A Special birthday for a Special Lady

Talking to an old lady proves to be a job well done

By Joanna Jones

This story is a summary of an experience that started two years ago, and which I did not feel able to share until now, for all sorts of reasons. I hope you enjoy it!

It started with me walking across the open tarmac to the front entrance of Rosedon Nursing Home on a mid-autumn morning. The building was well designed for its occupants with easy access at the entrance and a well maintained garden surrounding it, with a beautiful sheltered lawn to the south where residents enjoyed the summer sun. However, as the cool early October weather laid testament to, sitting out was no longer really an option, though the fitter, more hardy souls could still potter along the well maintained garden paths and admire the fading blooms.

I shrugged my shoulders against the early coolness and pressed the buzzer. A few moments later after a brief conversation the lock clicked to give me access to the warmth within. Like all nursing homes, security was built in to keep the inmates ‘safe’, especially those with a desire to wander off.

It was a special day. Even in the corridor leading to the main common area the decorations were up, wishing Elsie Draper a happy hundredth birthday; the reason I was here of course, to get the interview and a photo with my trusty digital camera for the local rag. My job resided in the lofty title of chief journalist, though in reality I was now about the only one, with the other articles for the local paper bought in by the editor or obtained through projects with the local school and the further education college.

Experience had taught me that older people on a day of excitement could tire early, so I had arrived early to get the interview a little before Elsie’s family arrived and then there were a few photos to take. By the end of the celebratory lunch, with the local mayor putting in her appearance, the old lady, I suspected, would be quite looking forward to an afternoon nap!

Taking a breath, I walked into the common area, and immediately recognised the home’s eldest resident, their new centenarian, sitting in a chair reading a national newspaper with her thick glasses.

To my surprise Elsie saw me coming and managed to stand up and welcome me. While clearly somewhat frail, she was remarkably spry. The only other time I’d done the hundredth birthday interview the elderly lady had been completely chair bound and also rather confused, leading me to wonder if she had really understood fully all the fuss being made over the celebration of the centenary since her birth.

As I sat next to Elsie, a twinkle in the old woman’s eye told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with this centenarian’s mental faculties.

A thought confirmed as Elsie said: “So you’re the famous Mary Reardon of the Farnton Herald, scourge of the local councillors and, if I remember, last week the local environment agency and their latest delayed flood plans.”

She gave a satisfied little smirk as I no doubt raised my eyebrows in surprise that she knew so much.

Elsie continued: “So, I hope you are not going to give me too many difficult questions?”

I am sure I smiled. I had, to be honest, been rather dreading this obligatory event, given the last time, but now knew I was probably going to have a very enjoyable half an hour.

“And what would someone with all your experience find difficult?” I asked a little teasingly.

“Oh, the usual things like what’s your secret to long life? Or, perhaps if you are more risqué, at what age do you lose interest in the opposite sex?”

“Do you want to get those out the way for my readers now and then we can chat on other things then?” I replied encouragingly.

Elsie smiled back, and relaxed back into the high-backed armchair she was occupying, then replied: “For the first, you can take your pick. I believe it is pure luck, luck of the genes my parents gave me, and luck that I didn’t kill myself falling out of a bedroom window as a seven year old child, but only broke my leg and collar bone. However, perhaps your readers would prefer me to say plenty of exercise and a cup of cocoa every night before bed.”

Elsie then leaned over conspiratorially. “And as for the other matter, well you see the man with the Zimmer frame over there, Jack Wood, one of the few others in here who still has it all ‘up top’ if you catch my drift. Well he may be only ninety-one but I think he is pretty good looking. We play cards together most evenings. I am sure he likes me too, but if either of us did anything amorous no doubt our respective children would kill us. Though I do hope to get a nice birthday kiss from him later today!

I am sure I looked quite shocked as Elsie laughed.

“You’d better not put that in your article either. Perhaps you should say; ask me again when I am older.”

This time I found myself laughing with the old lady as I scribbled down a couple of notes in my best shorthand.

“Would you indulge me to walk round the garden? I try to get out once a day unless the weather is really awful and, with the party, I don’t think there will be time later. I should warn you I am not as quick as I used to be.”

It was, to my mind, her day, and it was a dry, pleasant morning, so I readily agreed. Soon she had a thick coat on and the two of us were ambling round the paths, Elsie using a stick for support. I have to say I was finding myself more and more enjoying the conversation, soon realising that Elsie was a font of all sorts of knowledge of Farnton’s history.

An idea came to me, to run a series on Farnton through the eyes of its oldest citizen, an idea that I proposed to her on impulse and was very happy that Elsie was delighted to agree to.

Thus, after the party and the photos in the paper, I started a regular weekly visit, with the Herald’s editor’s approval of course. He needed very little persuasion to the idea to be honest, though.

Rather than start in 1912, when she was born, I thought to start with some more personal things, to try to engage my readers in the series I was planning, and also to get a feel of what I could and could not say without breaching her trust.

That was an eye-opener and gave some perfect stories for my readers. One of my earliest questions was the best and worst things in her life. She said she would give me two of each, in the order they occurred.

“The first was my father.” She started. “He was called up during the war. Then one day in late 1917 two men came to the door, and one was the vicar. Mum was very brave as they told her that Dad had died at Passchendaele. However, they did not see the grief that night or the nights following as she sobbed in bed with me at her side. However, at five I don’t think it hit home to me what it really meant, or maybe there was some peculiar need in me to be strong for mummy. Whatever the case, it was a year later and the war over when the men who survived came back. I remember clearly my best friend Marge jumping into the arms of her dad and the utter ecstatic delight on her face, and of course on his. It was then I realised Dad had gone and I would never feel his arms around me again. That he really never was coming back. It was then I broke down. The feeling was awful, I felt so desolate.”

I have to say, listening to her, reliving that experience made me go for the hanky in my bag, and give thanks that I had not ever suffered such a painful loss, nor lived through a world war.

The best things in her life were unsurprisingly her wedding day and birth of her two children. The final worst had been the passing of her husband thirty years previously, he being in his mid-seventies, an event she described as a light going out in her life.

Many chats followed, talking about the Second World War and the perpetual fears for her husband who had been called up as a medic into the army, given her memories of her father. Before that there were her experiences as a child, the games at school, and the dances to meet the boys. After the Second World War, there was her husband’s return and the post-war rationing amongst the subjects we talked about.

It was not for quite a few weeks that the subject of school discipline came up. We were discussing her children and some of the games they played during the war years, three of them having been born in the mid to late thirties. That progressed on to a story of some minor mischief they had got up to in the house which had, in retrospect, been quite amusing. I then commented that, while games changed, perhaps children did not. For example, my elder sister had been moaning to me on the phone the previous evening night about how her six year old son had managed to get some time in the “thinking spot” at school for having a tête-à-tête with another over some game they were playing.

Elsie looked at me and replied that he was lucky not to have been in her school all those years ago where fighting with another boy would see the two of them over the teacher’s knee with their trousers down at that age, if they were lucky, and in the Headmaster’s office for the cane if they were not, even at the tender age of six.

By the time I had started school, corporal punishment had already gone. While I had not quite forgotten the abstract principle, I had certainly forgotten the actual fact that both her, and for that matter her children and even her grandchildren, born in the early sixties, had all experienced that difference in the school environment. We had discussed other things at school such as the raked classrooms where the top of the class literally was on the top row, that teachers were much stricter than today and that education was much more by rote, with chalk and slate still used. We had even discussed playground games and other activities. However, despite getting very close, we had never actually discussed the consequences of misbehaviour.

I looked at her with a smile and asked her teasingly: “So were you ever punished at school?”

Elsie looked at me almost incredulously. “Of course I was! I can guarantee you that nobody in my class escaped punishment completely. Some got it more than others, and boys got a lot more than girls of course. I was probably about average for a girl, certainly not the best behaved, nor worst.”

My curiosity was now well up, I was surprised at myself as I suddenly wanted all the gory details.

I listened to a few her anecdotes and life indeed could be painful for a misbehaving child, or even teen. They are stories I won’t describe here. It was what we discussed next that really surprised me, and that forms the focus of this account.

It started when I said: “Sometimes I think you must have been relieved to leave all those sore hands, legs and bottoms behind when you left school.”

The reply astounded me. “Who said it stopped there?”

I am sure I left my impassive journalistic composure behind for a moment and gawped stupidly at her, while she gave a smug sort of grimace like smile.

Eventually my mouth and brain resynchronised. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“As you know, I left school at sixteen. My mother had a job as a teacher and she wanted me to stay in education as long as possible. But I was not really that keen and my mother did not really have the money to support me anyway, what with my father gone. I got a job working as a secretary in the local building company. However, the company went bust in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression. It was desperate times and jobs were scarce, but I was lucky, getting a job as a clerical assistant in the local hospital; a family connection and my experience in the building company were key to me getting it.”

“It was quite a big hospital and had a large typing pool, headed by a Mr Adams, with the senior secretary being a Miss Forsyth. Both of them were probably in their late forties. Right from the beginning I thought she was an intimidating woman.” Elsie paused and took a sip of her tea while I waited patiently for her to continue.

“It was at the beginning of my second week there that I realised Miss Forsyth not only had a fearsome reputation but that she backed it up with painful measures. A friend, Alice, apparently had made a serious mistake in the notes she had been typing up. One of those where she had misread some Latin name of a disease and subconsciously used another; the sort of thing that could lead to mistakes in the treatment of the patient. It was the hospital matron who came into the pool and angrily told Miss Forsyth what she thought. I think Matron was the only woman in the whole hospital that intimidated my boss. It was quite a revelation to see her getting dressed down and accepting it so meekly in front of us all.

“Of course it was a different story the moment Matron left. She soon identified Alice as the culprit and a few minutes later my colleague was inside Mr Adam’s office with Miss Fleming. Everyone else was dreadfully quiet. At the time I could tell there was a lot of tension but I did not know the real reason till I heard the crack and some form of pained sound. I looked at everybody else. They were all grimly trying to do some typing. I tried to do the same.

“There were further cracks, first with silence and then it degenerated into screams and sobs. I think there were eight or nine in total.

“To my rising horror it was clear to me that poor Alice was getting a severe thrashing for her mistake. What was clear looking around was that I was the only one who looked in any way surprised.

“Suddenly, it dawned on me that I might also be subject to this regime, that despite being a young adult, at eighteen, my days of being smacked were no longer over. Suddenly I found it very difficult to concentrate.

“That difficulty only increased as Alice reappeared with Miss Fleming. Her face was a mess and she was holding her bottom carefully as she staggered back into the pool area. Clearly unable to work immediately, Miss Fleming sent her to stand facing the wall with her hands clasped in front of her. I could not help but watch as she wriggled and hopped from foot to foot in an attempt to assuage the pain in her rear.

“What I next remember was Miss Fleming calling me to her desk. She at least spoke quietly to me as she told me off for not concentrating. Yes, Alice had a very sore bottom as a result of her mistake, but she had chosen that over leaving. I would be given the same choice if it was ever necessary. Finally she told me rather more firmly that if I did not want to start making that sort of choice today then I’d better start paying attention to my work and not my friend.

“Fearfully I did what I was told and tried my best to concentrate on my work, with renewed care not to make mistakes.”

I just looked at Elsie in surprise, not quite able to believe my ears. Elsie went on to explain that within a couple of days she found out from her colleagues that such punishments were quite common; make a mistake, you got whacked; arrive late in the morning or after lunch, you got whacked; were rude or inattentive, you got whacked. The whackings were always in Mr Adams’ office and carried out by Miss Fleming with him watching. If you were lucky you got the hairbrush over her knee and your knickers. Unlucky; it was the cane bent over Mr Adams’ desk on a bare bottom, which is what Alice had received. She soon found out her friends were not joking about the punishments as one or other member of the pool got dealt with, on average there would be one or two thrashings a week.

Elsie tried to be careful but of course with such a strict regime it was always going to be a matter of when. This is my record of how Elsie remembered the event.

“It was February when I finally ended up in that office.” She started. “The weather was bad and I could tell things were going to be difficult. In the past week Miss Fleming had already hairbrushed half the twenty or so girls in the pool, including five the day before, for being late despite the problem being the buses. She showed no mercy and there was plenty of wriggling on seats as a result. For a couple of girls it was especially bad as they were basically being spanked daily as a result of the weather.”

“I was very keen to avoid a trip to the office so I started getting the bus that was half an hour early. However, one day it did not turn up and the one quarter of an hour early ended up in a small accident where somebody was injured. The police came and talked to all of us, and by the time they had finished it was well after nine. I was an hour late.”

“I was soon in the dreaded office and Mrs Fleming did not want to hear my excuses. An hour late was simply unacceptable and it was my job to be on time. I, of course, could not contemplate leaving, especially as unemployment was then so high, so finally I found myself being told to remove my skirt and go over Miss Fleming’s knee. Slowly I took off the three-quarter length woollen skirt, and also my underskirt, to reveal my stockings held up on a girdle round my waist. The girdle had to come off too, given it was covering my bottom, leaving me in loose fitting knickers that were de-rigeur at the time, more what you these days might call French knickers, I suppose. Mr Adams, of course, watched with immense interest from his side of the desk. I was told that normally over an hour late was knickers down, but this time she would make allowances for my previous good timekeeping.”

“As I undressed, Miss Fleming produced the dreaded brush from a cupboard on the far side of the room, and moved a chair into the middle to sit on. Far too quickly I found myself over Miss Fleming’s knee with Frank Adams admiring the view from the other side of his desk.”

Elsie paused a long time. “What happened next” I eventually asked.

“I was spanked.” She replied simply. “I don’t know how many times that hairbrush met my bottom, but suffice to say I was squirming and wailing by the end of it. It started just stinging but just built and built. At the end, every inch of my bottom was a painful bright red, I am sure, and it took me some effort to struggle back into my skirt, with tears running down my cheeks. Nobody looked up as I returned to my desk and very carefully sat down, then tried to get on with some work.” Elsie finished.

I have to say I could not imagine agreeing to take such a punishment, but times have changed.

It was the first of many punishments Elsie recounted to me interspersed with other things. I realised fairly quickly that she did not want that part of her life published, at least while she was alive, and I respected that. As I found out later, I guess she sensed my interest and allowed the conversation to drift back to that most weeks when we met.

It seemed hard for any of the girls to go more than a few weeks without getting a sore bottom, though Elsie fared better than most, usually succumbing to a hairbrushing a few times a year and the cane once or twice per year over the five years she worked there.

I will recount what she said was the worst punishment she got, which happened when she was about twenty-two.

At the time she had started going out with Nick. Nick was a handsome young doctor and the two of them had been courting for over a year by the time of this event. Nick had been on call overnight, and finished his session at lunchtime. He and Elsie had gone for a Friday pub lunch, and with him off-duty time had been forgotten about. Elsie had also allowed herself couple of  drinks.

Miss Fleming was furious when Elsie finally returned over an hour late and smelling slightly of gin. Elsie explained to me what happened next.

“It took less than five minutes from my arrival back to my entry into Mr Adams’ office once again. I knew it was not going to be good given the fury on the old battleaxe’s (Miss Fleming’s) face. This time I knew it would be the cane, and I sobered up pretty quickly as Mr Adams told me it would be a full ten on my bare bottom. It did not seem to take long for me to once again remove my skirt and unclip the girdle from my stockings and the clips pulling it tight around my bottom. Once again, my loose cuffed knickers were on display, but this time I had to undo the tie at the waist and allow the garment to fall to the floor, all in front of that man, who clearly enjoyed getting a good look at my semi-naked state, including of course the area between my legs. He then pushed his paperwork to one side and gave a leering smile as I bent over the resulting space on his desk, with my now fearful face getting far too close to him sitting directly in front of me. However, he was not really interested in that side. As Miss Fleming rattled the cane out of the cupboard, he stood and wandered around to get a good view of the action side of things, so to speak. I must say that man really was a bit of a pervert.”

I raised my eyebrows, as Elsie did not usually let her emotions show so clearly.

However, she did not notice my reaction and continued with her story. “Seconds later I heard the ‘Whoosh’ and of course the ‘Crack’ as the cane hummed through the air to impale itself on my rear. I had been caned before by then, as you know, but never so hard on the first stroke, and never bare. I screamed. Not that it helped. Miss Fleming only took such behaviour as reasons to hit even harder.

“By the time I had six I was sobbing, and it was all I could do to remain fixed in position over the desk for the remaining four. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I was, of course, totally unable to work, so after somehow struggling back into my clothes, I tell you there can be little worse than trying to fasten a girdle over a well caned, swollen backside, I was, like Alice before me, told to put my nose to the wall and think about my behaviour.”

Elsie told me she spent an hour snuffling with her face to the wall before being brusquely told to sit down and get on with some work.

That evening Nick came to work as she left, having heard from a friend what had happened. Again I will recount in her own words.

Elsie said: “I was still pretty sore at five o’clock, and I was quite relieved the day was over as I staggered out. To my shock, Nick was there and he had a single red rose for me, which to my embarrassment he gave me in front of all the other girls. Apparently he had got news of my thrashing in his accommodation from another doctor and realised it was in part his fault, keeping me late.”

“He then invited me for dinner and, when I paused, said he had already sought permission to take me out from my mother.”

“He took me in a taxi to a fairly posh hotel in the countryside, where he treated me to one of the best meals I ever had. However, he saved the best till last. At the end he told me that he had gone round not just to ask my mother permission to take me out, but something else as well. He then went down in one knee and offered me a diamond ring. I found myself crying for the second time that day as I said ‘yes’. Apparently he had been planning to ask me in a couple of weekends time, when we had a day trip to York planned, but on impulse decided to bring it forward.”

She showed me the rose he’d given her, which she had dried and pressed in a scrap book she still kept. Despite being old, there were still elements of the dark red colour in it.

The following week her new ring was the only talking point of the pool. It also marked a change in that she was never spanked or caned again by Miss Fleming, who clearly feared consequences from her fiancé, as junior or not he was still one of the hospital doctors.

The following year she had to give up work anyway, as it was frowned upon to work if you had a husband.

You might think well that would be the end of Elsie’s spankings, at least on the receiving end. However, to my surprise it was not. No, she told me, Nick was not averse to taking her over his knee and using his hand to warm her bottom, sometimes making it very warm indeed. On other occasions he’d also used her hairbrush too, when he was really cross. I could not imagine my husband doing that and more or less said so.

I remember Elsie cocked her head rather enigmatically at me at my comment, but did not say anything. Instead she pointed out that she was a bit mischievous and stubborn, and the occasional spanking helped bring her back to earth and, so she said, while she did not like the spanking itself, it made her feel tremendously excited, and always their intimacy was great after. In fact, she said, their fourth child born in 1948, unlike the other three who were born before and literally just at the start of the war, was really a bit of an accident, almost certainly the direct result of a spanking she had got for a big argument they had over the quantity of ration tickets she had used to bake a cake for one of the other children’s birthdays.

She described how the spankings happened in some detail. How she would have to wait till the children were asleep, pretending nothing out of the ordinary, then she had to strip and put on her nightdress before finally having to go down to the basement with the hairbrush (she always had to take it just in case, though Nick probably actually used it only one in every five times or so).

Once there she had to wait facing a corner with the nightdress held bunched to her waist, with a pair of knickers on underneath. Those changed with the times, of course, with the use of elastic becoming much more common as times went on. Eventually Nick would come down and sit on an old soft chair and it was time to go over his knee. Before that she always had to go nervously across to him and then stand still as he took down her knickers, something she said always electrified her in a strange sort of way. He always scolded and spanked her bare bottom simultaneously, bringing her to tears before he finished.

He always started with a hand spanking, so when he stopped poor Elsie had to lie there hoping she was going to be allowed up, and not that he was going to reach over for the brush.

A round wooden brush that if used would pepper the cheeks of her bottom until not only was she crying but sobbing desperately over his lap.

Finally afterwards she would be allowed up and he would always give her a cuddle to indicate it was over. The cuddle invariably led to other things in their bedroom, though sometimes Elsie said they did not even get as far as that location!

I should say that, as our meetings had progressed, I had reciprocated her trust in me, with things from my own personal life, including relationship issues with my husband. We seemed to be drifting apart, with me frustrated by his inattentiveness to me, and him not happy with, as he saw it, my mood swings.

It was after a few months of our chats that Elsie stopped me part way through one of my moans and then looked at me quietly for a long time before saying: “You know, Sarah, what I think you need is a good spanking.”

I am sure I just stared at her stupidly for minutes, not believing what she had just said.

Eventually, when I did not reply, she continued. “I have listened to you for weeks and I do not think the problem is David. It is you. From what you say you are pestering him to do things and then criticising him when he does them. I can only see that in a downward spiral. You’ve been married two years, but you won’t make four the way you are going. If you value your relationship you need to look at yourself first.”

My first inclination was to stand up and leave her private room where we now always chatted, and not come back. What stopped me was that I knew in my heart that what really annoyed me was how perceptive she had been. I had been telling myself the same thing at times but always, in the heat of the moment, I later reverted to type.

Elsie said nothing more and left me to my thoughts. It must have been five minutes that I stared at the cup of coffee in front of me, before I finally could say something. Eventually I admitted: “Okay, you are right about my attitude. I say the same to myself at times. I keep promising that I will stop, both to me and to David, but then it just happens again.”

“So you need a bit of a deterrent then.” Prompted the centenarian next to me.

The deterrent she was talking about was, of course, absolutely obvious. “I am not sure I am into the spanking idea though!”

Elsie laughed seemingly helplessly as I stared at her looking no doubt very confused. Then when she had control of her voice again said: “You? Not into spanking? Maybe you don’t know if you are really, I suppose, but you look to be. Every time you come here you almost always manage to bring the conversation at some point to that topic, and I can’t help but notice the way you change when we get to it. You sit up that bit straighter, you forget to write anything in the notebook and you look much more closely at my face to gauge my emotions.”

For the second time I stared stupidly at her. Was I that easy to read? She was right that ever since she had mentioned corporal punishment I had been rather fixated on the topic, wanting more information. Apart from a single rather general story on school punishments in her time, and her children’s day, none of it ever appeared in the paper. While I did not write much when she was talking about the topic, she did not know after that I religiously noted down as much as I could. She did not know, of course, that my research activities at home had also extended into a whole new sphere of materials too.

She was smirking at me as all these thoughts no doubt very visibly went through my mind. Then she twisted the knife right in.

Putting her hand in mine she leant across conspiratorially and whispered in my ear. “So have you got as far as trying to spank yourself yet?”

I am sure I gave a little gasp and turned bright red. How could she have known that? How could she have known that, yes, I had, when in the house alone, experimentally pulled my skirt up and knickers down and tried smacking my bum with a few different things, most effectively with a wooden spoon from the kitchen.

Seeing my reaction, Elsie did not need me to answer the question. “It doesn’t work very well does it?” She continued conversationally. “I tried it a lot after Nick died, but it is never the same. I miss my husband a lot even now, and one of the things I miss most is the feeling of being sent to the basement as a naughty girl, of having knickers taken down, being put over his knee, and of course all that followed.

“Of course I can’t even do that now.” She continued rather wistfully “Apart from the sound and no privacy, old people mark far too easily. If a doctor saw them there would be all sorts of questions, and the staff here are so very good to me.”

I just continued looking at her, still wondering how my poker looks in surprising interviewees on most local issues had so totally utterly failed me. This old woman had managed to see into my deepest thoughts far better than my husband, and more worryingly seemed to understand some of my feelings better than I did myself!

There was no point to pretend any more. “Truth is, I have thought of asking him, but I don’t know whether David would do it, and what he might think, and it might make things worse rather than better.” I admitted.

“So meanwhile you allow your frustration to show, which certainly is not making things better, Sarah?”

“So what should I do, Elsie?” I asked my newly appointed agony aunt.

“Either tell him the truth, or try to goad him into it when you’re having an argument. You know David best, so I am not sure which might be most effective. Whichever make sure he remembers it for all the right reasons after. Make sure he gets the message how much you needed that after.”

I am sure I sat there far from my usual self-confident self, wondering both what to do, and how I had got to the point of having this conversation at all.

Elsie was clearly still thinking, then said: “I suggest you make him a nice meal and tell him the truth; that you know you have been unreasonable. Tell him you need something to make you stop and think. Then ask him if he would consider spanking you if he gets annoyed. Use all your charms to get him to agree, and make sure he knows he can spank you till you are sorry even if you’re begging him to stop but make sure it is only his hand. It is hard to go too far with a hand spanking.”

Elsie briefly paused. “Then leave it a few days and set up an argument and see how things progress, goad him if you have to.”

I nodded uncertainty. However, Elsie had not finished her advice. “Oh, and Sarah, the first time you need to be brave. If he says he’s going to do it, it can suddenly be very tempting to beg to be let off. The first few times you can’t afford that luxury. He will be very uncertain about the whole thing, I suspect, much more uncertain than you.”

She put her hand on my arm again and said: “If this is what you desire then good luck. I didn’t tell you this before but it took me quite a bit of effort to get Nick to understand what I wanted. It was me who pushed him into it, and it took me quite a while to get him to overcome all his inhibitions.”

I looked surprised at her revelation. I wondered if somehow she saw something of herself in my behaviour and hence the perception.

After leaving, for the rest of the day my thoughts kept returning to the conversation we had had. The question was, dare I take her advice?

Maybe I was tense, but that evening again I bickered with David and again, as I lay in bed, regretted it. I made up my mind to go for it.

The following morning I was up early and made him his coffee as he blearily woke up. I rather meekly apologised for being ‘a bit short last night’ and said I was going to make him a special dinner that (Friday) night, so not to be late.

The dinner went perfectly, with a bottle of good red wine to wash it down with. It was quite refreshing, so we both said, and something to do more often.

Eventually over coffee I plucked up the courage to dive in. I started by apologising for my shortness over the past months and got him to honestly admit he’d found my behaviour frustrating. When I told him I wanted to change and be more like we first met, he cocked an eyebrow at me, one of his trademark mannerisms I have always found so attractive in him.

When I told him that I needed him to help me, he stopped cradling his coffee and put it on the table.

“What do you mean, darling?” He asked rather confused.

This was it, and suddenly my mouth was dry. Finally I croaked it out. “If, if I am unreasonable or short, I think you should spank me.”

He leant back stared at me for what seemed an age. I waited nervously. At least he had not laughed it out of hand.

“Are you really serious?” He asked eventually.

I nodded.

“And what exactly are we talking about here?”

“A real spanking with your hand, me over your knee, long enough and hard enough that I can remember how to behave in future.” I whispered.

He looked at me again for what seemed an age. “I was wondering what you were going to say, you know. I could see you have been working up to this moment all evening, yes?”

I guess there are few secrets in body language that are kept from a husband, or one that cares at least anyway. It was easiest for me to nod again as I waited for his decision.

“You know I love you. I don’t really want to hurt you, and if you want me to punish you then I don’t know what will be too far.” He said. “I don’t want to lose you by breaching your trust in some way.”

Finally I managed to find a bit of a voice. “You won’t, and to be honest I don’t want to lose you by fighting with you all the time, when the reasons are basically my fault.” As I said this I reached across the table to put my hands in his, willing him with my eyes to agree.

“I am still not clear exactly what you are proposing. Are you talking about some sort of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ sort of spanking, or are you actually asking me to, well, I suppose, punish you?” He asked.

“What is the difference in your eyes?” I asked in return.

He paused, clearly to think carefully exactly what he meant. “Ok. Well a spanking is something where I guess you are really asking for it in some way, and there is also some way for you to stop it if it gets too much, am I right? Whereas a punishment, well that you get when I decide and you have to accept it whenever I say. Also as the aim is to ensure you don’t do it again then it is again only up to me to decide when to stop, I think.”

I paused, perhaps surprised that he had managed so quickly to make such a distinction. It was then that I remembered that the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was a book I had recently been reading on my kindle. I thought he had not noticed, but probably that was a naive perception. His question made me think, and I took a short time to consider my feelings. However, ultimately I knew it was the latter I needed, I knew I did not want to have any control in the situation. “I want you to punish me, when my behaviour means I deserve it.” I replied.

He just looked at me, clearly wondering what to say, clearly wondering if I knew what I was really asking for. I could not stand it, and eventually said: “Look can we try it out for a few weeks? Then we can decide whether to continue, you know, like a trial.”

Finally he seemed to make his mind up. “So, a trial? A trial where you agree I can decide if and when I should put you over my knee and smack you until I am convinced you are properly sorry. Is that right?”

I nodded, then said rather determinedly: “And please don’t stop if I start to ask you to; please make sure I really am sorry. That, as you say, I am properly punished. I really do want to try to be a better wife to you.”

We were still holding hands as he carefully said: “Alright, a trial. However, if it is to be the way you want, a punishment, then once I tell that you’re to be spanked then that’s it, no refusal or delays. Agreed?”

“Agreed!” I replied. Relieved, I squeezed his hands and leant over the table to give him a kiss of thanks. Pouring out the last of the wine, I persuaded him to toast our new agreement.

A few minutes later he had changed the topic to our plans for the weekend, and we happily discussed going for a Sunday walk on the cliffs, given the forecast. The conversation then moved through a few other things as we tidied and washed up together.

It was when we finished he said: “Well let’s get this over with then.”

Suddenly I froze. There was no doubt in my mind as to what he thought we needed to ‘get over with’. This was not how it was meant to be. I was going to have a few days being a good girl and psyche myself up to get my first date over his knee. To buy myself some time I asked: “What do you mean?”

“Don’t play the innocent, Sarah Juliet Barker! Your spanking, of course.”

“But I haven’t been naughty tonight!” I rather begged.

“True, but you have been a lot recently, including last night.” David replied. “Now are you sure you really want this?”

Suddenly Elsie’s words came back to me as I rather wrung my hands in front of me. Suddenly I wanted to persuade David to postpone it, or let me off this time, just as Elsie had predicted. However, as she said, if I wanted this then I could not be weak or give David a reason not to do it, because if I stopped him the chance of him ever doing it, or doing it as I felt I needed, might disappear. I needed a couple of minutes to gather myself. “Okay David, but can I have a minute to go to the loo please?” I begged.

He gave an enigmatic smile and said: “Okay, but be very quick if you don’t want extra.”

I nodded and made my way to climb the stairs, only to hear his firm voice shout. “Downstairs loo, Sarah! And don’t lock the door!”

My foot reluctantly left the bottom step and I turned to the cloakroom. A few minutes later I was pulling up my knickers, wondering how long it would be before they would be coming down again.

When I came back David was nursing the remnants of his glass of wine at the dining table, while slouched confidently in his chair. It began to worry me that he was taking to my suggestion a little more enthusiastically than I expected. As I came in I realised I did not know what to do. I felt a sudden loss of control in my situation. A loss that David filled immediately.

“Right, to start with you can stand in that corner with your hands on your head and think about why you are there.”

“What! But…”

David stood up and put his hand under my chin forcing me to look up at him. “You said punishment, yes? That means you do exactly what I say, right? My aim is to make sure you don’t want this again. Now I suggest you stand where I told you.”

I had never seen David like this. Trembling, I decided I’d better do as I was told.

“Now stay still!” He said as he came behind me. Then I felt the fabric of my dress rise upwards at the back, causing the hem at the front to slide upwards towards my stocking tops. I don’t often wear stockings, but I had been hoping for a more amorous reason to be wearing them than this.

Slap! Slap!

Suddenly the backs of my thighs were both stinging as I squealed in indignation.

“Stay still if you don’t want another two!” He ordered as I began to turn round. “Now do what you were told and think about how much your selfish attitude has upset me recently.”

As the hem of my dress dropped back into place, I did as I was told, now beginning to worry what I had really let myself in for. Far from needing to be persuaded, it seemed my husband was only too happy to pander to my wishes, with interest attached.

It was a long wait and I indeed started to consider my behaviour, helped by occasional one line sentences from David about certain particularly unfair phrases I had used towards him during the arguments we had had over the past two or three weeks. None of this helped my increasing nervous anticipation.

Finally I heard him stand back up from the table. Then he was behind me. While the sting in my thighs had gone, there was still a sort of ache that reminded me that it would be best not to move. Suddenly I felt the zip on the back of my dress being lowered. He then gently, but firmly put my hands straight up in the air, then the hem of the dress rose once more, this time rising right up above my head as he removed it completely.

I was now standing in my favourite set of black lingerie, with a suspender belt holding up my sheer tan coloured stockings. I was glad David put my hands back to my head, as they began to ache quite quickly when put vertically up in the air.

He then turned me round and I was beckoned to follow him to the dining chair which he turned to face away from the table before sitting down.

He sat and looked at my nervous countenance before reaching forward and, using my suspender belt, tugged me closer to him. I did not resist as I took two tiny steps nearer my fate.

David was never that good at unclipping stocking tops, so it took a bit of fumbling before the nylon fabric was being slid down my legs, and then the suspender belt removed, leaving me in just a bra and satin knickers.

He looked at me for quite some time as I stood feeling extremely vulnerable in front of him. I think he was wondering whether to strip me completely or let me keep my bra. Whatever the case, I heard some mutter of ‘keep it on’ and his hands instead went to the waistband of those skimpy black knickers. I felt a sudden constriction in my throat as they gently slid down my legs and were unhooked from my ankles.

“Right, Sarah, are you ready?” He asked.

I resisted the temptation to reply: “Ready for what?” While I was now going to get my first real spanking, I suddenly did not want to provoke him into a longer and harder experience for my bum. Instead I nodded and whispered: “Yes.”

Moments later I allowed myself to be guided over his knee, my hands finally leaving my head to support me on the floor. I began to feel I was regressing slightly at the childish position I was in.

Then a hand, his hand, started to gently rub the two orbs of my bottom. My heart started to thump with nerves.

Slap.

A mild sting suffused my left buttock.

Moments later a second slap ensured my right buttock felt the same.

Over the next few minutes I found my bottom pummelled methodically as firm snacks no doubt reddened my rear cheeks.

It was only when I started to grunt that David spoke. “So, young lady, are you regretting your recent attitude?”

It was a mistake not to reply immediately. “Yeouch!” I squawked as a particularly hard smack landed, and the question was repeated to a flurry of other smacks.

“Yes! I am sorry, David.” I bleated before he thought to give me another extra hard blow.

“And you’ll be a lot more sorry soon.”

With that he launched into a high tempo flurry of spanks that did not seem to stop.

I started to give voice to my pains. But my gasps, wails, and then pleas were merely ignored as his hand continued to blister my rear end.

All the vocal responses he gave were of the sort that I had agreed I needed a thorough lesson and he was not going to stop until I had one.

By this point I had started to squirm quite vigorously, leading to first his left hand folding my left behind my back to keep it out the way, then his right leg looping over both of mine to keep me in position.

I don’t know how long it was before I finally began to cry, and then sob, though it was then that the assault on my bottom slowed to a series of, I think, around a dozen extremely hard hand spanks, before he finally stopped.

“So are you going to behave more thoughtfully in future?” He asked as his hand rubbed over my poor bottom.

“Yes!” I sobbed quickly. The threat of more after all was still there.

“Good!” And with that he gently picked me up and indicated I could give him a cuddle.

I feel into his arms feeling both purged and forgiven. I think it might have been an hour that I just stayed there feeling warm and protected by him.

It was only after that length of time our thoughts about our closeness finally led us to consider other things, such as him finally removing my bra, for example.

The following morning I found I woke fairly late with what I can only describe as a pleasant glowing ache in my hindquarters. I looked across at my husband so happily that he had done what I wanted that I could not resist gently nuzzling in to him to encourage another romantic session.

David was going to the football in the afternoon as usual. So after a brunch and him leaving for the match I found all I really wanted to do was see Elsie and tell her all that had happened.

Thus, around two o’clock, I turned up at the nursing home, where she was relaxing in the main communal room. She looked a little surprised to see me, given I normally came during the week, but smiled and got her stick to get up from the chair to go to her room.

Once in the privacy she asked mischievously: “So, are you able to sit comfortably?”

“How did you know?” I blurted out.

“Well, you are visiting me unannounced at such an unusual time and you should see the suppressed excitement in your face. I can only think of one reason for that. And maybe by way of confirmation it seems to me you are walking a little more tentatively too, in a funny sort of way.” She replied. Then putting her hand in mine she asked: “So are you going to tell me about it then?”

I could not believe how childlike my excitement was as I told my confidante about my evening’s adventures under David’s hand. It was clear she was delighted that I was so happy too.

Since then David’s hand has visited my bottom while over his knee many times and I feel our marriage is the better for it.

And not just his hand either. A few months after that famous first spanking, on my birthday, I received a package with a note. Inside was a hairbrush. Not just any brush but the wooden one Elsie had shown me. The note was addressed to David and me together and said simply that her spanking days were long since over and she hoped this brush would be something we would find as useful as her and Nick had all those years before.

I found out just how much it could sting later that night as David gave it a short trial, just to warn me what could happen if I really wound him up.

Sadly, my visits to Elsie have now stopped as she finally passed on a couple of months ago. However, I will never forget her or how she changed my life with my husband for the better.

The End

© Joanna Jones 2014


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