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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 13:09 GMT
Lonely artist crawls to cathedral
Mark McGowan begins his crawl from London
Mark McGowan hopes to arrive in Kent in about a month
A performance artist is beginning an attempt to crawl 60 miles to Canterbury to highlight the loneliness felt at Christmas by people on their own.

Mark McGowan, who says he will be able to crawl about five miles a day, set off from London Bridge on Boxing Day.

He is pulling 18 boxes of chocolates on strings attached to his arms and legs and a sign saying: "Could you love me?"

"You get by being on your own the rest of the year but at this time it is devastation, utter misery," he said.

"I am spending Christmas alone this year but I am looking for love because I have had enough - I don't want to be alone any more."

Traditional family

Mr McGowan, from Peckham, south-east London, told BBC Radio Kent he was highlighting the plight of everyone who has to spend Christmas alone, including the elderly.

"Everyone thinks of the traditional family things at Christmas, but for a lot of people it is just about loneliness," he said.

He said he intended to take the first stage of the journey slowly.

It could take up to 30 days to reach his intended destination - the site of Thomas a Becket's shrine at Canterbury Cathedral.

"If I get half-way down the Old Kent Road on the first day I will be happy," he said.

Mr McGowan's previous stunts have included rolling a peanut to Downing Street with his nose to highlight student debt.

He was also threatened with legal action after leaving a tap running in a London gallery for a month to highlight water wastage.

And he pulled a bus 30m with his toe to protest against bus lanes.

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