London Spanking

Spanking & Caning in London with Miss Elsa Svenson


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Star pupil ends up with low marks

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

A story by Thomas

It was the last week of term and, in the main hall, after morn­ing assem­bly, the mem­bers of Class IVB were wait­ing with more or less appre­hen­sion for their turn in Miss Svenson’s study for an indi­vid­ual pupil review. This was a rou­tine estab­lished by the Head­mistress when she first came to the school some five years before and the I.P.R. had now become a reg­u­lar tra­di­tion. Each child had to have a short inter­view with the Head in the pres­ence of their form teacher to assess their progress dur­ing the pre­vi­ous term in aca­d­e­mic and other school activ­i­ties and gen­eral behav­iour. Some of the four­teen and fif­teen year old young­sters had come to call it “Judg­ment Day” and oth­ers, more irrev­er­ently, “The Con­fes­sional”.
In her room the Head­mistress checked her diary for any other urgent busi­ness and, see­ing that there was none listed, went to a cor­ner cup­board from which she selected a fierce look­ing straight cane. After test­ing its flex­i­bil­ity with a flour­ish in the air, she laid it gen­tly on her desk, like an auctioneer’s gavel, a sym­bol of author­ity and control.

At 9.15 pre­cisely Miss Pren­der­gast sum­moned Melanie Barker, the first in alpha­bet­i­cal order, and instructed the oth­ers to fol­low as their names were called, and in the mean time to sit qui­etly. Melanie knocked at the study door and entered to find the Head­mistress sit­ting behind her desk in front of which was a straight backed chair. Miss Pren­der­gast stood to one side.

Sit down Barker,’ said Miss Sven­son gen­tly, indi­cat­ing the chair. ‘Now tell me, how have you been get­ting on this term?’
‘Fine I think,’ the lit­tle girl replied a lit­tle ner­vously as she took her place on the chair and glanced at the Class teacher.
‘Melanie is an ideal pupil,’ Miss Pren­der­gast vol­un­teered imme­di­ately. ‘She works hard and does as well as she can in all her classes although she is not among the top achiev­ers. But she tries and her behav­iour can­not be faulted. Also she plays the flute most beau­ti­fully.’
‘That seems most sat­is­fac­tory Barker,’ said the Head­mistress with a kind smile. ‘Now is there any­thing more I can do for you?’
‘No, noth­ing thank you Miss,’ the girl replied again shift­ing her eyes towards Miss Pren­der­gast, who gave the slight­est nod of assent.
‘Very well Barker, you may go — and have a good hol­i­day won’t you,’ said Miss Sven­son to the depart­ing pupil.

Delight­ful child,’ remarked the Head­mistress as the door closed. ‘Let us hope that the rest of your class live up to her exam­ple.’
‘They’re not a bad lot all in all,’ replied Miss Pren­der­gast enthu­si­as­ti­cally, ‘but per­haps not all quite as well-behaved as Melanie.’
The next through the door was a freckle faced cheer­ful look­ing boy named Joseph Carter who was also invited to sit down.
‘Miss Pren­der­gast?’ The senior teacher looked straight away at the teacher for her com­ments.
‘Joe is a rather lively boy, good at his sci­ence sub­jects but rather weak in most of the oth­ers at which he should work harder. He is pop­u­lar with the other boys and plays in the foot­ball team.’
‘So Carter, would you agree with your teacher? And do you have any­thing to ask me?’
The boy paused for a moment, then responded.

I think it was very fair Miss. So just the two please.’

Miss Sven­son glanced at her col­league and, observ­ing no dis­sent, stood up and took hold of the cane.
‘Very well. Get your­self ready.’

Joe Carter also stood and moved behind the chair, then bent for­ward over its back plac­ing his hands flat on the seat.
‘By your own admis­sion, you have engaged in a cer­tain amount of minor mis­chief dur­ing the term which has gone unno­ticed or unpun­ished. As a result you have vol­un­teered to receive two strokes of the cane after which the school will con­sider the mat­ter over and done with. That is, of course, unless we sub­se­quently dis­cover some­thing more seri­ous in which case you know the pun­ish­ment could be rather severe. Do you agree?’
‘Yes Miss. Thank you Miss,’ replied the boy from his sub­mis­sive position.

Two sharp cracks of the cane swished down across the boy’s shorts caus­ing him to suck in air through his clenched teeth. How­ever, Miss Pren­der­gast noticed that the Head­mistress was hold­ing the cane about a quar­ter of the way down, slightly reduc­ing the sever­ity of the blows.
Jo stood up and rubbed him­self rue­fully. Then the cheer­ful smile returned as he said ‘Thank you Miss. Will that be all?’
‘That’s alright Carter. You may go now. Well done – and enjoy your holidays.’

Miss Sven­son gave the boy a dis­mis­sive but good humoured wave as he let him­self out of the room.
And so they con­tin­ued down the list, about half of the boys and fewer of the girls opt­ing for the “Two” which were deliv­ered by Miss Sven­son in accor­dance with her own judg­ment of each of the pupils. The ratio­nale was to leave with a clean slate at the end of the term with lit­tle fear of later recrimination.

The best behaved were able to avoid any pun­ish­ment pro­vided both teach­ers agreed. Every entrant to the school had received two of the cane at their ini­ti­a­tion to the I.P.R. sys­tem. These were very much token strokes though and deliv­ered with­out any real force. They served to give the child a gen­tle taste of what they might expect if they later mis­be­haved and reminded them that cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment was not only avail­able, but would be used in the event of sig­nif­i­cant mis­deeds.
When Mar­tin Kelly came in, Miss Pren­der­gast gave the Head­mistress a mean­ing­ful frown. Mar­tin was a big and boy, already taller than Miss Sven­son and looked a lit­tle clumsy when perched on the class­room chair.
‘So, Miss Pren­der­gast, who do we have here?’

Mar­tin is cap­tain of the foot­ball team but strug­gles with his lessons. I think he could try harder aca­d­e­m­i­cally. Per­haps sport dom­i­nates his thoughts a lit­tle too much. He is also rather force­ful in the play­ground and I am afraid some of the smaller boys seem a lit­tle afraid of him.’
The Head­mistress turned to the boy. ‘So you are a bully, are you Kelly?’

No Miss. I mean.…I just expect the lit­tle kids to do what I tell them, see?’

Well, I can­not agree with that. You should under­stand that pupils have no author­ity here. It is the staff who must be obeyed. Any­way boy, after what your teacher has said, tell me what you expect from me.’
‘Maybe twoooo.…errr…’ the boy hes­i­tated and looked across to Miss Pren­der­gast who was shak­ing her head.
‘Bet­ter make it four for me then Miss.’

A very wise choice I think Kelly,’ replied Miss Sven­son as she again reached for her cane.
‘You know the form I believe. Trousers down and over the back of the chair please. I sug­gest you grip the seat as well. You will be feel­ing these.’
Gri­mac­ing slightly the big boy com­plied. Because of his size, he was one of the few allowed to wear long trousers and con­se­quently looked par­tic­u­larly ridicu­lous draped over the chair with them around his ankles. The teach­ers were, how­ever, not unhappy that he should feel addi­tion­ally humil­i­ated in this way.

Miss Sven­son took up her posi­tion and set to her task, this time using the full length of the cane. Four remark­ably vig­or­ous strokes fol­lowed, crash­ing across the seat of the boy’s under­pants, each care­fully timed to allow the hurt to sink in thor­oughly before the next impact, and caus­ing a grunt of pain after the sec­ond and a sti­fled yell of sur­prise at the sever­ity of the last.
‘You may stand up now,’ said the Head­mistress. ‘Do you have any­thing to say?’

Mar­tin was strug­gling to recover his trousers.

No Miss, I mean yes Miss, thank you Miss.’

In which case you may go, but remem­ber, I will not accept any bul­ly­ing in this school.’
After Kelly had closed the door behind him, Miss Sven­son turned imme­di­ately to Miss Pren­der­gast to ask ‘do you think I was too harsh?’
‘No Head­mistress. You were quite right to pun­ish that boy. I hope now he will have learned his les­son.’
‘So, how many more are there this morning?’

Another half dozen class mem­bers filed through of whom only one opted for ‘two’ and the oth­ers were allowed to leave unscathed. Then an excep­tion­ally pretty girl with cropped blond hair entered the study, flashed a smile and greeted them enthu­si­as­ti­cally with, ‘good morn­ing ladies!’
‘Good morn­ing,’ Miss Sven­son replied, ‘remind me of your name please.’
‘Vicky Roberts, Miss.’

And what do we know about Miss Roberts?’ she asked, turn­ing again to the class teacher.
‘Vicky is a viva­cious girl, per­haps occa­sion­ally a lit­tle too much so, but gen­er­ally a good pupil. She is above aver­age in most sub­jects and par­tic­u­larly good at Eng­lish. She is also a hockey player and our best all-round ath­lete on the run­ning track. Recently I have noticed she is also spend­ing a good deal of time work­ing on her gymnastics.’

Well Miss Roberts, that sounds like a pretty good report to me,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘But do you have any­thing to add?’
The girl paused for a moment before replying.

I think I’d bet­ter take two any­way Miss, just to be on the safe side.’ With no fur­ther fuss she moved around to the back of the chair and leaned for­ward to pre­pare her­self for the requested pun­ish­ment.
The Head­mistress stood, moved in behind her and, as she approached, she flicked at the hem of the girl’s skirt with the tip of her cane.
‘I sus­pect that this is a few inches shorter than school rules allow, so.…..’ the skirt flipped up briefly reveal­ing a glimpse of under­wear.
‘What do we have here?’ asked Miss Sven­son in a sud­denly more seri­ous voice. Again using her cane, she folded the girl’s skirt up to the small of her back expos­ing the skimp­i­est pair of red panties.
‘These are cer­tainly not reg­u­la­tion school knick­ers. Which means young lady that you will be get­ting extra pun­ish­ment. And you have dou­ble cause to regret not wear­ing appro­pri­ate cloth­ing in that the four strokes you will now be get­ting will be deliv­ered over under­wear only. Had you been cor­rectly dressed you would have had just two with extra pro­tec­tion from the more gen­er­ous mate­r­ial of the school knick­ers and the skirt. Now you will receive four with your skirt up. So let this be a les­son to you.’
Despite her slim waist and prob­a­bly because of her ath­letic prowess, Vicky Roberts had sturdy legs and rather well devel­oped Glu­teus Max­imus mus­cles, thus afford­ing Miss Sven­son an ample dis­play of mainly unpro­tected flesh, over which she pro­ceeded care­fully to space four lively strokes of the cane. The tiny briefs she wore offered vir­tu­ally no defense against the blows. As they fell, vivid red marks appeared in a neat par­al­lel pat­tern. Miss Pren­der­gast was sur­prised that Vicky dis­played no vis­i­ble reac­tion to the lash­ing, which seemed almost as hard as that Kelly had taken a lit­tle while earlier.

The pun­ish­ment com­plete, Vicky stood up and gin­gerly smoothed the skirt over her bot­tom.
‘I imag­ine you will think twice about school uni­form now my girl,’ Miss Sven­son observed.
‘Maybe Miss, I’ll see how I feel,’ came the response.

Miss Sven­son was momen­tar­ily taken aback but swiftly rejoined, ‘I’ll have no cheek from you thank you very much young lady or you will be bend­ing over for four more.’ She flour­ished the cane in the air but a slight smile played about her lips. ‘I think it is high time you were on your way before you get into any more trouble.’

Yes Miss and thank you Miss. And have a great hol­i­day ladies.’
Vicky Roberts flounced out of the room with a swing of her hips and appar­ently not a care in the world.
The teach­ers glanced at each other and could not help smil­ing.
‘So Miss Pren­der­gast, who’s next?’

Well Roberta Young and Christo­pher Williams are both off sick today so that just leaves James Thomas and I don’t think you will have any trou­ble with him.’
‘Good. Then call him in please and then we can have a cup of coffee.’

James Thomas was the small­est boy in the class and glanced ner­vously at the Head­mistress’ desk as he set­tled on the chair.
‘I hear from Miss Pren­der­gast that you are one of her star pupils Thomas,’ began Miss Sven­son. ‘Now let me see. Very good at all aca­d­e­mic sub­jects, almost always top in French and sur­prised even your­self by get­ting 100% in the recent Chem­istry test. I under­stand that you are very polite, a promis­ing young crick­eter and the best gym­nast in the school.’

Miss Sven­son stood up absent-mindedly, col­lected her cane and turned towards the cor­ner cup­board. ‘I can­not there­fore think that I will be need­ing this again today.’
‘Sorry Miss but actu­ally you will,’ said the boy sheep­ishly.
Look­ing sur­prised, the Head­mistress swung round and glanced at Miss Pren­der­gast who also seemed con­fused.
‘So what exactly do you mean by that Thomas?’ came the inevitable ques­tion.
‘Six please Miss.’

Both ladies looked bewil­dered.
‘I hope you under­stand what you are ask­ing Thomas but I will explain to be on the safe side. You would have us believe that you have done some­thing very naughty dur­ing the term which has not been found out yet. As a result you have requested six with the cane which will, as the rules state, be deliv­ered on your bare bot­tom. Now tell me, have I beaten you before?’
‘Only the two when I first came to the school Miss.’

Well let me tell you, six of the best is a very seri­ous pun­ish­ment for which you really have no com­pre­hen­sion. Now, are you sure you wish to con­tinue?’
‘Yes Miss. That is what I want.’

Very well. Get up and go behind the chair, drop your shorts and pants and bend over. I rec­om­mend you get a good grip on the seat as I don’t want you mov­ing until the pun­ish­ment is fin­ished.’
Miss Pren­der­gast looked very appre­hen­sive as the small boy did as he was told, low­er­ing his shorts and slip­ping his under­pants down. In con­trast to Vicky Roberts, James Thomas offered a very much smaller tar­get for the Head­mistress to aim at. Her face set grimly how­ever, she set­tled to the task and took a first swing.

The cane slashed across the boys but­tocks caus­ing him to jerk con­vul­sively. He was just able to set­tle again as the sec­ond came down almost on the same spot and this time he could not con­trol him­self, straight­en­ing up and his hands leav­ing the chair and clutch­ing behind him as if to pro­tect himself.

Thomas! Get back down,’ said Miss Sven­son in her sternest voice.
‘Nor­mally, as you have failed to main­tain the posi­tion, I should start all over again. How­ever, as this is your first proper can­ing, I will waive that rule and you will receive only another four strokes. Miss Pren­der­gast, we need some help here. Please come and hold the boy down so I can fin­ish this with­out any more trouble.’

The teacher, with a rather hor­ri­fied expres­sion on her face, came and stood in front of the boy. Gen­tly she wiped the trace of a tear off his cheek and took hold of his wrists.
‘Come on now James,’ she said, ‘be brave – we can get through this together.’

Obe­di­ently the boy bent for­ward again and his class teacher gripped him firmly to hold his hands against the sides of the chair seat.
The remain­ing four strokes fell in sequence, a short pause between each as cus­tom­ary. When he was released, the boy took a lit­tle time to stand up straight and felt gin­gerly at his bot­tom, winc­ing notice­ably as his fin­gers brushed the area where the cane had grazed the sur­face of his skin, and again where the angry red stripes were already begin­ning to merge into a large dark pur­ple bruise.

Do you have any­thing to say for your­self?’ asked his Head­mistress.
‘Yes Miss. Thank you Miss,’ he replied as he regained his com­po­sure.
‘You now under­stand why I was reluc­tant to allow you to take six of the best?’
‘Yes Miss.’

I hope at least this will mean that this need never be repeated while you are at this school.’
‘Yes Miss. I sup­pose so Miss.’

Now you may go. I can­not imag­ine you will enjoy the first few days of your hol­i­day because you will feel very sore indeed. But at the begin­ning of next term we will start afresh. Now off you go.’
James Thomas eased his under­pants and shorts up over his throb­bing rear end and shuf­fled uncom­fort­ably out of the room.
‘Do you have any idea what that was all about Miss Prendergast?’

No Miss Sven­son, I just can­not understand.’

Well I think you need keep an espe­cially close eye on two of your pupils. He is a good gym­nast you say, so is fre­quently in the gym I sup­pose. And did you not just tell me that young Vicky Roberts was sud­denly also spend­ing a lot more time there? Just think about it.’
‘Head­mistress, oh no! Surely not that!’

Lost for words

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Lost for words

By Clarissa

It could only have been about fif­teen min­utes, but she couldn’t check her watch as she had her hands on her head, fac­ing the wall, out­side the head­mistress, Miss Svenson’s, office. Fif­teen min­utes, but it felt like an eter­nity. She had started out fourth in a line of mis­cre­ants, and now it was down to her. Two girls had already come and gone, dis­patched from the office in vary­ing states of dis­tress. Now it was the turn of the third girl, Roberta Jami­son, and she had been in there an age. Miranda was mus­ing on why this might be when, sud­denly, the heavy mahogany door of Miss Svenson’s study swung open, and out stepped Roberta. ‘Your turn now,’ mum­bled the girl to Miranda, ‘she wants you in straight­away.’ Miranda turned round, man­ag­ing to raise a brief half-smile to her tear-stained fel­low, before knock­ing on the dreaded door herself.

Miss Sven­son was sit­ting behind her desk, a fine, crook-handled cane promi­nently on dis­play before her. This was a weapon Miranda had become famil­iar with over the past few years – that and, of course, the strap. She did not know which she hated the most, but hav­ing tasted the bite of both, she was at least pre­pared for their sting: Miss Sven­son couldn’t really hurt her.

Well Miranda, I haven’t seen you in my office for a while,’ began Miss Sven­son. Miranda remained silent.

I assume you have a note?’ con­tin­ued Miss Svenson.

Miranda stepped for­ward and held out the note she had placed in the top pocket of her blazer.

Cat still got you tongue I see,’ went on the Head, as she picked up her glasses and read through the missive.

Miranda said nothing.

Well, this sounds like a very child­ish offence,’ asserted Miss Sven­son at last, sur­vey­ing the tall fifth-former before her.

Go and fetch me that chair,’ she sud­denly instructed, indi­cat­ing a low wooden chair near the win­dow, ‘and put it in front of the desk.’

Miranda didn’t move.

Do it, right now!’ com­manded the Head.

Miranda’s feet obeyed, despite her mind reel­ing in con­fu­sion: this was not how she took the cane, or the strap for that matter.

Miss Sven­son stood up, waited for the chair to be set­tled, then sat down.

Come here and bend over my lap.’

Again, Miranda didn’t move.

Come here at once,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, her voice ris­ing to a crescendo, ‘or I will spank you harder and longer.’

Spank? Miranda was hor­ri­fied: she had never been spanked before; never had to lie across the lap of the head mis­tress – this was too much.

Come here!’ ordered Miss Sven­son, and this time the girl did move, approach­ing the Head and then low­er­ing her­self care­fully over her lap as indicated.

Before she could do any­thing else, Miss Sven­son had pulled back her skirt and slammed her hand down hard on her behind.

Ow…ouch!’ issued from Miranda’s lips in shock, as another blow, and another rained down.

Be quiet!’ ordered Miss Sven­son, Miranda grit­ting her teeth as the blows increased in inten­sity; ‘This is not your place to speak!’


HOUSE RULES – part two

Monday, December 31st, 2012

HOUSE RULES – part two



Pen­i­tent or arro­gant won­dered Miss Sven­son as she sur­veyed the tall blonde fig­ure of Miranda Spears stand­ing before her study desk. Well, maybe not quite the usual arro­gance, she noted; but cer­tainly not penitent.

I am going to give you one chance to answer this ques­tion, Miranda,’ began Miss Sven­son, ‘so think about your reply carefully.’

The girl dropped her eyes to the floor.

Where did you go this afternoon?’

The school girl looked a lit­tle per­plexed by this ques­tion, then replied ‘I went with the hare and hounds.’

Yes,’ rejoined Miss Sven­son, ‘but where did you go? Did you stay on the course? LOOK AT ME IN THE EYE!’

There was a slight pause, then the girl looked up. ‘No,’ she responded.

No, Miss Sven­son!’ retorted the headmistress.

No, Miss Svenson.’

I’m still wait­ing for an answer to my ques­tion,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘Where did you go this afternoon?’

The girl shuf­fled slightly before her, then fixed her eyes on the head.

I went into the vil­lage, to Cam­ston, then came back to school the long way, rejoin­ing the race just before the fin­ish line.’ She looked down abruptly.

I see,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘Can you think of one good rea­son why I should not expel you on the spot?’

The girl kept her eyes on the ground, ‘No, Miss,’ then, look­ing up deter­minedly, ‘except if I can explain it was some kind of protest.’ She started to trem­ble slightly. ‘Ever since you sent me to Dr Rudd for pun­ish­ment I have not felt part of the school. It wasn’t so much the actual strap­ping, but the fact it was given by him, in his study, not yours.’

Miss Sven­son flushed slightly; ‘Well, I am not going to jus­tify my rea­sons for that pun­ish­ment, but I can assure you that nei­ther you, nor any other girl, will be pun­ished by Dr Rudd again.’

The girl looked up briefly, then returned her eyes to the floor.

But you still haven’t answered why I shouldn’t expel you,’ con­tin­ued Miss Svenson.

Silence from the girl.

It is because you haven’t lied’ asserted Miss Svenson.

The girl seemed to draw a sigh of relief.

Of course, this doesn’t exempt you from pun­ish­ment for your dis­grace­ful behav­iour on the fox and hounds. Cheat­ing in the race is, I believe, essen­tially a House mat­ter, and I will leave it up to Tara Watts, head of house, to deal with you on that. How­ever, going out-of-bounds also requires pun­ish­ment: six strokes on the bare with the senior cane.’

No response from the girl.

It will be a severe pun­ish­ment, Miranda, but I hope you agree a fair one. And, I can assure you, it will be admin­is­tered by me. Now go and fetch the cane!’






House Rules – part one

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

House Rules – part one



One of the things of which Miss Sven­son, head­mistress of Cams­ford House, was most proud was not the school’s rep­u­ta­tion for aca­d­e­mic excel­lence or high dis­ci­pli­nary stan­dards – both cher­ished as they were – but for some­thing more intan­gi­ble; what she liked to call esprit de corps: a spirit of team work and fair play amongst the girls, a spirit which, for Miss Sven­son, was exem­pli­fied by the annual com­pe­ti­tion for the House Cup.

Held over a week­end dur­ing the Win­ter Term, the four houses at Cams­ford – Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh and Grenville – would chal­lenge each other for the hon­our of the Cup across six events, cul­mi­nat­ing in a cross-country ‘hare and hounds’, held on the Sun­day. For this, the two lead­ing heads of house (or, more fre­quently, their nom­i­nees) would act as hares, set­ting off in good time ahead of their pur­suers. This year, Miss Sven­son had not been sur­prised to learn that Miranda Spears, the long-legged fifth-former, had been selected as the hare for Drake.

So, here she was, see­ing off the hares into the dull light of a Novem­ber after­noon. Set over the exten­sive grounds of Cams­ford, the win­ner should come home within an hour and a half. All should be well and truly home within two.

As the hares ran off to the cheers of sup­port­ers, Miss Sven­son chat­ted warmly to staff and pre­fects, and awaited the return of the vic­tors. At ten to three, Sara Hodge, wear­ing the dis­tinc­tive green sash of Grenville, came into view and tore back over the line, fol­lowed by the first of the red-sashed Hawkins hounds. A cou­ple more hounds fol­lowed then, at about three o’clock, Miranda Spears, the Drake hare, came into view. Although not the win­ner, she had seem­ingly evaded the hounds, and was greeted by whoops of delight from the Drake con­tin­gent. By half past three, every­one had been accounted for and every­one had retired to the din­ing hall for tea.

Miss Sven­son went round the room con­grat­u­lat­ing Greville’s head of house, and her hound, on win­ning the Cup, before seek­ing out Drake. Strangely, she couldn’t seem to find Miranda Spears, but she would catch up with her later no doubt.

By five o’clock, Miss Sven­son had returned to her study to pick up mes­sages. She read through the list left by her sec­re­tary, not­ing only one unex­pected num­ber: that of Mrs Sweet­ing at the vil­lage shop in Cam­ston. She picked up the tele­phone and dialled.

Her call was answered immediately.

Is that Miss Sven­son?’ came the voice. ‘I’m so glad you’ve rung. I don’t want to be a busy-body or any­thing, or tell tales after school, but I thought I should let you know I think I saw one of your girls in the cof­fee shop here in the vil­lage; I wouldn’t have noticed her – she looked so grown up – except she was wear­ing some kind of a sash, and I know it’s the House Cup today.’

Could you tell me the colour of the sash?’ asked Miss Sven­son. Now, no doubt, she would hear it was the red or blue of one of the pur­su­ing hounds – gone dis­as­trously off track.

Yes, it was orange.’

Are you sure,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘not red?’

No, orange, I’m sure. Does it make a difference?’

Yes it does,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘thank you very much for let­ting me know.’

She replaced the receiver and let her head rest momen­tar­ily in her hands: there was only one pupil enti­tled to wear orange that day, and that was the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Drake house – it’s hound, Miranda Spears.


Sunday, December 30th, 2012




It was only a short drive back from the boys’ school, Till­wood, to the main school at Cams­ford House, but for Miss Sven­son it had seemed like an eter­nity; indeed, the cul­mi­na­tion of a thor­oughly dis­agree­able afternoon.

Not only had she had to wit­ness the pun­ish­ment of one of her pupil’s, Miranda Spears, at the hands of another – a resound­ing six of the best with the strap from Tillwood’s head­mas­ter, Don­ald Rudd – but she had also had to endure Rudd’s excru­ci­at­ing com­bi­na­tion of  syco­phancy and self-regard. Yes, she had assured him on the phone that morn­ing, she was fully aware of his prowess with the cane (enough to bring the hardi­est sixth for­mer to tears in three strokes); of his dis­dain for the strap (less painful); and of his unerr­ing trust in her abil­i­ties and judge­ment. Yes, yes, yes.

And, of course, the pun­ish­ment itself had not been pleas­ant. Miranda Spears had not com­plained unduly, but it felt wrong for one of her charge to be pun­ished by another, par­tic­u­larly a man, and par­tic­u­larly a man such as Rudd.

Now, to cap it all, she was hav­ing to drive the silent, tear-stained school girl back to school.

Miss Sven­son had thought about under­lin­ing to the girl the deserved­ness of her pun­ish­ment dur­ing the brief jour­ney back, but as the car pulled onto the gravel drive, she realised she had said noth­ing. Com­ing to a halt, the school girl’s hand poised impa­tiently on the inte­rior door han­dle, Miss Sven­son sim­ply heard her­self say­ing ‘You are of course excused prep, Miranda. Feel free to go back to the dorm and recover your­self; I’ll send along matron shortly.’

As expected, the girl did not reply, but merely pulled back the han­dle and headed out of the door. Miss Sven­son watched as the tall fifth-former made her way slowly across the gravel, stop­ping only once to flick back her long blond hair; a ges­ture of seem­ing defi­ance for which Miss Sven­son sud­denly felt unac­count­ably glad.

A painful memory

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

A painful memory

By Clarissa

The fan on her desk shud­dered to its sec­ond unsched­uled halt of the morn­ing, and Miss Sven­son was assailed by the heat of the day. It had been a record May, with tem­per­a­tures reg­u­larly reach­ing into the eight­ies: even her nor­mally cool office was start­ing to stul­tify. She took the fan in her hands and shook it gen­tly, but this time it remained unmoved. She stood up with a sigh, not­ing with dis­plea­sure that the leather strap that hung by her office door had some­how loosed from its moor­ings. She picked up the strap and started tap­ping it uncon­sciously against the palm of her hand.

Sud­denly, she was back 30 years, back at Blue Mead­ows, a school for the daugh­ters of ex-pat colo­nials and diplo­mats, some 20 miles out­side Nairobi. There she was, stand­ing at the front of the class, as the geog­ra­phy teacher, Miss Hen­der­son, bran­dished a tawse before her. ‘Hold out your hand, Elsa,’ then whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. She curled back her fin­gers in sympathy.

Now she was in the office of the head­mistress, a grey-headed Scotswoman called Miss Firth. ‘Bend over, girl’; ‘Bend over; Bend over; Bend over.’ Three times she had been in Miss Firth’s office that term, and on the fourth, she was suspended.

So, what have you been binned for this time?’ asked her step­fa­ther coolly, tak­ing a swig from his large tum­bler of whisky.

For swear­ing – in Swahili.’

Well, we can’t have you talk­ing like a local can we?’ he con­tin­ued, slam­ming his glass down on the table.

Wham, wham, wham. She couldn’t remem­ber how many times he rained down the cane, nor the colour of the dress she was wear­ing, nor the weave of the fab­ric into which she clenched her fists, all she could remem­ber, she thought with a pang, was the sound of his cold, venge­ful anger.

Miranda — part three

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Miranda part three

by Clarissa

Miss Sven­son regret­ted her words almost as soon as she had uttered them. Yes, Miranda Spears was a par­tic­u­larly obsti­nate pupil, and might well respond to the dou­ble humil­i­a­tion of being dis­ci­plined by a man, but it was a prac­tice of which Miss Sven­son did not gen­er­ally approve. But Spears’ inso­lence had got to her; so there it was, she couldn’t change it.

She sent the girl out of the room while she pre­pared to make the phone call. As she con­tem­plated her options, an image of Don­ald Rudd, head­mas­ter of Till­wood, came to mind. Although now in his late-fifties, and in need of con­stant glasses, he was well known for still being able to lay down a par­tic­u­larly pow­er­ful can­ing, some­thing of which he was inor­di­nately proud. She picked up the phone.

Hello again Elsa,’ came Rudd’s voice, ‘have you had any luck with my lit­tle prob­lem?’ ‘Yes indeed,’ replied Miss Sven­son, ‘I have iden­ti­fied the offend­ing fifth for­mer.’ ‘That’s excel­lent news,’ came the reply, ‘may I ask what you pro­pose doing with her?’ Miss Sven­son cleared her throat then went on, ‘Actu­ally, Don­ald, I was won­der­ing whether a dose of med­i­cine from you might be more effec­tive in this instance, with the offend­ing boy a wit­ness to her trou­ble.’ Before she had time to catch her breath, Rudd came back with an enthu­si­as­tic ‘That’s a splen­did idea – six of the best with the senior?’ Miss Sven­son hes­i­tated; no doubt this is what he had given the cap­tain of the rugby XI, indeed, twice that num­ber, but it was not what she wanted for Spears. ‘No, Don­ald, I think six with the strap from your strong arm should work won­ders.’ ‘You’re too kind,’ replied Rudd immod­estly, ‘of course, I agree.’

Miss Sven­son put down the tele­phone and called in the girl. She had no doubt Miranda Spears would resent her more than ever, but it was a nec­es­sary pun­ish­ment and, she knew in her heart, a just one.

Miranda — part two

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Miranda part two

by Clarissa

Do you enjoy Shake­speare, Miranda?’ asked Miss Sven­son of the tall school girl who stood before her. The girl didn’t reply, but flicked back a strand of fair hair, betray­ing a slight ner­vous­ness. ‘Well, do you?’ con­tin­ued the head, fix­ing the girl with her light blue eyes. ‘Yes, Miss,’ came the muted response.

Miss Sven­son stood up and walked towards her study win­dows. The win­dows revealed a scene of some dev­as­ta­tion: branches felled by wind and rose bushes beaten down by rain; she would have to tell Mr Jef­freys, the head gar­dener, to take an urgent look at this, Miss Sven­son thought to herself.

Is The Tem­pest a par­tic­u­lar favourite?’ Miss Sven­son asked at last. ‘Well, I was named after one of the lead char­ac­ters,’ flashed back the girl.

Don’t be so inso­lent,’ boomed Miss Sven­son turn­ing around, ‘you know exactly what I am talk­ing about!’ The girl flushed just slightly, and looked down at the floor.

I’ve had Dr Rudd on the phone, who has been telling me all about your the­atri­cal prowess,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. No reply from the girl.

Yes,’ went on Miss Sven­son, ‘most impres­sive.’ Still noth­ing from the girl.

You are not going to deny it was you with that boy from Till­wood, or that you were unaware such unchap­er­oned encoun­ters were entirely against the rules?’ Still no response from the girl: this was typ­i­cal, thought Miss Svenson.

Look me in the eye,’ she com­manded; the girl com­plied. ‘Are you going to deny it?’ A moment’s hes­i­ta­tion, then ‘No, Miss.’ Miss Sven­son breathed an inward sigh of relief: Miranda Spears really was the most obsti­nate pupil.

Are you going to cane me?’ asked the girl sud­denly, rais­ing her gaze from the floor.

Don’t be so inso­lent,’ thun­dered Miss Sven­son, ‘it is for me to tell you such things, not for you to ask!’ The girl looked down again.

But no, I am not going to cane you; or strap you; or slip­per you; or put you over my knee and spank you.’ Still no response, though Miss Sven­son detected a def­i­nite red­den­ing of the girl’s complexion.

What I am going to do is ring up Dr Rudd and tell him about our lit­tle con­ver­sa­tion. And, on this occa­sion, as I find you so exceed­ingly dif­fi­cult, I am going to ask him to decide what to do with you.’

Now the girl looked def­i­nitely perplexed.


No Miranda,’ asserted Miss Sven­son, ‘that’s enough ques­tion­ing for now. I am sure you will Dr Rudd will have all the answers you need.’


Miranda — part one

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Miranda part one 

by Clarissa

It really was the most filthy day thought Miss Sven­son as she lifted her eyes from the gov­er­nors’ report and lis­tened to the rain lash­ing at the mul­lion win­dows and the wind scur­ry­ing around the rooftops: the most filthy day, and prac­ti­cally dark out­side, even though it was only 11 o’clock in the morn­ing.  She turned back to the report, only to be inter­rupted by the ring of the tele­phone. ‘Yes?’ she enquired some­what testily. It was her sec­re­tary, Edith: ‘Sorry to trou­ble you Miss Sven­son, but I have Dr Rudd on the phone.’

Don­ald Rudd, head of Mill­ward, the boys’ school prac­ti­cally adjoin­ing Cams­ford House.  If Camsford’s grounds yearned for the sea, Tillwood’s pulled in the oppo­site direc­tion, its outer reaches skirt­ing the county town of Shrewton.

Put him through,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. ‘Hello Elsa,’ came a loud voice, ‘it’s Don­ald.’ Miss Sven­son winced slightly at Rudd’s infor­mal­ity, but fol­lowed suit: ‘Hello Don­ald, how may I help you?’ ‘Well,’ con­tin­ued the head­mas­ter, ‘I do have a slight prob­lem I am hop­ing you can assist me with. Yes­ter­day after­noon, before prep, one of my pre­fects caught one of my fifth form boys with one of your girls – just talk­ing you under­stand.’ ‘Carry on,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. ‘I saw the lad first thing this morn­ing, hav­ing given him a night to con­tem­plate the prospect of our meet­ing. This nor­mally opens them up but this time, despite six of the best for being out-of-bounds, and another six for meet­ing up with this girl, the boy refused to dis­close her name.’ ‘I see,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘I have given him a week’s deten­tion for his trou­ble, but I don’t really want to pun­ish him fur­ther; you see, he is cap­tain of the rugby XI.’ Another slight wince from Miss Sven­son, then ‘Did your pre­fect have a descrip­tion of the girl?’ ’Most cer­tainly,’ con­tin­ued the head­mas­ter with gusto, ‘excep­tion­ally tall with long fair hair.’ ‘Any­thing else?’ ‘As a mat­ter of fact there was some­thing else: when the pre­fect asked the girl what she was think­ing of, she replied “O won­der! How many goodly crea­tures are there here. O brave new world. That has such peo­ple in’t!” which, if I’m not mis­taken, is a slightly trun­cated line from Shakespeare’s’ ‘The Tem­pest,’ inter­rupted Miss Sven­son abruptly. ‘Yes, that’s right, The Tem­pest. Now you see my prob­lem: I do need to find out this girl’s name and, I imag­ine, so do you: any ideas?’ Miss Sven­son wrin­kled her nose slightly and lis­tened again to the lash of the rain. ‘I believe I do: I’ll get back to you, if that’s OK?’ ‘I would be most grate­ful,’ con­tin­ued Rudd, ‘you will let me know the out­come?’ ‘I will,’ asserted Miss Sven­son; ‘Good morn­ing, Don­ald.’ ‘Good morn­ing, Elsa.’

Miss Sven­son returned the receiver to its cra­dle, rest­ing her hand there a moment. She picked it up again: ‘Edith, could you ask a pre­fect to fetch me one of the Upper Fifth?’ ‘Of course, Miss Sven­son,’ came the slightly crackly reply, ‘who?’ ‘Miranda,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son; ‘ask them to fetch me Miranda Spears.’


Friday, November 2nd, 2012


By Clarissa

From time to time, head­mistress Miss Sven­son had to deal with mis­be­hav­ing girls dur­ing the school day, but, mostly, girls were sent to her after the end of lessons, lin­ing up, nose to the wall, out­side her office. This was by no means a daily occur­rence, but it cer­tainly hap­pened often enough to keep her spank­ing arm in good fettle.

Today, she only had one girl wait­ing out­side her office: a fourth for­mer, and first-time offender. At pre­cisely 4 o’clock, the girl knocked on her door. ‘Come in,’ com­manded Miss Sven­son, the door swing­ing back to reveal a slight girl with fair hair tied up in a pony tail. ‘Come here,’ said Miss Sven­son, point­ing to a spot directly in front of the desk. The girl moved for­ward as Miss Sven­son glanced again at the note from Miss Simms detail­ing a num­ber of uni­form violations.

Miss Sven­son looked up at the fourth for­mer and stud­ied her a moment. ‘Well,’ she said at last, ‘I am glad to see that you have taken the trou­ble to look smart for me, Jemima.’ The girl said noth­ing. ‘Still,’ Miss Sven­son con­tin­ued, ‘it doesn’t excuse the dis­grace­ful list of uni­form vio­la­tions I have before me, does it?’ ‘No, Miss,’ came the awk­ward reply. Miss Sven­son shook her head then stood up. ‘Go and fetch me that chair,’ she said, indi­cat­ing a straight-backed wooden chair, ‘and put it in the mid­dle of the room.’ The girl didn’t move. ‘Go on,’ asserted Miss Sven­son, com­ing out now from behind her desk. Chair in place, Miss Sven­son sat down and smoothed her skirt. ‘Come here,’ she said to the girl, ‘and bend over my knee.’ The girl looked stricken with panic but did as instructed. ‘I am going to spank you for five min­utes with my hand; do you under­stand, Jemima?’ ‘Yes,’ came the reply, and with that Miss Sven­son flung down her hand onto the seat of the girl’s skirt. ‘Do we wear our ties knot­ted and tidy or loose and unruly?’ she demanded. ‘Knot­ted and tidy,’ came the reply. Another spank from Miss Sven­son; ‘Do we wear our shirts hang­ing out from our jumpers or neatly tucked in?’ ‘Tucked in,’ came the reply as Miss Sven­son started to deliver a vol­ley of spanks, the girl slightly wrig­gling in response.

After about two min­utes, Miss Sven­son stopped the spank­ing and lifted back the girl’s skirt. Silence, then a thun­der­ous ‘What colour are school knick­ers, pink with pur­ple stripes?’ ‘No, Miss,’ came the muted reply, the girl’s body vis­i­bly sink­ing into Miss Svenson’s lap. ‘Stand up,’ said Miss Sven­son; the girl com­plied. ‘Go and fetch me the slip­per from the cor­ner cup­board.’ The fourth for­mer was close to tears now, but did as instructed. To her hor­ror, on open­ing the cup­board door, she dis­cov­ered two canes – and noth­ing like a slip­per. She turned to Miss Sven­son. ‘It’s the black gym shoe,’ Miss Sven­son asserted with some annoy­ance, ‘a reg­u­la­tion item which, you are about to find out to your cost, is a most par­tic­u­lar part of school uniform.’