Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Briton crawls for Christmas kindness

A British man is giving a whole new meaning to begging to be loved, setting off on a 88.5 kilometre crawl on his hands and knees to find a partner.

With a sign saying "Could you Love Me?" strapped to his back and 18 boxes of chocolates trailing behind him on string tied to his wrists and ankles, Mark McGowan has begun his unusual quest to find a girlfriend.

His route will take him from the site of the Tabard Inn in Southwark in south London, to Canterbury Cathedral.

He is following the pilgrims' trail made famous in 14th Century author Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

The 37-year-old performance artist, who says he is also hoping to raise awareness of people left lonely and isolated during the festive period, is hoping to complete the back-breaking task within 30 days.

"I can remember one Christmas I wasn't in a relationship and didn't want to spend it with my family," he said during a break en route.

"I ended up cooking two fish fingers. I'm sure a lot of people have had that experience.

"Some people can spend Christmas in utter desperation and misery and find it difficult to cope with.

"I hope this encourages people to maybe invite someone over."

Mr McGowan, from Peckham in south London, is no stranger to bizarre stunts or being so close to the tarmac.

In 2003 he spent two weeks rolling a monkey nut with his nose seven miles to Downing Street to protest against student debt.

Earlier this year he attempted to cartwheel 57 miles from Brighton to London to highlight the problem of people taking stones from beaches to decorate their gardens.

He was forced to give up with a twisted back after four days.

In 2002, he rolled across London singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas in an attempt to get people to be nicer to cleaners.

On May 5 this year - the polling day for Britain's general election - he planted 100,000 kisses on a laminated picture of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mr McGowan is single.

From www.ABC.net.au

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