smoke and mirrors. The child in me adores it.

But there’s another kind of magic that I crave and its the subtle kind that hardly seems to deserve the word.

I’m talking about serendipity and synchronicity. The happy accidents, the weird coincidences. Probably one day they will all be explained and something for me will wither and die. I like the idea that there are always surprises around the next bend in the road and that they are often(but not always) nice ones. 

Einstein once said that coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous, which I like because it makes God seem like a real gentleman! But it’s these coincidences that make life magical when the other sorts of magic have lost their charm and power.

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Cafe Literati, friends, fun, God in our life, life, love, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, religion, Viv's Short Stories | , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Pink Lemonade

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

I like that saying. In this case, I made pink lemonade.

This WAS the first draft I printed out of some prose for my altered book project. Of course my ink cartridge was low, but I could still read enough to take some notes. That was, until Matthew got a hold of it.

Picasso said it took him a lifetime to paint like a child, so I always pay close attention to what my children draw. I think my lesson here is that I need to loosen up a little bit more with my writing.

If I ever finish this project, it will need a “Bloopers” chapter for pages like this. Like at the end of funny movies — mistakes the actors make that get caught on film.


January 14, 2009 Posted by | Art, Cafe Literati, drawing, family, humor, Parents and Children, Proverbs and Sayings, Shelley's Altered Book, writing | , , , , , | 7 Comments

it all boils down to Choices & Chocolate+

“it all boils down to choices & chocolate”

April 28, 2008 Posted by | culture, life, Proverbs and Sayings | 6 Comments

Be my Valentine!


The heart that loves is always young!

A heart in love with beauty never grows old!

And here it is, my still-wet valentine, to wish you love and eternal life. Apparently the French get credit for the following. . .

Love makes time pass. Time makes love pass.

But this is I’m sure not true in the case of my favorite French person who we know so well.

Anyway, I hope you will all enjoy your day in the company with someone(s) you love. I’ll be thinking of you while I munch my chocolate!

Love, Susan

February 14, 2008 Posted by | Cafe L'Arte, Proverbs and Sayings, Susan Cornelis' Paintings, Valentines | 3 Comments

The leopard never changes his spots

By Miki

If you think that this expression tells some truth, then you are wrong!

Some days ago Shelley told us about her intention to paint the beautiful Armur Leopard…  or at least his spots! Some of us were very curious to see how she would achieve that. She did it, and she did it beautifully: have a look here

And you will see how a leopard can change his spots!

February 12, 2008 Posted by | animals, Art, culture, humor, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, women | 4 Comments

Queer as folk

By Contessine

This title of an American television movie relating the love affairs of a gay community is very interesting in relation to the French idiomatic expression often written

« PD comme un phoque »

literally “queer as seal”. Even if the meaning of this last word in American and in French is different, I can’t help comparing the title with the French saying. First, Queer and PD designate, both in a pejorative way, the members of the homosexual community. Second, in the two cases, the expressions establish a comparison. And, the last but not the least, the nearly phonetic similarity between “folk” and “phoque” (seal) is obvious. But the true question remains : why a seal?
A simple look at the seal’s sexual behaviour gives no serious explanation. With the aim of justifying the apparently unfounded French expression, some attempt to find similarity between the two objects of the comparison : some saying that it is because the seal swims with his tail (for which the French translation (queue), in a vulgar way, hints too at the masculine sex); others because the animal, coming out of the sea, lets out a hoarse breath…These kind of cock-and-bull explanations don’t convince me. Too far-fetched! After all, why choose the seal when there are other animals much more representative of this way of life? Why not say, for example, queer as bonobos? Maybe because the Man (l’Homme) is descended from the monkey…
Another explanation, to my mind more convincing, is based on the phonetic oral confusion between phoque (seal) and foc (jib). So, referring to this sail which takes the wind from behind, the real expression would be: queer as jib (PD comme un foc). This error seems easier to explain. Orally conveyed, the expression has no indication about the way of writing a word which the phonetic structure refers to different meanings. Basically, the comparison is used with the intention of making a better mental representation of the compared object. In this way, everybody knows the word phoque (seal), but the so specific foc (jib) is not a part of common language.
Actually, the solution is not yet totally established, even if, come hell or high water, the second explanation is linguistically validated. At last, this French expression is really queer…on the both sides of the adjective. So, good riddance!

February 12, 2008 Posted by | humor, life, men, movies, personal, Proverbs and Sayings, women, writing | 10 Comments

“Those Who CAN, DO. Those who CAN’T, TEACH.”

This is a saying I don’t agree with at ALL (especially being a teacher, and a good one).  However this is a very popular sentiment in America, where success in business is most admired.

Madame Monet

February 11, 2008 Posted by | culture, life, Proverbs and Sayings | 3 Comments

The Cafe Crem’s Motto

People, I’ve got it!



PS: thanks to Madame Monet for the inspiration…


by Miki 

February 10, 2008 Posted by | Art, coffee, friends, fun, Proverbs and Sayings, random | 5 Comments