Speed dating staffs

We could bore ourselves to death, drink ourselves to death or have a bit of an adventure.

Thankfully we decided on the latter."The couple and their whippet, Jim, set off on their seven-month, 1,000-mile journey last April from their home in Stone, Staffs, sailing the Phyllis May down through the country's canal network to Ramsgate, Kent, from where they crossed to Calais in an "epic" journey, weaving in and out of cross-Channel ferries and other traffic.

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Mr Darlington, an Oxford graduate, said: "Even making the trip down the Thames to get to Ramsgate was daunting enough.

It was the first time I'd ever been to sea and it was jolly exciting."When we were just off Whitstable the coastguard rushed out and they probably thought 'what are these idiots doing?

He hopes that the book, which he has provisionally entitled Narrow Dog To Carcassonne, will be published next year.

is a Norwegian mostly government-owned multinational telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu in Bærum, close to Oslo.

Having taken the plunge two years ago, he and Mrs Darlington, 67, planned every aspect of their trip meticulously.

They sought the advice of maritime professionals and, despite hearing from one expert that they must be "suicidal", they decided that the crossing might just be possible.

We had to go round the bottom of the Goodwin Sands. Apparently it is a very bad thing."We were lucky that it was a lovely sunny day and the winds never got above force three, which meant that we at least didn't have to worry about the boat breaking up."Their most daunting moment came when they reached Calais, only to find themselves in the path of a 40ft-tall Sea Cat ferry leaving for Dover.

Mr Darlington said: "It came within a few feet of us, but the most dangerous thing was that it threw up a six-foot wall of solid water in its wake.

It is one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications companies with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia.

It has extensive broadband and TV distribution operations in four Nordic countries, and a 10-year-old research and business line for Machine-to-Machine technology.

Sitting just two feet off the water and with a top speed of seven miles per hour, Mr Darlington, 68, admitted that the 60ft, flat-bottomed narrow boat was hardly equipped to face the rigours of two of the busiest shipping lanes in the world."But we'd owned the boat for seven years and decided that we wanted to do something exciting with it.

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