A few weeks ago, on our way home from visiting Granddaddy (formerly Aged Parent), we passed our* gardener's house when he happened to be out front with his granddaughter. They called for his wife and other granddaughter to come meet the tiny baby. He handed his wallet to his wife who took out £10 and tucked it in Little Djinn's pram. I used the money to buy her a swimsuit.
Fast forward to yesterday and he came to mow the lawn. Perfect! I can give him his thank you card and not have to remember which house is his (hint: the one with his business' van in the driveway). I quickly write out their card but he's talking to our neighbour so I write her card as well and the card for the one other neighbour I'd not yet done and Little Djinn and I headed off to drop them on porches** and through letter boxes. Our gardener was off with his lawn-mower and I didn't want to interrupt (and give him a card he'd then have to carry with him) so I put his under the left windscreen/shield wiper where he'd be sure to see it when he returned to his vehicle. Sure enough, he finishes for the morning, goes out to his car gets in on the right side and drives home for lunch.
Crap. I'd forgotten that the British drive on the wrong--I mean right!--side of the road. Um. Oops. We saw him on his way back when we walked into town for my dentist appointment and it was still there. At least I'd placed it securely. The story does have a happy ending: Chris passed him again on their respective ways home. It had just started to rain and he'd turned on his wipers and finally noticed the card, pulled over, and retrieved it. Seeing Chris he asked, "oh, did my wife give you something then?"
We plan on being that couple in thirty years.
* the home-owner's association's
** over hear a "porch" is what I'd call a storm room, an outside door that opens to a small room and another door so that one can come and go without letting the heat out or bringing the weather in. Needless to say, I read about them in books such as "Little House on the Prairie"; we don't have them in San Francisco. If it's not actively storming, the done thing appears to be leaving the outside door open.