Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Baby Rainbow Bird

Baby Rainbow Bird, by Nicole House

My daughter is starting to do her share of “bad guy” art, but I thought I would share something more cheerful today. I guess you could call this a collaboration. I printed out a bird drawing of mine, and she painted it.

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Art, Nicole, The MiniBar | , , | 5 Comments

Valentines Love in The MiniBar


By Le Piou de Pomme

Le Piou de Pomme

wishes all his small and big friends and fans in Cafe Crem

a wonderful Valentines Day,

with love filling each little tiny space around you and yours,

filling your heart

and your eyes!




February 14, 2009 Posted by | Art, children, fun, Le Piou de Pomme, life, love, The MiniBar, Valentines | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments



Earthmother, manqué.


Sometimes I find it hard

To resist the growing urge

To cook for the children,

The ten or twelve I never had,

Or cater for the horde

Of hungry friends that once

Came knocking at mealtimes,

Eager for food or fellowship.

The phantom feet still beat

A path at times to my door,

And wait like patient pets

For recognition and relief.

At times like these, I shiver,

And make vast cauldrons

Of hot and bubbling soup

Massive crumbles and pies,

Roast beef, all the trimmings,

And try not to count

The empty chairs around

My waiting, groaning table.


January 10, 2009 Posted by | Art, Cafe L'Arte, Cafe Literati, family, food, friends, love, personal, photography, poetry, Viv's Art, Viv's Poetry, women | , , , , , | 3 Comments

…. and then the phone rang.


“ …. and then the phone rang”

You know, there are moments in my life when everything is trundling along how it should be, everything in its place, everyone carrying out their alotted role …. and then the phone rings ….


You need, really, to know the geography of the lower level of our house for this one …. imagine three rooms … on the right is one big room (utility/computers), on the left are two small rooms (bathroom and kitchen) … the phone is beside the computers.


So … hubby is in the kitchen making dinner.  My son Matthew and I are in the bathroom, washing hands ready for dinner.  Jack – our extraordinarily huge black Greyhound – is in the utility room, laying on the carpet by the computers.  The washing machine is busy working away in the utility room, all three computers (yes, we’ve gone one each) are switched on and humming away, hubby has got music on in the kitchen … all of which is fine, except the phone rang.

In what was probably less than ten seconds, all hell broke loose.  Matthew ran towards the phone (don’t ask me why) and fell over Jack … who jumped up and panicked, because he always thinks it’s his fault, bless him, scooted towards the stairs by the kitchen doorway, causing hubby to fall over him as hubby ran towards the phone from the kitchen.  Meanwhile, I am picking Matthew up off the floor where he’s fallen between the two computer chairs.  Hubby reaches the phone just as the washing machine starts its VERY NOISY spin cycle.

I manage to complete a very athletic (for me!) move and hit the “off” switch on the washing machine, because I just know that hubby will not be able to hear himself think with that going on.  Hubby, meanwhile, is muttering about “pan of chips in kitchen” as he answers the phone.  Jack has run upstairs, making enough noise for a herd of elephants, I’m on my way to rescue the “pan of chips”. Matthew is wailing about his poor knee and hubby is trying to talk to the phone company about their complete inability to issue a correct bill for the television/phone/internet service.  At this point I realise that – inexplicably – Matthew is waving a can of Mr Sheen furniture polish around, looking like he has every intent on using it (where did he get it from?  Surely he didn’t have time to find it, inbetween washing hands and falling over dog?).  In a somewhat delayed reaction, hubby hits what he thinks is the “off” switch on the washing machine, except of course he’s turned it back on.  As I pass, I swoop upon the can of Mr Sheen and wrest it from the grasp of indignant son, finally reaching the kitchen to discover that “pan of chips” is indeed as described … a frying pan with chips sizzling in hot oil. This is a complete nightmare for me – I just don’t do that, its too scary!  If anybody wants me to cook chips in our house, its an oven job!.  I realise that the chips are done, so turn off the gas and start fishing them out before they turn into something you could use to nail a fence together, when the washing machine starts spinning again!  Huh?? In confusion, knowing that I’d switched it off earlier, I dash out and switch it back off again – and dash back to the kitchen, where I throw everything that hubby had just taken out of the oven back into the oven again.


I think the phone company has got our house bugged and knew the very worst time to ring.  They had to.  That couldn’t all have been coincidence.  Could it?




January 9, 2009 Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, Entertainment, family, food, friends, fun, humor, Jenny's Stories, life, men, personal, random, Sound recording, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Family Business-Part Two

So I was hunting around the other day for a newspaper clipping of myself and Graham Oliver for my other blog when I came across a photo of me at the tender age of seventeen.

I’d just got a job working in an office at a power station, and was gigging most nights. I’d been a drummer since the age of eight, and this shot was taken for the Electricity Company magazine, just a year before I turned to Bass guitar and made it my career.

Note the hand-illustrated bass drum skin!

Kev Moore Drums

But what’s really scary is this next picture. My son, aged fifteen, in this shot occupying the drumstool of Simon Kay, Christie’s drummer. “History Never Repeats” sang Split Enz….I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree….

It seems appropriate as “Parents and Children” draws to a close, that I fly to the UK tomorrow for two shows, and to spend all day Saturday with him, chilling out and eating things that are undoubtedly bad for us.

Corey on Drums

Kev Moore

January 31, 2008 Posted by | Art, Entertainment, family, life, love, Music, Parents and Children, personal, photo, writing | , , , , | 7 Comments

The Family Business

Corey and Kev

I felt a need, before the topic disappears into the twilight of history, to post again about the kids.

I’m really not sure if it’s been a blessing or a curse for them, growing up with a Dad in such a strange, ever-changing and precarious profession. They’ve never known anything else of course, even having been on the TV with me when they were, in Corey’s case, barely walking, and in Hollie’s case, barely into Junior school. I hope they’ve never felt the need to follow me into this business, but I’ve always been proud when they’ve recorded or performed. Corey’s band, Jilambis, are recording regularly, and gigging a lot too. Hollie, although struggling with life right now, has already been recording in her own right since the age of 13, worked with an 80’s tribute band, and fronted her own band, Theft of a Doll for three years, culminating in a song she wrote for the soundtrack of a new movie “The Crow-Devil’s Night” The photos are, (Top) Me and Corey, holding the Gold Disc for Saxon’s Wheels of Steel album in the garden of Graham Oliver, Saxon’s guitarist and a long-time friend and collaborator, and (bottom) Hollie, aged 15, in the Hamburg studio of German dance producer Helmut Hoinkes. We did some pre-production there and then moved to the studio in downtown Hamburg where we finished the track. I may post it up here one of these days! What she didnt know until after the session was she was using the same sound desk that was used to record “Hotel California” back in the Seventies. I like to think they’re both growing up with a sense of history and respect for the artists that have gone before them. (Maybe even their ol’ Dad!)


January 29, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, events, family, life, love, Music, Parents and Children, personal, photo, writing | , , , | 10 Comments

Dealing with Dad

By Kev Moore

Dad Royal Navy


Well, the time for this topic is drawing to a close, so it’s time I grasped the nettle and spoke about the relationship with my Dad.


Born in Matlock, Derbyshire in the thirties, he took the name of his father, George, and was christened George Vernon Moore. Almost immediately he became known as Vernon to everybody.


He joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman at the age of 15, and was sent away to Crail in Scotland to begin training that would send a shiver down the spine of most kids today.


He rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and left after 9 years service. I am absolutely convinced that this period of his life has shaped everything he is, and everything he has ever done. It has helped him in crises, such as the death of my Mother, when he fell into a regimented routine which he has followed for 22 years. His distress at any deviation from this routine is funny, frustrating, and sad.

He once asked my sister to accompany him Christmas shopping. (they live around the corner and do so much for him) Kaz told him she would make time when she was free, being a busy mother of two and with her own Xmas arrangements to make. He said, he needed to go later that afternoon, because he played snooker at the club between 1 and 3. She went bananas with him, and told him to stop being selfish. But you see, Dad’s routine is everything, and you have to fit around it. It is impossible for me not to draw a sarcastic comment from him if I don’t get up at 8am in his house, it’s almost funny, but becomes depressing.


It shapes his view of the world, his intolerance for lawlessness, his lack of liberalism. He would, even now , in his 70’s tackle yobs on the street if they were misbehaving. This, I don’t mind telling you, is a worry. If I was to pinpoint one visible positive from those years, it is his posture. For an old chap, he walks proudly, ramrod straight.


He has almost no capacity for change, a situation he encourages by choice, as he was a skilled electrical instrument mechanic. But he takes a perverse pride in ignoring the benefits of computers, email, mobile phones, DVD and video players. When he does get email, he prints them all off as hard copy. He bemoans the demise of the written word, which is laudable, but fails to see the benefits of email. I told him I’d written a short piece on the net about Benazir Bhutto, and he asked “why?” It is precisely this attitude in him that drives me crazy.


He is also incapable of showing love to me. He can do it to my sister a little more easily, I suspect, but he would never hug me, and would be decidedly uncomfortable if I moved to hug him.


I think he judges me by his own standards, and I am my own man. I hope I don’t judge my children the same way. I still believe that he thinks I failed by not having a “proper job”, despite the fact that I have performed all over the world on stage and television, been received by royalty, met and worked with my heroes and enjoyed such privileges as being given private viewings of Lenin’s tomb.


But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Her name is Cynthia. My Father never entertained the idea of another woman after my Mother fell victim to cancer, save one lady , some 10 years ago, who, with cruel irony, went the same way in short order.


Cynthia runs the League of Friends Hospital shop where my Dad does voluntary work. She is a sandwich short of a picnic, and hilarious. She takes great delight in puncturing his pomposities, and enjoys putting him on the spot. Example: “What was that film we watched the other night, Vernon? It was almost pornographic, shouldn’t be allowed!” Cue my Dad, spluttering trying to maintain his legendary naval composure.


Cynthia came into his life at a fortuitous time. Quite by chance, an aortic aneurism had been discovered in his abdomen, which, without swift surgery, would have resulted in certain death. I glimpsed for the first time in him, a mortality, and worry. I didn’t see fear, but to see him worried this way….


Cynthia was incredible. She was there for him every day, she cooked his meals. More importantly, I think she gave him a tangible reason to come out the other side. I think for the first time in 22 years, he saw a future. Indeed , the operation was a success, and his life is so different now. They have dinner parties, go off on weekend breaks, have season tickets for the football. All this has transformed Dad, and slowly, very slowly, his edges are being rubbed away. But every now and then, he still slips back into the old self. He has never, ever, lent me his car, or let me drive it for instance. I have driven more miles, more vehicles and in more countries than most people, but I am still the wayward son.


Quite out of the blue, between Christmas and New Year, when I was over doing a show in the UK, he offered to drive me up to Sheffield, so we could meet my son half way from his home on Wakefield for a few hours. I was amazed, and thankful. But it’s a double-edged sword. Of course its wonderful that he agreed to do it, but isn’t it awful that I am so grateful for it, when he should be doing that for his Grandson all the time?


And you know what? Despite this generational war we wage, I love him.

Photos: 1)Dad in the Royal Navy, HMS Osprey,Weymouth. 2) Dad and Miki in his garden, Mickleover, Derby. 3) Dad and I, outside his house last summer.



Dad and I


January 23, 2008 Posted by | Art, family, love, men, Parents and Children, personal, photo, writing | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Learning to Love an Aging Mother

That title sounds horrible but is horribly true for many people. My mother and I have had a conficted relationship for all my life. It wasn’t her fault. For various mental health reasons, and marital issues of her own, she could not be there for me emotionally. I certainly have learned to understand her given my profession. But to open my own heart to her has been a very different matter. You see, my father died 25 years ago and from then on she expected the children she never nurtured to nurture her…Especially me, the oldest. I resented this.

To make a very long story short, I recently had an epiphany about my own self which has helped immensely. I was judging my own mothering of my own children, when they were children, very harshly, and just could not get over it. There were poor judgements I had made which were eating me up inside. Then it occured to me…..would I make the same mistakes now as I did then? Absolutely not. I am in no way the same woman I was 30 years ago. I can have compassion for that young woman who didn’t know which way was up! I can have compassion for her because now I DO know and have evolved into a human being I respect and admire. (And BOY has it been work! Whew!!!!)

The next epiphany that came was that the old woman my mother is now is also no longer the emotionally unavailble woman who raised me. She is kind and compassionate and there for me whenever I need her. She tries. Which is of course all anyone can do. She is also becoming more fragile as every year passes. And now I am able to nurture her as she needs and deserves With no resentment but with love.


January 15, 2008 Posted by | family, life, love, Parents and Children, personal, random, women | , , | 10 Comments

Father to Son


So, its time to write about my boy. He’s 15, 16 on Feb 28th (nearly a leap year baby and less birthday presents, damn!) and he arguably had a tougher time when I divorced than his sister as he was a lot younger. He had to move to Spain with his mother, (I was living in the UK at the time) and suffered terribly trying to learn the language and keep up with his studies in a Spanish only school. His mother’s relationship over here collapsed and they returned to the UK.  I was instrumental in getting him into the right school back in Yorkshire. For the first year or two, he struggled. I’d moved out to Spain, he was so far behind in Maths, (a natural ineptitude inherited from yours truly) and I was worried about him. But then, almost while my back was turned, he seemed to develop a resolve (which I firmly believe he learnt from his time in Spain)  His grades improved, he became a thoughtful young man, he has a very clear mind. He formed his own band, regularly chasing promoters and setting up their own gigs. He has a steady girlfriend who I think helps keep him focussed. He is totally on top of schoolwork, excells in Music and Drama, and is completely bemused by his sisters recent escapades.  I think he is a true friend to her, and will be a great asset to her in her road to peace.  I love him, and my daughter of course, very much,  but the curse of the parent is such that one can’t help seeing her at 22 and thinking, was she okay at 15, and will it go wrong for him? But the truth is, she had problems with anorexia at 13/14..if there was an anxiety written about in a teen mag, she was up for it.  She has more bravado, but is flawed beneath the surface. He has a greater strength of character, and I know he will make his mark in the world, ironically, setting an example for his older sister.

January 10, 2008 Posted by | events, family, friends, health, life, love, men, Parents and Children, personal, school, writing | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Life Cycles


This is my godson. He is lying on  the tummy  of my sister, his gradma. I was lucky to get this face on file for he is always on the move.  I  can feel his happiness whenever I  am around him, for he is surely a happy guy, now 4 years old.  

I have no children of my own, but my nephews, nieces and grandnieces and nephews are like children to me. It’s a real  pleasure to see them growing, saying funny, smart things that make me  stop and think. I am amazed by how fast time passes by. It was like  yesterday that I  had his  his father oin my arms,  few days  old.   I saw  them small and then, in a flash, they are adults  and having children of their own, like this  ball of happiness. Life cycles, how beautiful they are! 

January 3, 2008 Posted by | family, life, love, Parents and Children | , , , , , | 7 Comments