Posts tagged ‘Jane Fairweather’

February 10th, 2018

A Classical Education

Jealousy leads to trouble, a longer version of the previously published story

By Jane Fairweather

“I see you have a basket of canes in your room. I am just wondering why, when I understood that Mr Thomas caned the boys for Miss Simpkins? Oh, he must have left it when he retired. He and Miss Simpkins retired at the same time, of course.”

The new headmaster, Mr Mitchell, glanced a trifle quizzically at his deputy, Miss Grant, who he had inherited from his predecessor. They were having a cup of tea together in her room by way of getting to know one another.

“Miss Simpkins always took the view that if one of our girls behaved as badly as one of our boys, then she should suffer the same punishment.” Miss Grant replied. “She always said that girls and boys should be treated equally and it was almost an insult to the girls not to whack them as so many schools do, because they are supposedly the weaker sex, and I must say I do agree with her.”
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December 16th, 2017

The Caning of Amelia Cove

A childish prank leads to problems

By Jane Fairweather

“You have got the mouse?” Meg Bates enquired, just a touch nervously, just before the Upper Sixth French lesson.

She had not been quite sure that her friend would go through with the prank.

“Yes, of course I have!” Amelia responded. “It’s time someone took Jenks down a peg. And it’s a lovely way to do it, no one will ever guess whose mouse it was; and I am a bit bored with Simon anyway. It’s such a fag keeping him hidden from the teachers. With luck he will run off and be free and never be seen again.”
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November 6th, 2017

The Sisters

A normally quiet girl has her moment of fame

By Jane Fairweather

The whistle went and the eleven players of the First Hockey Eleven of the Winifred Long School for girls gave a collective shriek of joy that they had at long last beaten St Agatha’s, who were by far the best of the teams in the unofficial league that all the local girls schools played in. Then, by some wild instinct, ten of the eleven hurled themselves upon the slight, shy figure of Josh Stephenson, whose brilliant run down the wing from half way just two minutes before, had won a match during which Winifred Long had been penned remorselessly in their own half.
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October 14th, 2017

Her Former Slave

A lady in ancient Rome takes risks at a turbulent time.

By Jane Fairweather

Normally a member of a Roman senatorial family with the cognomen Rufus would have arrived at the Roman town house of his old friends, Titus and Lavinia Vesprilis, in a litter with some smartly turned out slaves in attendance and his excellent major domo, the freed man Quintus to see that everything was as it should be. Today, however, Valerius Rufus was wearing decidedly plebeian clothes and the hood of his cloak covered his head. An intelligent looking grey haired slave had let him in by the garden entrance and taken him straight to Lavinia in this small room, but the man seemed to know what was going on.
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September 20th, 2017

Second Interview

Surprising facts emerge in a job interview

By Jane Fairweather

“Can I talk to you again, Miss Masefield?” Mr Cox, the ginger haired, rather young headmaster of this private school was saying almost awkwardly.

“Does that mean we won’t be required anymore, Headmaster?” Miss Grey, the decidedly plump, almost white-haired woman who was also applying to be the secretary to the headmaster at this small private school was asking with something approaching indignation.

Miss Johnson, the third candidate for the post, who was about forty and wearing an obviously very tight girdle under her staid blue skirt suit stayed silent, looking extremely confident.

“I am not sure as yet if you will be required again, or not, Miss Grey. You and Miss Johnson can certainly both wait, if of course you want to. It is not impossible it might be to your advantage to do so,” Mr Cox replied very formally. “But there are a few more questions I want to ask Miss Masefield before I make up my mind about which of you is to get this job. You are all good candidates and at present I need more information, especially from Miss Masefield.”
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August 23rd, 2017

Anti Climax

A girl risks a lot to meet her boyfriend, all in vain.

By Jane Fairweather

“I am going now, as soon as I’ve got some clothes on.” Came Jackie Williams-Jones very quiet Welsh voice through the semi darkness of the four bed dormitory without a prefect that was the relative freedom offered by Holt Hall school to its lower sixth formers. “And I am arranging my bed so it looks as if l am in it. I only hope that Charles has managed to get out.”

“For goodness sake don’t wait about if he is not there. There is no point. You could really be for it if you get caught and we could easily be dragged into it for aiding and abetting you. Anyway the whole thing is very silly,” Louise snapped. “You could get expelled and so could Charles; and even if you don’t you could get the cane. In fact we all could. You really ought not to go.”
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July 25th, 2017

Innocence

When guilt is in doubt, the headmistress has to decide.

By Jane Fairweather

Miss Renton was in mid-sentence explaining a rather subtle point about quadratic equations when the door of the small room on the purpose built Sixth Form corridor suddenly opened and the grey-haired School Secretary  entered.

“Miss Johns sends her compliments, Miss Renton, and she is sorry to disturb your lesson, but she wishes to see Emily Halliday immediately.” The School Secretary was obviously repeating a message learned more or less by heart a fair number of years before.

“You’d better get off with you, Emily.” Miss Renton observed smiling amiably at one of her better mathematicians. “You’d better not keep the Head waiting. I expect it will be something to your advantage. I hope you won’t mind if we don’t wait for you; the Head is apt to go on rather on these occasions.”
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June 5th, 2017

Phyllis Remembers

A 1950s period piece set in a girls private school

By Jane Fairweather

They were onto their third martini at Susan’s splendid house on the edge of Wharfedale, which was the well-earned result of her clothing business, and the four women were all of them getting rather silly and talking about their school days.

“Oh tell us that story again, Phyl.” Susan suddenly demanded of her lover.

Anthea sardonically grinned at Elsie, who she knew liked this ritual less than the rest of them.

“Which story?” Phyllis asked innocently, as she always did.

“The story of our last day at school, which you always tell better than any of us you silly cow.” Susan said with love in her eyes, which had survived a good many ups and downs.
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April 24th, 2017

A Well Deserved Punishment

Once, student teachers were a common feature in schools, as in this period piece.

By Jane Fairweather

“Bend over, Miss Johnson, right over, if you please.”

Feeling rather ridiculous and ashamed at having to be caned at the advanced age of nineteen, Eleanor bent at the waist. She could feel her long black hair flop down the side of her left cheek as she did it and her white cotton drawers, which were quite loose on her, tightened slightly. She rather self-consciously clasped her hands together, resisting the very real temptation to put them across her buttocks. There was a slight pause. Why was Mr Jack not getting on with her punishment, which she was all too aware was very well deserved? She had behaved, she knew, in a very unladylike and sluttish way and she had not really needed the angry lecture from Mr Jack to tell her that.
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March 29th, 2017

Events on Mothering Sunday

A row with her mother gets a girl into trouble.

By Jane Fairweather

In eighteen year old Elspeth Jackson’s somewhat prejudiced opinion, Mothering Sunday was a thoroughly annoying day. Long custom had decreed that the young maids at her parents’ house were allowed to go off for the day to their Mother church, where they had first worshipped and usually call on their Mothers and give them flowers or some other small present.

And her own Mama and Papa, of course, just had to let the older women servants go off as well, so there was no cook or assistant cook or maids, or any of the useful persons that did all those things that were normally done for her as a matter of course. This annoyed her particularly because at her best friend Genevieve Smyth’s parents’ house the older servants were excluded from the treat, so life went on much as normal, except the Smyth’s cook had to exert herself more than usual on Mothering Sunday, which must annoy her, Elspeth thought petulantly.
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