Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

New lair for Leopard Man of Skye

One of our favourite characters has finally had to give up his chosen lifestyle, which he had been able to enjoy until reaching a remarkable 73 years of age.

Tom Leppard was known as the Leopard man of Skye, having spent some £5,500 to have his body tattooed with leopard spots and had, until 2006, been acknowledged as the most tattooed man in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records

Mr Leppard had also left what most regard as a “normal” lifestyle, and since 1987 had chosen to live in a hut on a remote shore near Kyleakin on the island of Skye. The hut was made from beachcombed materials and although unfurnished in conventional terms, provided shelter and contained all that was important to its occupant.

By coincidence, the fairly rapid arrival of some extremely chilly weather in the last week of October (apparently thanks to the diversion of some Artic weather in our direction) which changed things from “not particularly warm” to “frosty” in a matter of hours, had actually brought Mt Leppard into our minds, and wondering how he was coping in such conditions, especially given his age. It seems that we now know the answer, and that Scotland is not really the best place to undertake such a hermit-like existence.

Regular visits to Kyle of Lochalsh to collect his pension and supplies were made by canoe, and it seems Mr Leppard considered that he was “One big wave away from disaster” making the risky crossing.

(The BBC News story suggested the crossing involved a 3 mile trip by canoe, but unless we’ve got the places confused, then the crossing from Kyleakin to Kyle of Lochalsh is only about 300 metres. No less risky across that particular stretch of water – hazardous enough to merit its own lighthouse – but considerably shorter than reported.)

He has now moved into a one bedroomed flat in Broadford, also on Skye and only a few miles to west from his former home, and where he is getting used to sleeping in an ordinary bed, surrounded by four walls and a roof, and said he finds it more comfortable, and that having electricity is convenient.

We wish Mr Leppard well in his retiral (and hope that the new bills and taxes that he will also now be receiving don’t spoil things).

30/10/2008 - Posted by | Lost | ,

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