I have just gathered the current batch of ripe fruit from our single passionfruit vine. Here, we are not talking export tonnages; we are talking 28 items of fruit.
I'm happy with that. It's the reward for planting and nurturing the vine and that's what makes gardening a pleasure. Well, for some people. And, depending on the crop, for the birds.
But my thoughts quickly turned from harvest to common English expressions, adages and proverbs and, in particular, those that many people get wrong, often with a risible result.
You can't really go wrong with "reap what you sow" unless you change the spelling of sow and it becomes a seamstress' mantra. But others can be different.
Like all language, usage decides what is acceptable. The more people get things wrong, the more likely the language is to change and accommodate it.
A case in point is "champing at the bit" which people incorrectly interpreted as "chomping at the bit" and this now appears as an alternative in dictionaries. But not for this old pedant.
"All that glisters is not gold" is another that has started its mutation. I don't know whether "glistens" or "glitters" appear in dictionaries but I don't care because I'm sticking with "glisters".
I'm sure we've all tried to "nip something in the bud" (after all, a stitch in time saves nine) but why this is morphing into "nip it in the butt", I don't know.
Or perhaps biting people's bottoms is an increasingly popular hobby (but not one I'm going to get involved with, thank you all the same).
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" is a very commonly misused one. The original makes sense (you have to try something to see whether it appeals) but the frequently-heard version "the proof is in the pudding" simply does not make sense.
That, of course, won't stop it appearing in a dictionary.
This next one might be more common in the US than it is here but it's still worth a mention. "I couldn't care less" makes sense to me but I'm afraid "I could care less" doesn't.
Well, yes, it means something but I don't think it is what was intended.
"You've got another thing coming" is similar but often not what was intended. "Think", not "thing".
And "one and the same" is another example. "One in the same" is meaningless.
"First come, first served" is another. It often is presented as "first come, first serve" which suggests that the first to arrive has the dubious pleasure of becoming the barman or waiter.
Some are simply a case of using the wrong word. The most recent example I remember seeing was "wreck havoc" instead of "wreak havoc". It certainly could be a tad humorous to see someone "wreck havoc".
Similar is "the importance of this cannot be underestimated" which is generally intended to mean the opposite. The word required here is "overestimated".
There are many others which just use the wrong word: "Hone in" ("home"); "diffuse the situation" ("defuse").
So, quite clearly, one of the dangers of being a lover of language is that you're constantly thinking about it. Thoughts can be prompted by something as insignificant as roadside signs ("Orange's for Sale) or a gross error in the offerings of a TV commentator.
In this case, all it took was being aware that I was reaping what I sowed as I gathered my passionfruit. If you'll excuse me, I'll now leave you and go and cut one in half enjoy the seed-specked goodness.
Passionfruit may be gnarled and crinkled on the outside but you can't judge a book by its cover, can you?