Then the rain got even heavier - I changed out of my slippers, and grabbed a coat and ran across to her "Please come inside, it is so wet!" and she said "I do not speak much English" - but she came in anyway. We hung her dripping raincoat on the coatstand in the porch, and went and sat in the lounge, and I made her a cup of tea.
Her English was actually quite good - she was from Belarus, and 31 [the same age as my Steph] her husband was a policeman. She'd come to England for 2 months, to improve her English, and was staying with a family near Southampton. Her host worked for this charity, and my young friend was helping by distributing collection bags through the letterboxes in Ferndown. I found a map, and she pointed out her town - Babruysk, which is South East of Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
The rain became still heavier- we couldn't hear ourselves speak. I showed her pictures of my family, and gave her one of our commemorative Queen books [in a waterproof bag!]
Then the rain stopped - and she had to leave. She thanked me profusely and we hugged - and she left.
I thought that was the end of the story - till I left the house early Monday morning, and found this little gentleman standing on the bonnet of Bob's Car. The note just says "Olya - 25.07.2016" - she'd clearly left him there very early that morning
My dapper little chap is a souvenir of Babruysk - The name Babruysk probably originates from the Belarusian word babyor (бобёр) which means beaver. There used to be many of these creatures in that part of the country. What a lovely thought on her part, to leave this unexpected little thank you gift. I shall treasure him.
Spasibo, Olya - I hope you have enjoyed your time in my country - in rain and sunshine. It was a delight to meet you!