Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Story of the Week

After 20 years of living in the wilds on a remote part of the Isle of Skye, Tom Leppard - the Leopard Man - has moved into more conventional lodgings. The 73 year old, who was until recently the most extensively tattooed man on Earth, has decided that he is now too old for his demanding lifestyle. For two decades, the ex-Special Forces soldier has lived in a bothy (a stone-built hut with a tin roof) on the shore of Loch na Bèiste without water, sewage, electricity or heating. However, the Leopard Man now says that the weekly kayak trip across the fast-flowing Kyles of Lochalsh for supplies was taking its toll and that he was 'one big wave away from disaster'. So he has now moved into a one bedroomed apartment in the village of Broadford.
To read Neil Stephen's full story as printed in The Guardian, click here. Photo by Murdo Macleod.

9 comments:

Debby said...

What is fascinating here is that most recluses tend to have an outright dislike or mistrust for people. This fellow seems to get along fine with everyone, but simply chooses not to. I love people stories. I'd never heard this one.

chris hale said...

Where is he? Can't see him! Ah! There he is! That camouflage works really well, doesn't it? There'll be no hiding behind the door when the encyclopaedia salesman knocks; he'll just be able to stand near a bit of foliage and he won't be noticed.

Incidentally, who is the tattooee (if there is such a word) that beat him into second place?

Lump said...

well I guess that's about right. A leopard usually lives to be 14 to 15 years of age and if my math is correct that is 73 to 77 years in human years. so, the dude is about to kick the bucket.

punk in writing said...

See what happens when you join the armed forces? :D

Joke aside, he seems to ba happy with things the way they are. But I can't help wondering what made him choose this solitary lifestyle.

willow said...

He brings to mind Queequeg from Moby Dick! Wonder how he got all those tattoos out there in the wild?

Stevyn Colgan said...

Chris - The world's most tattooed person is now a chap by the name of Lucky Diamond Rich who has 100% body coverage in ink. Ouch. Read all about the madman here.

Lump - You're just cruel ...

Punky - He does seem content with the world. The original Guardian feature had a photo of him drinking tea and wearing a pale blue cardigan which looked strangely incongruous with the tattoos. But I guess in 50 years time, old people's homes will be full of little old men and ladies called Chelsea and kylie and Jordan and Kyle who have tribal tattoos all over their scrawny chicken skin arms and bodies, Shudder.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Debby - People stories are the best stories without a doubt.

Willow - Squid ink and a very artistic woodpecker.

Protege said...

I have a feeling he will move back out again, he will miss his wild lifestyle. Someone dear to me once told me, "You cannot cage a wild animal, not even in a golden cage", and this will for sure apply to this man. By the way, is he 73 on this photograph? He doesn’t look a day over 40.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Protege - You may well be right. And yes, I'm told it's a current photo. Puts my pale, fat, 47 year old body to shame!