Occasionally my wanderings on the internet surprise even me. Today I found out that James Dick, a successful business man who was born in Kilmarnock and moved to Glasgow, developed the school gym shoe known by various names over the UK. He and his brother had experimented with using Gutta-percha to cover the soles of existing shoes. This extremely useful form of latex, brought over from Malaysia, was responsible for the central Scotland name of gutties, or plimsolls if you were being posh. I know that when Elspeth went to teach in Gloucestershire, she found out that they were called daps. My research suggests that the shoes were developed by several manufacturers but our man became a wealthy philanthropist, while an institute in his home town bears his brother’s name.
The word gutta-percha comes from the plant’s name in Malay: getah translates as ‘latex‘. Percha or perca is an older name for Sumatra.
In other news, the magnificent Elbow continue to release a new live track every Friday at 12 noon, this week it’s Lippy Kids with the backing proved by alumni of Manchester’s Halle Youth Chorus. The Halle Orchestra is the band’s first choice for string accompaniment etc. Rosemary recalls going to their concerts when she lived in Longton.
Elbow’s frontman and lyricist Guy Garvey is amongst other things a keen ornithologist, and he would doubtless be the first to spot the link here, which is in Passerines, or perching birds. Although the birds referred to in Lippy Kids are crows, I feel sure that sparrows are just at the edge of the picture here.
The terms “passerine” and “Passeriformes” are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.
….and if you think all that is convoluted, wait until you hear about last night’s dreams. Here’s a nice osprey to make everything better.
Lastly, welcome to the family Leo Thomson, a wee brother for Ellie.