a bookcase yesterday. This, as those of you who know me well will be aware, was only preparatory to trying to find a way of fitting more books into the shelves.
No, we were not trying to rid ourselves of any books. The books contained in that bookcase are all reference books of one sort or another. Most of them belong to me. Some belong to the Senior Cat.
All of them have been used, are being used - or might be used again.
While I was doing it someone called in to pick up some timber. I had the kettle on ready to make the Senior Cat's afternoon cup of tea and offered him a cup. Oh yes, that would be nice.
The Senior Cat was looking for a pamphlet in his filing cabinet so I left our visitor looking at the pile of books I had removed from a shelf.
"What's this Amharic stuff Cat?" he asked. He had my Amharic dictionary in his hand.
"It's a language they speak in Ethiopia."
"I suppose it's pretty much one of those almost dead languages."
"Actually it is a Semitic language and the most widely spoken after Arabic."
He raised his eyebrows. I could see he did not believe me.
"Can you read it?"
"Then what have you got this for?"
"I helped someone set up some communication boards. I'm keeping it because we might need to do some more one day."
He shook his head and put the book back on top of the Arabic dictionary - and no, I do not read Arabic either. He pulled out several more dictionaries in different languages and different alphabets.
"You do try and read some weird stuff."
I made the tea. The Senior Cat found the pamphlet. I left the two of them to read whatever it was they were looking at.
A little later the Senior Cat called out to me. Could I please come and look at something?
The pamphlet had been written by someone in China. The English translation was, to be kind, not terribly good. The instructions were not clear and the illustrations were not helping. I made some hesitant suggestions. I do not know much about the advanced tools of the carpentry trade.
"I thought you might be able to work it out," the Senior Cat said looking at me.
Our visitor looked at me as well. I could not resist it.
"No, you do try and read some weird stuff."