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

ATAXIA UK

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

Can somebody tell me what a youth referral order is?

I'm hoping most of these toe-rags have been caught - if not, and you recognize them, please help get them locked up.

I have a sneaking suspicion it is actually nothing at all. Some pre-pubescent little twat of a girl from Nottingham aged 11, decided to take a trip from her Foster home to hurl bricks at Mc Donald’s in Nottingham city centre. Apparently she smirked in court and refused to apologize for what she’d done. Her “Father” (I’m unclear as to whether this means her real Dad or the poor sod who has the misfortune to foster her) said she wanted to say sorry. But clearly, the vicious little brat wants nothing of the sort. The judge has given her A YOUTH REFERRAL ORDER, so she can “reflect on the seriousness of what she has done.” Is he having a laugh????   This waste of humanity doesn’t give a flying one about what’s she’s done, what’s she’s going to do, or anyone else.

What lesson is this namby-pamby kid-gloves mentality society teaching her? I’ll tell you what. It’s telling her “You can pretty much get away with anything.” – just as the torturers and murderers of young Jamie Bulger learned that their actions won them a one to one first class education and a new life under new identities.

Please, Mr. Cameron, stay true to your words, “If you’re old enough to commit the crime, you’re old enough to be punished.” Call me old-fashioned, but somebody needs to take this little shit by the scruff of the neck and scare the living daylights out of her.  Or maybe we should just give her a council house and benefits, eh?

(The photo was published in the Daily Mail, but I’m hoping they won’t mind me showing the faces of this scum to a few more people.)

Kev Moore

August 14, 2011 Posted by | Parents and Children, politics, writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Country, Repository of Filth.

I don’t know where else to vent my anger and disgust. My country, England, has in the space of a few days descended into chaos, with feral youths and mindless thugs looting, destroying, and terrorizing with impunity.

Of course, now they’re trying to show the ‘British Community Spirit’ on the news – locals coming together to help clean up, which is all very laudable, but doesn’t solve the problem. THE POLICE ARE UNABLE TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT.  The culprits are generally brats spewed forth from the loins of the underclasses. They have no concept of community, law and order, or common decency. They have waived the right to their Human Rights. The parents of this pond-life should all be summarily sterilized, and the culprits should be incarcerated for life, made to serve in the Army, or shot. Extreme? Perhaps, but I’ll tell you what – I mean it. And don’t tell me it’s a result of ‘youth services cuts’. To riot because the nanny state isn’t scratching your back anymore is contemptible, as is using the excuse of an accidental shooting. People need to obey the rule of law, otherwise society breaks down. This scum are CRIMINALS, pure and simple. There is no higher purpose, they’re just to damn stupid to do anything else.  One throws up one’s hands in horror when we see the ‘extreme’ punishment some Muslim countries mete out to their criminals, but I’d like to see one of these neanderthals try to leg it from Curry’s with his 42″plasma TV if he’d had his hands chopped off. And if you’re asking “Surely you’re not advocating that, are you? ‘ My answer is “YES, I BLOODY WELL AM, AND IF THEY NEED SOMEBODY TO DO IT, I VOLUNTEER.  I saw a sickening video of a bunch of these animals ostensibly trying to ‘help’ a young man who had blood pouring from a head wound, having been caught up in the riots. It was just a ruse, so they could rummage through his backpack and take anything of value. The piece of human waste that walked away with his prize laughing to his mates will NEVER contribute anything useful to society. He will be a pariah and a draw on resources until the day he (thankfully) draws his last breath. There is no time left for ‘outreach’ programmes, or any other of these stupid ‘initiatives.’ The lunatics have taken over the asylum, and they need to be exterminated, before we all go up in flames.

Kev Moore

August 10, 2011 Posted by | children, education, events, politics, writing | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ciao TO Italia…..Bonjour France and Earthquakes

Regretfully, but with a Motorhome full of memories, we left Italy behind and struck out for France, aiming
to spend some time by the sea for Miki’s birthday. Studying the map, she decided we should pull up
in Gruissan, by the coast, just south of Narbonne. A great decision, as the unusual coastline, waterways
and mix of new marinas and old town haver kept us here for three days. The biking here is great too, and
once again, as we did so often in Italy, found a great local swimming pool.

Miki’s birthday celebrations were muted somewhat by the news that Lorca, a toiwn we know well and just an
hour from our home, had been devastated by a huge earthquake. I was aware that we live near a fault line, but
the Western mediterranean is usually much quieter than the East, tectonically speaking. One can only imagine
the shock to the people there. There is something fundamentally, almost primally, reassuring about the
solidity of the Earth, and when that is shattered, I imagine the fear buries itself very deep within the psyche of
those who have experienced such a catastrophe.

We have to drive through Lorca as we head home in a couple of days. It will cast a very strange pall over the
journey until we reach it, I imagine. Our thoughts go out to all the people of Lorca, the victims, and their
families.

Kev Moore

May 13, 2011 Posted by | Art, travel, writing | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ciao from Italia! – 7 – Bike Rides around Borgo a Mozzanno….

Looking out from the Devil's Bridge


The relief having gotten away from the city streets was palpable, as, after a brief stop in San Marcello,
we came to rest in Borgo a Mozzanno. An unassuming village on the Western bank of the Serchio
river, it boasts the spectacular ‘Devil’s Bridge’ as you enter from the North. Commissioned by a
local Contessa in the 11th. century, it bestrides the river like a huge lumbering stone brontosaurus,
comprising a number of assymetric arches – just wonderful!

The Devil’s Bridge

Quite by accident, while investigating the possibilities of a pool (unsuccessfully) and trying to navigate
our way out of the one way system (distressing) we stumbled upon a spot for motorhomes.

Deciding to empty some of the tanks, we entered the area, which was not really clearly marked, and on our way out
I noticed a grey plastic installation by a picnic table. I pulled over to have a closer look.

Home from home

To my amazement, it was a power point with 4 outlets, and 4 water sources – all free of charge! Suffice to say, being
familiar with the saying ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’ – we installed ourselves, intenduing to stay here
for three days. The most surprising thing is, hardly any other motorhome has appeared while we’ve been here.

I'm pedalling as fast as I can.....

We soon discovered, uniquely situated as it is , Borgo is an ideal starting out point for 3 great bike rides around the
local area. The first we did was up to Bagni di Lucca, and back down the Eastern bank of the river.

Yesterday, we tackled the run down to Ponte a Moriano, criss-crossing the river, and found ourselves involved in
what appeared to be the Tour d’Italia, or at least something very similar. The route we’d chosen appeared to
be their route too, and they were whizzing past us at such a rate and with such regularity that I began to feel
like some old dear on a penny-farthing!

Idiot on a Bicycle

But it made for a great afternoon, as we took time to have a latte in Ponte a Mariano and watch the riders fly past,
Miki capturing them on film for later use as painting subjects.

By the end of the run, we’d covered at least 30k, and we knew it, as we hit the home stretch back to the motorhome.
That evening, we wandered out to the Devil’s bridge, and were rewarded with a great view of it as the lights came on
and bathed it in an unearthly glow.

Miki checks the map

Borgo a Mozzanno, and its surrounding area must be one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.

Kev Moore

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Art, travel, writing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ciao from Italia! – 6 – Florence and the Tourist Tidal Wave

By the River Arno

The Big City. Michealangelo’s David. The Renaissance of Learning. We’d been saving it up until this
point in the trip.

Amazingly, we found our way to the stadium and swimming pool part of town (always a good bet with a motorhome)
and admist street after street of pay by the hour parking, we found a huge, mostly unoccupied sprawling car park
for free. It was within walking distance of the town, via a bridge across the second biggest train station in Florence.

Almost immediately, we were stunned by the sheer volume of people. Bear in mind, this was a mid-week, and after the
Easter holidays. Great swathes of tourists, a gabbling United Nations, getting in their own, and everybody else’s – way.

There's some statues in there somewhere.....

A plethora of flag -waving blue-toothed tour guides leading packs of kids and pensioners this way and that, commanding
them to ENJOY the wonders that Florence contains, should you care to join the unfeasibly long queues. – and they’re
just to get an ice-cream – the prize for doing so being the pleasure of handing over four euros for the privilege.

Don’t get me wrong, the buildings, the Public Statues (or should that be pubic statues?) are amazing and awe-inspiring,
but so, in an entirely different way, is the carpet of humanity that is so indecorously lain across it all. Before you say it, I know
– we’re part of the problem, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  This poem formed itself in my mind as I reflected on our day
in Florence:

People like pigeons
with their tat and their crap
Alighting in millions
Adjusting their hats
With Florentine logos
Pinocchio brims
and 5 bucks a latte
For their touristy sins

Like human patina
They’re spread everywhere
Spreadeagled on walkways
For want of a chair
Defiling the beauty
They purport to enjoy
They queue round the block
For Michaelangelo’s boy

I know it can’t happen
Firenze tranquil
But body on body
Is making me ill

I longed to enjoy it
Together, alone
But people like pigeons
Are driving me home

Kev Moore Florence May 2011

We visited the San Lorenzo market where I fully intended to treat myself to an Italian leather jacket if I found the right style, but the incessant,
andf I DO mean incessant haranguing by the stallholders drove me to my knees. Now, Miki, unlike myself, is not a natural shopper, but I
can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of ’em. If we’re looking at shoes, I leave Imelda Marcos in the dust. But here, my God, they wouldn’t
even let you so much as glance in their direction and they were on you like a rabbit in heat. I wanted to haggle to bargain, but after just 30 minutes
amid the stalls, all I wanted to do was RUN.  A word to these master salesmen: I don’t know if it works with other nationalities, but as a Brit, LEAVE
ME THE HELL ALONE WHILE I LOOK AROUND AND MAKE UP MY EFFING MIND!!!!  By the end of the day, given a choice between losing an arm
and trying to look for a jacket, I would have begged to use the saw myself.

People-watching...not a hobby in Florence, more of a compulsory discipline...

Bizarrely, after managing to get back to The Boomobile, we had a really peaceful night’s sleep, right there in the Stadium car park.
The next morning, we decided to quit Florence and head for the hills. I thought I knew the way. I spent around 2 hours wandering around the same couple of
streets, bottlenecked, with cars, scooters, piaggios, pedestrians, all moving at a snail’s pace. Well, the people were positively sprinting compared to the
traffic. Eventually, fearing a traffic-induced embolism, I just followed the first major signpost I saw, regardless of direction, just to get out of town.

Thankfully it worked, and I live to tell the tale, dear reader. But it does make you think, having wasted an entire morning going round and round
and round. One of the main characters in ‘The Magic Roundabout’ was called Florence…….

Kev Moore

May 8, 2011 Posted by | travel, writing | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ciao from Italia! – 5 – Anything on Wheels

Rock, and furthermore, Roll...........

We’ve certainly come to discover during this trip that the Italians love their cars, but they also love pretty much
everything on wheels. Here’s a selection of a few, just from the towns of Cortona and Greve di Chianti, covering
the whole shebang, from a Quadrophenia-inspired turquoise scooter and a beautiful blue rock’n’roll Harley, to
matching Pink Vespas and a vintage bike in pristine condition with matching hand tooled Italian leather saddlebags.

What's better than One pink Vespa? Two, of course!!

All Mod Cons

Italian class in a bicycle

Cortona was a revelation (if you’ll pardon the biblical pun) we ascended a precipitous path which turned out to be the stations
of the cross, the twelfth being the Crucifixion. The thirteenth appeared to be a discarded wine bottle, the message appearing to
be that that amount of suffering would drive anybody to drink. I reckon that’s why they use wine in the Communion.

Atop the fort in Cortona

We mistakenly thought we’d reached the summit, but discovered a huge fort overlooked the Cathedral where we now stood from
another 200 feet or so, so like the idiots we are, we had to get to the highest point – but were rewarded with a breathtaking view
across Tuscany back into Umbria and Lake Trasimeno, scene of our recent cycling triumph.

Kev tries to get to grips with his drinks problem.....

Currently chilling in Greve di Chianti, surrounded by bottles of its namesake, we are quietly girding our loins for an assault on
the city of Florence some time tomorrow.

La Dolce Vita....

Kev Moore

May 4, 2011 Posted by | fun, humor, travel, writing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Caio from Italia! – 4 – Lake Trasimento by bike (and boat)

Well, if I’m to be honest, we biked two thirds of the lake, but let me tell you, that’s enough
for anybody!  Clocking up a minimum of 31 kilometers, we set out from Castigliano del Lago
and followed the shoreline counter-clockwise, skirting the nature preserves and visiting the towns
of Sant’Arcangelo, La Frustra, riding through the Oasi la Valle preserve, San Savino, stopping for another
great value and tasty Machiatto just outside San Feliciano, up through Monte del Lago, Torricella and finally
Passignano. With the wind in our faces most of the time, we were dead beat by the time we reached
Passignano, having completed the aforementioned 2/3rds of the Lake.

We decided to check out the delightful ferries that plied the waters, and found one was leaving in 30 minutes
that could talke us to the largest of three islands, Isola Maggiore. (Imaginatively named – ‘biggest island’)
We grabbed another coffee before boarding the boat to the island, which proved to be a little treasure.
It housed an entire village, which, at its largest in the 16th century, housed 600 inhabitants. Now little more than
a collection of tourist shops, restaurants and folorn churches, it nevertheless has a delightful charm.

We then hopped another boat, bicycles in tow, which took us back to Castiglione, where we’d started in
the morning. By now the wind had really whipped up and the waves crashing oin the shoreline as we cycled back
to the Boomobile made the Trasimento look more liuke an angry Ocean than a lake.

Totally exhausted – but a greatr day out!

Kev Moore

May 1, 2011 Posted by | fun, travel, writing | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ciao from Italia – 3 – Pienza and Montepulciano

We spent a day and night in Pienza, a sleepy little town which very nearly played host to a huge Papal palace when when of the old
Popes who hailed from here got a severe case of megalomania and laid foundations to relocate from the Vatican!

The town itself had a few great motifs for Miki’s painting, and we managed to park up for the night just outside the old city walls.

Then it was on to Montepulciano, which seems to have made it’s primary trade that of shoemaking, and leather work. There were
outstanding examples of this classic italian craftsmanship in almost every other shop. Once more we encountered the almost
unexplainable disparity in the price of a Latte Machiatto. We visited a beautiful cafe, caterering to the public with several smartly uniformed
waitresses and waiters in opulent surroundings. We were served a lovely large Latte and charged just 1.10 euros each! Go figure.

It was an interesting and diverse town, and we decided to stop the night here too. Today, we’ll make around 40 to 50 kilometers to
reach Castiglione del Lago, where we hope to stay by the lake for a few days

Kev Moore

April 29, 2011 Posted by | fun, life, travel, writing | , , , , | 3 Comments

Ciao from Italia -2 – Volterra, San Gimme Gimme & Siena

The wondrous cafe in Volterra

I humbly submit, dear readers, another snapshot of our Italian trip for your delectation…..

Volterra was a wonderful medieval town, walled, and perched atop a hill where one could survey the rolling Tuscan countryside. The town even incorporated a State prison within the walls of its Ancient fortress, the first time I’d really seen a correctional facility in the guise of a tourist attraction!

Just inside Volterra's walls

They seemed to get the mix right here, lots of shops selling wines, pasta, local produce, and lovely cafes, but the town still had natural ambience about it. One thing that’s amazed me is the amount of great swimming pools. Even the tiniest towns have them, and everything points to Italy being quite a wealthy country, certainly when compared to Spain. We enjoyed a great couple of days in Volterra, getting in a couple of kilometers in the pool, too.

San Gimignano - Manhattan's inspiration?

San Gimignano, or ‘San Gimme Gimme’ as I preferred to call it, was a different kettle of fish altogther. Another classic medeival town, boasting no less than 17 towers (there used to 72!) it rose above the hills like some kind of renaissance Manhattan.

About 2k outside the town, on approach, I spotted a HUGE gathering of motorhomes – at least a hundred, in an official parking area.  These places charge the earth, and we avoid them like the plague – our logic being that if you’re shelling out big bucks to buy a motorhome, you sure as hell don’t want to be paying the price of a hotel room to park it. Unbelievably, a geezer at the gate tried to wave us in! He looked like some kind of hooker, touting for business. I drove on. We came upon another motorhome  park, asking a euro an hour, meaning a day’s stay would have been 24, with no electricity, water, nothing. We gave that a body swerve too.

On the walls of San Gimme Gimme...coach trip with flag-waving leader just out of shot....

I did like this bell, and the Frescos surrounding it

Eventually, using the tried and tested method of heading for the local football stadium, we found a lovely quiet spot, completely free, within walking distance of the town.  The town seemed drab, a collection of greys, perhaps the overcast weather didn’t help, but neither did the legions – and I mean LEGIONS of tourists scrambling over each other to photograph the many towers, each other, or both.  We normally gauge the TROQ – Tourist Rip-off Quotient by the price of a Latte. Portofino won hands down  – 5 euros for a singularly unimpressive cupful.  Volterra was 2.50,  a lovely one, served with a smile. In San Gimme Gimme, they wanted 3.50, and we didn’t even get any frickin’ froth.  Musuems (door charge) Churches (door charge) all were ignored by us, as human snakes with a guide at the head waving what often appeared to be a white flag of surrender “and we’re waalking, we’re waaalking…”

Unfortunately, my lasting impression of San Gimignano is one of a Medieval shopping mall, built to cater to the Americans.

Anyone who has listened to my track “The Heretic’s Song” will know my views on being charged to enter a so-called house of God. I also found it mildly amusing that San Gimme Gimme was also falling over itsalef to sell ever piece of tourist tat and then some on Easter Sunday. Noew, I’m no Christian, but wasn’t JC seriously pissed off with the merchants on the steps of the temple?? and this, on the day he did the big Houdini thing???  (Cue Mott the Hoople’s ‘Roll away the Stone’) Seems like a serious faux pas to me, if you believe that sort of thing.

If in doubt - Mangare Gelato!

 Siena we were looking forward to – James Bond rooftop chases, etc. – But once again we were confronted with 20 euros to park. Eventually, I found a place just outside the town where we could park for free until 7pm, at which time I assume we would have been machine-gunned.  We walked up the steep hill to what we thought was the town, but in fact turned out to be a fort, built by or for King Leopold, who had a stab at being King here a while back.  It turned out to be a good move however, because as well as giving us a nice walk around the battlements, it also gave us the chance to check out at least 30 pristine Ferraris parked out on the gravel in the courtyard, awaiting their appearance at a weekend car show. Cue boyhood enthusiasm! Actually, without wishing to offend the Ferrarinistas, if a Lamborghini Miura had been parked there, I’d have nicked it, and hang the consequences!

“My other car’s a Skoda….”

From the walls of the fort we looked out to see the huge Cathedral and clock tower in the distance, and set out for it in the sunshine, me tempting fate in a vest and shorts.  We’d managed to see both monuments when God, clearly aggrieved at our failure to purchase tickets to see the inside of either, sent down a deluge of biblical proportions.  The upside of this was I got another ciocolatte calde in the cafe we had to shelter in. Every cloud, etc.

Siena Cathedral, imposing, with gathering stormclouds behind....

Suffice to say, our Siena trip was brutally cut short, so we headed off for Buonconvento, a small town on the road to our next destination proper, Montecino. We got parked up for free next to..the local swimming pool!  After spending the night, we got a swim in, and were on the verge of giving the town a minus score after shelling out 6 euros each to swim and finding you needed to pay extra if you wanted to shower after, plus getting moved along by the Carabinieri  because we were incorrectly parked. But that soon turned into a plus, as I found internet that has enabled me to write this article, and a lovely friendly Cafe which has currently got the record for a Latte Macchiato – only 1.10, and extra foam and chocolate sprinklles. Eat that, San Gimme Gimme!

Kev Moore

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Art, coffee, Easter, travel, writing | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment