Friday, 13 December 2013

Out of the mouth of babes - kid's 'Pantastic' reviews


Out of the mouths of babes….Children can be the harshest critics, but no one at the Sacred Heart Primary School at Presby, Byermoor had a bad word to say about Act1 Productions latest panto, “Peter Pantastic”. The pupils were even hooked on Pan’s mortal enemy, the villainous Captain! Here are some of their quotes:

“I liked Peter Pan the most” - Angus 

“I liked the panto, it was really funny. Me and my friends enjoyed it” – Cameron 

“It was very fun. I liked Captain Hook because he was very funny” - Jesse 

“Peter Pan is better than Captain Hook” - Hannah 

“Tinkerbell became Stinkerbell - really funny” - Andrew 

“It was excellent and exciting” - Ellie 

“It was great” - Tom 

“I thought it was fun” - Michaela 

“ I thought it was really, really funny when Captain Hook the pirate did 
 a roly poly” - Jacob. 

Other comments by schoolmates:

“I liked the blue and green fairy”

“I think it was so cool and amazing and funny”  

“I think that was the best panto ever!!!!!” 

For more information, contact:


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

All at sea with Captain Catastrophe - The Runaway Children 2

Since starting his travels five years ago, hed been shipwrecked at least twice, not counting the times his vessel had been beached, scuppered, squashed, upturned or stranded on a sandbank somewhere inconvenient. He was also very good at getting lost, having sailed around Fiji four times before wondering why it took so long to reach Dover. No wonder hed been dubbed Catastrophe by fellow seafarers. In fact, every time he left port, coastguards throughout the world took bets on when hed meet his next disaster. Of course, it mattered little to him if people poked fun, but things were different now.  Now, two young lives depended on his seamanship and, for the first time during his watery exile, he wished with all his heart hed taken lessons!
With great difficulty, he staggered towards the prow, fighting against the fiercely squalling winds while raindrops big as jam jars pelted down remorselessly. AS he lurched from side to side, Captain Bob tried desperately to lash the sails and fasten the rigging, but the deck had become so slippery, it was almost impossible to stay on his feet while the waters swelled with increasing power, tossing the vessel every which way but upright. 
Down below, the boys were feeling distinctly queasy and their arms ached through holding onto the table. Do you think we ought to help him? asked Odi, trying very hard not to panic. Joe shook his head. He told us to stay here! he yelled, unable to hear himself above the now earth-splitting thunder that accompanied the constant shafts of jagged, pure white energy. The boat rose upward from the stern and jiggled violently, as though determined to shake the boys grip from the table and they both screamed with terror as the craft slapped downwards again, almost pulling their arms from their sockets.  Immediately, there was a sickening crack from the deck. Im going up! Odi insisted. If Captain Catastrophe gets swept overboard, were done for!
Up aloft, the Captain was in a dreadful state, scarcely able to stand due to the force of the gale that howled menacingly around the Mersey May while the boats joints creaked under the strain. To make matters worse, the deluge had sucked all the air from his wellies and waterproof trousers, rendering them rigid, vacuum-packed, and clinging tightly to his legs. Unable to bend his knees, all Captain Catastrophe could do was cling desperately to the rails and haul his huge bulk along the deck, lunging wildly from one spot to another until finally reaching his goal. With one hand clutching the winch, he stretched his other hand towards the rigging of the main sail and started to untie it. This in itself was a Herculean task, but then a particularly savage gust wrenched the rope from his grasp and knocked him off his feet.  At the same time, a sudden gush of air shot up his jacket and, unable to escape due to the tight neck fastening, caused the garment to blow up like an enormous yellow balloon. Poor Captain Catastrophe completely lost resistance to the elements, and was literally blown across the deck, bouncing in his jacket like a buoy, until his head struck the tiller. But for an open cupboard under which his inflated jacket got wedged, hed have been dragged overboard by the ferocious surge of water.  Now completely helpless, the Captain lay with his upper body jammed into the cupboard and his legs sticking out, stiff as boards.
What do we do now? yelled Odi in dismay.
The jig….the jig…! Captain Catastrophe replied from the cupboard.
What?! Neither Joe nor Odi had a clue what he meant.
 The thingummy jig! the Captain continued, frantically waving his one free hand towards the mast. Pull down the sail! Its going to break!
Sure enough, the mainsail was flapping and yawing perilously above them. Here! said Joe. Well tie ropes around our waists in case we get washed away! Once secured, both boys inched their way towards the mast, trying to dodge the rigging that whipped from side to side. It seemed to take ages, but at last, they reached the mast and started winding together to bring the sail down. Unfortunately, theyd hardly begun this task when the cable jammed.
Its stuck! cried Odi. One of us will have to climb up to release it! Ill go, Im the strongest!
No Joe protested, Im lighter than you are. Itll be less likely to break. Not waiting to argue, Joe grabbed the mast and began to scale up it.
Be careful! yelled Odi, but Joe couldnt hear him above the howling gale and the gushing of the sea. At first it was almost impossible to climb;  his feet kept slipping and every time the boat dipped into the hollow of a wave, he had to cling on desperately. But slowly, carefully, agonisingly, he managed to inch himself upwards, until at last, he could grasp the cable near the top of the sail.
Start winching now! he cried and waved at Odi who had a crick in his neck through looking up. While Odi set about his task, Joe began to inch downwards, a feat that was even harder than the ascent, for he couldnt see where to put his feet. To make matters worse, he was still a long way from the deck when he heard a sickening crack. The mast had split beneath him!
Help! he screamed, as he felt the mast lurch sideways.
Hang on! cried Odi. Ill pull you in. And he grabbed the other end of the rope which was tied around Joe and yanked with all his might. Immediately, the mast fell sideways and dangled over the sea, leaving Joe floundering headfirst in mid air, with only Odi and the rope between him and certain death. I should be used to this by now he thought wryly, and prayed Odi was as strong as he liked to boast.
Fortunately, Captain Catastrophe had managed to squeeze himself out of the cupboard in time to help Odi haul Joe in. The three of them collapsed in a heap, groaning with fatigue.
As usual, Odi was the first to speak. I feel like Ive been in a Tom and Jerry cartoon! he remarked. It was then he noticed the Captains balloonish appearance. And, if you dont mind me saying so, Captain he added cheekily, You could do with a few less fry-ups! 
                “Glad someone still has a sense of humour” said Captain Catastrophe as he reached into his pocket. “All in all, that was quite a squall.” He pulled out a small penknife and plunged it into his oilskin jacket, which, to the boys’ delight, deflated with the most disgusting noise.
   Hey, Captain exclaimed Odi, cheekily, You make a brilliant whoopie cushion!

Extract from "The Runaway Children Volume 2 - The Astonishing Mr Smyle" 

Friday, 11 October 2013

"Don't stop believing"

         That was the advice from ex-pat Peter Coghlan when interviewed recently by Eugene Henderson for an article on assisted suicide.
       Pete knows better than most how easy it is to give into despair.  Two years ago, he suffered a massive brainstem stroke which left him locked-in - paralysed except for his eyes, his only means of communication.
       At the time of the article, which appeared in the Sunday Express on 29th September 2013, police were investigating the possible suicide of former teacher, Victoria Meppen-Walter, who was left in constant pain after a routine operation.
      Having woken up from a coma, Pete overheard doctors saying he’d little chance of recovery. The thought of living the rest of his life unable to move drove him to beg his mother to help him die.
       “Once people believe there is no hope, they give up, but I’ve been through a living hell and it was better than dying,” said Pete. “With the right care, physio and motivation, it can happen. I’m living proof. If you keep trying, things can change.”
       Now recovered from his ordeal, Pete lives in Perth Australia with his wife Jade and has written a book based on his experiences as a locked-in patient. “In the Blink of an Eye” is available on Amazon. (See links)

For more information about Peter Coghlan and locked-in syndrome:




Thursday, 10 October 2013

Dreams and how they affect us

Sally felt herself being driven along a rough, undulating path to be confronted by the head of an enormous mouse.....
After someone pushed Alan off the edge of a cliff, he found himself falling into a dark, fathomless abyss....
Jennifer desperately tried to escape as a gang of sinister men approached with pickaxes in their hands, but her legs refused to move....
Flapping his arms vigorously, David began to gain height until at last he could soar above the treetops, taking care to avoid the telephone cables overhead....
No, not horror films or scenes from science fiction, but experiences many people have while safely tucked up in their beds. Possibly due to something they’ve eaten, like cheese!
Dreaming is not only normal but absolutely vital for our mental health. Without it, we become tetchy and anxious, undergoing personality changes and finding it difficult, even impossible, to concentrate.
According to researchers, infants dream for up to 70 percent of their sleep time, while adults get by with just 24 percent REM activity (Rapid Eye Movement) when the brain is at its most active. Even cats, dogs and other mammals are thought to dream, a fact borne out by their yelping, twitching, growling, grunting and other animal expressions during sleep.
But whoever we are, wherever we live and whatever our circumstances, we all have dreams, although not everyone remembers them; the dreams we DO recall are the ones we have immediately before waking, before they slip like threads of gossamer from our minds.
What happens when we dream
When we nod off, our sleep becomes progressively deeper, reaching a state of total unconsciousness until starting to get lighter. It’s during this lighter phase of sleep when dreaming, or REM activity, occurs - a cycle that is repeated 5-6 times. On average, we can expect to dream for a total of 90-120 minutes throughout the night – roughly the same length as a feature film, though maybe not as thrilling. This is because the most common form of mental activity isn’t dreaming about incredible situations, but ‘sleep thinking’ – a process involving real-life events which tend to be rather mundane. Sleep thinking may however help us resolve any problems or worries we may have.
In fact, with the exception of neurons related to concentration and memory, our brains are actually busier when we dream than when we’re awake. But that’s only to be expected from such a complex organ; the brain has up to 50 billion elements generating between 100-300 signals every second! No wonder it never stops working.
Some dreams can be decidedly unpleasant. Past events and impressions obviously play a part – army veterans may be haunted by horrific wartime experiences, while victims of crime may re-live the fear and panic of their original ordeal.
Nor do they have to be particularly dramatic. Some of the most terrifying dreams can centre on normally innocuous objects, like dustpans or cupboards or mirrors which may suddenly seem sinister and threatening.
Children are particularly prone to frightening dreams. According to a study by mental health experts in Mannheim, Germany, 9 out of 10 youngsters are awoken by nightmares such as being chased, falling, natural disasters and war. Interestingly, gender has a bearing on how dreams are dealt with; boys tending to forget them altogether, while girls talk or even write about them, something which experts encourage. Drawing pictures of the dream or acting it out can also help children to overcome their fears so, as a result, the nightmare eventually occurs less often.
Interpreting dreams  
Humans have been fascinated by dreams since the world began, with many pagan nations including the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians using them as a guide to various aspects of life.  The Babylonians were particularly in thrall to the subconscious, having “such trust in dreams that on the eve of important decisions they slept in temples, hoping for counsel”.
More recently, Sigmund Freud viewed dreams as “the royal road to the unconscious” and tried to interpret them in the light of patients’ repressed desires. Such case studies have since been dismissed by many scientists as over-simplified.
Then there are the ‘dream books’ in which various pundits attach meanings and psychological insights to certain features of a dream – in some cultures, snakes, for example, are thought to represent disease. However, in her book The Dream Game, Ann Faraday believes such books are “equally useless, whether they be traditional or based on some modern psychological theory.”
Another specialist, Dr Rosalind Cartwright, is impressed by the differences between dream interpreters, with many psychotherapists insisting their interpretations are correct, “... apparently quite oblivious to the fact that their colleagues, on the basis of the same dream, may see quite different things for you.”
Can dreams foretell the future?
Many people believe so. For instance, a 1999 survey by sociologists found that over half of Russians believe in prophetic dreams and omens. And they’re by no means alone.  
The Bible has several instances of divinely inspired dreams, including Joseph’s warning to flee to Egypt with Mary before Herod could harm their child Jesus. Jacob, his son Joseph, Daniel, Ezekiel, even pagan rulers Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Pharaoh of Egypt had visions. Yet these were related specifically to God’s purpose and, once the Bible was completed, dreams were no longer used as channels for divine communication.
On the contrary, dreams are just a normal if essential part of life, helping us make sense of our experiences and enhancing our memory. So enjoy them for what they are and, if you’re disturbed by nightmares, instead of looking for any ‘meaning’ in them, look for causes nearer to home.

And cut out the cheese!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Roots to the rescue!

Nice to see former tree-loving, eco-warrior Swampy hitting the news again. Seems he has finally emerged from his tunnels to live in a yurt with his four children in a remote part of Wales. Swampy is the inspiration for my character Roots who helps The Runaway Children escape the clutches of the evil Nunjas in the first book of the trilogy.* 

Roots to the rescue

The village council began to groan again with most of the members unable to see any reason to help two snotty little middle-class school kids. All except for one rather pale, skinny young man with extraordinary dreadlocks, which twisted and twirled in every direction but his scalp. Hed been listening intently to Laurels pleas and was deeply disturbed by them.
Noticing his thoughtful expression, Laurel turned to address him directly. "What do you think, Roots?" asked Laurel.
"I think, he began falteringly, I mean…that is…what I think is, that every little person who gets stolen away from his house should have an automatic right to be rescued, and if no-one else will do it, then…then it ought to be us. That's what I think..... and I'd like it to go on record, please!"

             Roots in a hole

"Come on, folks", cried Roots "follow me". With that, he dived down a large rabbit hole and Laurel encouraged each of the children to crawl in after him. "Don't be afraid", she kept saying. "Rabbits won't hurt you." Conscious of his new role as the man of the family, Miles went first, then Odi, then Joe followed by Alice. After making sure all the children were safely down the rabbit hole, Laurel called up again to her wode-painted colleagues who'd stayed behind to defend the village, "Send word when it's safe again. We're heading for the canal." Then she too disappeared into the hole.
"It's dark!" cried Joe as he valiantly scrambled after Roots. "Don't worry," his big sister tried to reassure him "just keep going and we'll be alright." Secretly she was terrified, not so much by the darkness, but rather at the thought of touching any worms.
"Are we nearly there?" asked Miles, anxiously. "Hard to say, really" Roots replied. "I've never been this far before. We might end up having to dig our way out."
"You mean we're trapped!" squeaked Odi, temporarily deserted by his usual aplomb.
"I wouldn't say TRAPPED exactly", said Roots. "More like..... buried. But never mind, we're sure to come out somewhere."
"Help, help, I'm suffocating!" yelled Odi, his chest heaving up and down.
"Hush up, Odi" said Joe "you're scaring everybody."
"But I can't breathe!" Odi was now really beginning to panic, gulping desperately for air.
From the rear, Laurel called out soothingly "Deep breaths, Odi! Deep breaths!"
"Not TOO deep, mind", said Roots "You'll use up all the oxygen." 

Roots joins the jet set

"Quick!" cried Jo "Switch on the engine!" Miles ran to the back of the barge and slipped the key into the lock. As soon as he turned it, the barge set off at an amazingly spanking pace for such a heavy vessel. Roots had just untied the rope from its mooring and was now trotting alongside with it on the towpath.
"Hey! That's them!" bawled one of the trench coats and started running towards the Judith Rose.
 "They've seen us!" Roots yelled.  "Press the Booster, Miles!"  He was just about to hop on board as Miles touched the large red button. This caused the barge to lunge forward at such an incredible speed, it yanked the unfortunate Roots off the towpath. "Sack this!!" he hollered, clinging desperately to the rope, his feet wafting in the air behind him. "Sack this for a Kleenex full of bogies!"
"Supersonic!" whooped Miles and he waved his fist above his head as the barge blazed along the canal, sending ducks and fishermen diving for cover. "Wit woos!"
Meanwhile, Roots had recovered his balance sufficiently to press his heels into the water and lean backwards like a skier. "Look at me!" he cried, jubilantly. "I've joined the jet set!"

Friday, 30 August 2013

Enslaved by pornography? It's time to break free

“Images today have become so extreme that what used to be considered hard-core is now mainstream pornography.”

       Seems to be everywhere these days. From books to magazines, TV to websites, movies to music videos, photo-sharing sites to social media, the whole world is awash with porn, an industry which rakes in roughly $100 billion a year. 

       And this isn’t just any old porn. According to Professor Gail Dines, “Images today have become so extreme that what used to be considered hard-core is now mainstream pornography.”

       Even more worrying is the number of people who when confronted with the facts – that  pornography is being viewed by more people than at any time in history – merely shrug and say, “So what?”  The fact is, pornography is so widespread these days, it has virtually been ‘normalised.’

       But does it do any harm? Just what IS wrong with pornography?

       Well, first of all, it’s highly addictive, so much so that many mental health professionals rank it alongside crack cocaine for the power it wields over its victims. People who regularly view porn eventually find they can’t stop, with some suffering trance-like symptoms accompanied by physical shaking and head pains. There are personality changes too: Addicts tend to be highly secretive and deceitful, while feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety and anger are serious by-products of this habit. Worst of it is, even if they wanted to break free, they often feel too ashamed to admit they have a problem! Some people even become suicidal.

       Nobody is immune.  Accidentally coming across an offensive image, however briefly, can leave a permanent scar. Such images are indelibly engraved upon the mind,  occasionally gatecrashing as unwelcome and intrusive thoughts that are difficult to shake off.

       Leading researcher on pornography, Dr Judith Reisman, says: “Pornographic visual images imprint and alter the brain, triggering an instant, involuntary, but lasting, biochemical memory trail that is difficult or even impossible to delete.”

       The effects on families are dire and divisive, undermining trust, intimacy, and fidelity. Being in thrall to porn creates selfishness, dissatisfaction and emotional distance, at the same time fuelling unhealthy sexual fantasies and objectionable, possibly violent, practices to which partners may be subjected. Extreme or not, porn demeans, poisons relationships and causes loss of respect for oneself and others.

       “Pornographic visual images imprint and alter the brain" 

       Adults, of course, have choices. What is very worrying in today’s climate is the way children are targeted through Smartphones and other mobile devices, triggering a potentially destructive pattern of promiscuity from very young ages, with catastrophic results. Boundaries are blurred, emotions are scarred and the victim may never be able to form lasting partnerships in later life.

       How can an addict break free?

       The best way to avoid this state of affairs is not to let it begin in the first place. If your hands were tied with a single cotton thread, it would be relatively easy to get loose. But if the same thread were continuously wrapped around your hands, it would be much harder to break. This is why it’s vital to pull way from anything  which could arouse sexual feelings....and never let curiosity get the better of you.

       Obviously, once in porn’s grip, you need help to escape, so summoning up the courage to talk to someone about the problem is vital. Whether it’s a partner, trusted friend, parent, teacher or professional counsellor, take a deep breath and talk to them, make that appointment and get them on side.

       Another key to overcoming the habit is to identify and avoid any situation which may trigger the desire. If the Internet is a source of pornographic content, avoid using it in private and keep the computer in a room to which all members of the family have access. (Parents take note!) Same with TVs and video games – you need to make sure other people can help you monitor what you view. Set your computer to block pornographic sites and avoid opening links from unsolicited emails and messages from people you’re not sure about on other social media.

       Mood can also play a part with boredom, loneliness or other mental lows contributing to the problem, in which case, extra care is needed to recognise these feelings and bolster yourself up to resist temptation.

       Often, the best way to get rid of unclean thoughts is to replace them with wholesome ones. Imagine a sponge. Drop it into a pail of muddy water and it will come out muddy. But if the sponge is first of all dunked in a pail of clean water, there’s less room for mud to stick. In the same way, all of us can be smeared with unclean images every day of our lives but by filling our minds with wholesome things and keeping occupied with positive, upbuilding activities, we can help keep the mud to a minimum. 

A few porn statistics:  

Almost 30,000 people view pornographic websites every second  

More than 1.7 million pornographic emails are sent every minute 

Nearly two hard-core porn videos are released in the US every hour 

Over 2 million porn videos are rented in the US every day 

Roughly 9 out of 10 young men and 3 out of 10 young women view porn every month – in the United States alone  

2.5 billion porn emails are sent every day - that's 1.7 million per minute




Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Runaway Children take to the skies

Hang-gliding in the Peak

“Joe and the others held their breath, awaiting their awful fate but, suddenly, from out of the sky, four great shadows appeared, each with ten-foot wings. One by one, they whooshed down from above, snatched a child from the enemy's claws and ascended sharply back into the air. The women, now a hundred feet below, yelped with frustration, like hyenas cheated of their prey.” (Extract from The Runaway Children Volume 1 – Flight from the Nunjas)
Are they planes? Are they prehistoric birds? No, they’re hang-gliders, soaring into the skies like brightly-coloured and highly adventurous eagles.  Considered by enthusiasts to be the most demanding, yet exhilarating, of all free flight experiences, hang-gliding provides a wider scope than para-gliding, as pilots can climb faster and more freely in varying winds and weather conditions. Which no doubt explains why this thrilling activity is so popular in the Derbyshire Peak, where Pennines to the east and Welsh hills to the west create a climate as hard to predict as the next Derby winner.
      Take a hike up Mam Tor near Castleton on a bright, breezy day and you’re likely to see hang-gliders preparing for flight  -  that’s if they’re not too out-of-breath from hauling their gear up to the summit! Quite often, these intrepid birdmen and women seem to spend ages not really doing very much, but they’re actually waiting for the ideal conditions in which to take off, no doubt gauging the weather by means of a wind sock. Pilots also need to assess any hazards in the area and ensure maximum safety for themselves and others.
      Accidents do happen, although these usually involve unqualified pilots who, having acquired the equipment, believe all they have to do is take a running jump from the nearest hilltop. Fortunately, most hang gliders have been thoroughly trained by a British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (BHPA) registered school, a course that normally takes about 10 days. Pupils learn how inspect their kit and assemble it safely, to assess the dangers, to read the weather, to take off and to land properly – ideally on their feet. However, in case landings go wrong, trainees also learn how to roll to minimise injuries.
       When learning to fly, some gliders are ‘aero towed’, or hitched by winches to microlights, which pull them into the air. According to Airways Airsports, this is the easiest way to get airborne as it cuts out all the hassle of hill-climbing over and over again just to gain a few seconds of flight. Airways Airsports’ professional team - including three-times World Champion Judy Leden MBE and World record holder Chris Dawes -  provides tandem hang-gliding aerotow tuition for beginners, helping them spread their wings with 20-30 minutes in the air from their very first lesson.
       Whether they could swoop down and rescue four children and one hairy shot-putting Scotsman from the ground is open to debate but, for those who know what they’re doing, it’s an exhilarating experience like no other.




Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Stockpiling for Doomsday? Paranoia or what?

       According to a recent article by Tom Rawstorne, highlighting a growing trend for freeze-dried foods, one man's paranoia is another man's marketing opportunity*
       Great idea for arctic expeditions and round the world yachtsmen, I'd have thought, but with sales increasing ten-fold over the last few months, freeze-dried foods are set to go mainstream as natural disasters, depleted resources, the fluctuating world economy and civil unrest create anxiety for many.

       Using an energy-intensive (and therefore highly expensive) process, culinary favourites such as curry and rice, chilli con carne and spaghetti Bolognese are freeze-dried, reducing weight and volume by as much as 90% whilst retaining flavour and up to 97% of nutritional value. And, as meals come in an air-tight tin and with a shelf-life of 25 years, they're ideal for stockpiling, providing, of course, you can afford to shell out over £2,000 for 72 tins - equivalent to a 12-month supply.

       But just who ARE the customers. What sort of people are prepared to pay the price?

       First to spring to mind, perhaps, may be 'end-time' fundamentalists who - convinced by Bible prophecies such as Matthew chap 24, Luke chap 21, 2 Timothy chap 3 and Revelation chap 6 - have long warned of a coming tribulation. It must be stressed, however, that genuine believers put their faith in a higher source than freeze-dried food suppliers. (After all, if God could protect and provide for over 3 million people in the desert for 40 years, one square meal once a day should be a cinch!)

       James Blake of Emergency Food Storage says the company gets "a lot of high-powered business people as customers. Most people buy insurance for their health, their house or their life - this is food insurance. Of course, we hope is never happens, but if there is a major catastrophe, then money is not going to be worth much after a couple of days. It will be food that becomes the most needed thing."

       According to Dave Hannah of B-prep, customers include bankers, spending an average of £3,000 a pop. Perhaps fuelling the current paranoia, Dave opines: "It makes you think, what do they know? When we've talked on the phone they've told me, 'This whole thing is going to go down.'"

       In his article Tom Rawstorne goes on to list events which, over recent years have exposed the fragility of our food supplies. From UK fuel strikes in 2000 and last summer's riots, to natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and the horrific Japanese Tsunami - each catastrophe serves to remind us that starvation is just 9 meals away.

       No wonder foods such as the US Mountain  brand are attracting so much interest - in the past year alone, British sales have leapt by 350%! And it doesn't take much imagination to understand why. But for anyone planning to stock up their larder before Armageddon, here's a sobering thought: If people will happily loot for luxury goods such as 3-D TVs and designer clothing, how much more determined will they be for food? Not for the first time in human history, perceived ‘haves’ will be targeted by desperate ‘have-nots’ – a scenario that doesn’t bear contemplating.