Once again I'm looking forward so much to going to Toronto, I'll be there from the 12-15 December. Please do email me at opheliadehavilland.com for an appointment. I look forward...
I am happy to present another delightful tale from my friend Robert. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Station Clock
Robert looked up at the station clock above platform of the railway station at Delft, a small town in Holland and waited patiently. How he came to be there was really quite unexpected.
He had just turned twenty, handsome, tall and quite aristocratic-looking as the sons of well-to-do English parents often are. In fact his upbringing was quite conventional for his class; until the age of nine he had been primarily cared for by a nanny who had provided the love, education and discipline that any young boy needed and usually received from his parents. At that age, he had been sent to boarding school, the parting from his nanny was difficult but he was told to be stoic and to display ” a stiff upper lip”. As the school term progressed his yearning for her lessened and by the time the term finished and he returned to his home for the holidays, his parents were able to tell him without him being too upset that he was a big boy now with no need for a Nanny and she had consequentially left to return to her home in Holland.
Nevertheless deep down he felt a tremendous sense of loss and abandonment which was exacerbated by the fact that his parents were effectively strangers to him. Over the coming years he grew no closer to them and when at the age of 15 they divorced with his mother going to live with a racehorse trainer in Australia, he felt no real sense of loss, continuing to live with his rather remote and austere father who was more pre-occupied with affairs of state rather than his son.
Robert was clever however, popular at school and, at eighteen, won a place at Oxford University. At college, he became a member of the “Bullingham” a rowdy set of upper-class youngsters who had more money than sense, who believed they were superior to others and who were frequently involved in “scrapes and capers”. In his third year at University his “capers” turned more serious; he was caught shop-lifting – a totally unnecessary activity considering his wealth but nevertheless attempted because of his arrogance and detachment from society. The police let him off a with a caution; the college authorities were less forgiving “sending him down” from University two weeks before term finished.
This presented a dilemma; it was early December but he had no wish to return home to an empty house and a distant father – in fact he saw no reason to discuss the matter with him at all. However he could not stay with his friends who would be continuing at university to the end of term. But where was he to go? He was not short of money so he decided to travel to Europe and see some of the cities he had not yet visited. He first went to Rome but rapidly grew bored of the ruins and then went to Milan but again could not generate any real enthusiasm for the city. Something seemed to be missing from within himself he mused as he sat unpacking in his hotel room in Amsterdam about a week later.
And then something unexpected happened; quite by chance at the bottom of his suitcase was an unopened envelope addressed to him. He had not noticed it before, having picked it up whilst hastily packing prior to leaving University. It contained a Christmas card from his old nanny; he had received one every year but he had always ignored them but this time, with nothing much to do, he looked at it more closely. After the standard printed Christmas greeting in neat handwriting was a brief message ” To my very dear Robbie wishing you as always the best, Hannah”. He stared at the card for sometime, realising that nobody had called him Robbie since he was a small child and in fact nobody had every wished him the “best”. and certainly not “as always”. He looked at the postmark which contained the place-mark Delft and realized that, being in Holland, Delft could not be far away. Immediately he resolved that he would visit his old Nanny and with the determination and intelligence he possessed, tracked down her email address.
He immediately sent a note but by that time it was late evening; strangely satisfied he went to bed and slept well. Waking late in the morning, he eagerly checked his emails and was very pleasantly surprised that there was a reply from her. Her note was brief and somewhat cryptic – “Robbie, At last you have contacted me, meet me under the station clock in Delft railway station at 6pm this evening, Hannah”.
And so that was why he was in Delft that evening.
He saw her through the crowds, he knew it was her even though he had not seen her for almost twelve years and as he first looked at her, he realized she had already recognised him and was walking directly towards him. They hugged each other with an intensity that surprised him; she hadn’t changed, her figure had stayed the same as had her face though there were the first signs of her advancing age. What had changed were her eyes – as he looked at her he could see a sadness in them but he was pleased to see that seemed to lift as they talked. She insisted that he should not stay in a hotel but should come home with her. As they walked to her apartment, they talked about their lives and he learnt that after leaving her job with his parents she had decided not to take any further Nanny positions. She had returned to Delft, married briefly and unsuccessfully and now lived alone making a living as a translator. He in turn talked about his school and university. she asked him what brought him to Holland and surprising himself, he talked frankly about his behaviour and the episode that had resulted in his exclusion from College. He rationalized his behaviour by claiming it was a common practise but realized as he explained himself that this was a hollow excuse; her only comment was “We will need to deal with this issue further”. It seemed a strange comment to make but he thought no more of it.
Her apartment was small but very tidy with two bedrooms. She showed him his bedroom and immediately asked for his dirty laundry that filled his bag saying that she would be happy to deal with it. “In fact why don’t you shower and change into your pajamas, I know it’s early but then I can clean those clothes as well”. In a strange way he felt relaxed and happy to do as he was told. Meanwhile she bustled around sorting out his laundry and dinner – suddenly he felt very hungry. They ate and then afterwards Hannah herself changed into her dressing gown and as they sat by the fire she had lit they talked and talked. He realized he had not felt so happy and relaxed as he felt at tat moment for many a year. Then, as the clock above her fireplace struck eight-thirty, Hannah said
“Well Robbie, it’s time to go to your bedroom.”
“But Hannah”, Robbie said laughing, I have never been to bed at this time in my entire life”
“Well that’s not strictly true is it my dear, there were a few times when I sent you to your room at eight-thirty”
With a sudden realization Robbie said, blushing as he did ” But that was then you gave me a thrashing for being naughty”
“Yes Robbie, you’re right and you learnt your lesson well after each time. I think it’s time that you were thrashed again”
“Hannah, you can’t be serious”
“Robbie, my darling. Don’t you see that your shop-lifting whilst being totally unacceptable was really a cry for help; I am here for that. You must be accountable for your actions and, although you may not realize it, you have come to me because, deep down, you know I have always cared for you and I still do”
He looked at her but could not bring himself to protest. Getting up she crossed the room and taking him gently by the hand led him to the bedroom, closing the door behind her. As they came to the side of the bed he noticed, placed neatly on the blankets, a hairbrush and cane. Unbeknown to him, Hannah had positioned them there while she had herself absented herself to change.
“Robbie, you realize that I am doing this because I care about you very deeply. I want you to be a fine young man, a man I can be proud of and not a foolish dilettante with more money than sense. I want you to realize how much you mean to me and that includes your behaviour”
Robbie wanted to argue but couldn’t. As he listened to her, all he could see was the love and concern in her face, he knew then that she cared and suddenly he felt very sorry for his behaviour and felt keenly that he did not want to disappoint her
“Yes Hannah, I’m sorry” was all he could say.
“That is a start but you realize you must be punished and punished severely”
“Very well, take down your pajama bottoms ”
“Please Hannah, no”
With that she leaned over and gently pulled the draw-string; his pyjama bottoms fell to the ground. Without saying anything further Hannah took the back hem of the pyjama jacket and lifted it up fully exposing his bottom, then rolled the jacket in itself so that it was held firmly in position, exactly as she used to do when he was a boy. She then sat on the edge of the bed and as she did so her dressing gown fell away completely uncovering her legs.
“Get over my knee Robbie dear” Hannah said softly.
As if in a dream Robbie offered no resistance and bent over, immediately feeling the warmth of her bare legs beneath him.
“What I am about to do is because I care for you deeply, it is for your own good and that to me is more important than anything else”
With that the thrashing started, it was slow and methodical and hurt Robbie a lot. First by hand, Hannah spanked firmly and in a determined manner and then by hairbrush. Any pleas to stop were hushed away with the admonishment that “I am doing this for your own good and because I care”. At times, Robbie felt a need to reach out and hold her for comfort; instead of brushing his hand away, she urged him to do so with “That’s fine Robbie, you can hold me tight but you must be punished” It seemed to go on forever but eventually it stopped and Hannah ordered him off her lap and to kneel in front of her. They were eye level with each other as she sat on the bed.
“You realize that I had to punish you for your own good and that what you did was quite wrong”
“Yes Hannah, I’m sorry”
“Well I’m glad you are but I am not quite finished yet” as Hannah stood up and positioned the pillow in the middle of the bed
“I think I must finish this punishment with the cane, lie on the bed with your bottom on the pillow”
Doing as he was told he felt Hannah position his pyjama jacket high on his back and then he received twelve strokes, delivered hard and slowly. Towards the end, the pain and disappointment that he thought she must be feeling caused him to do something he hadn’t done as a boy – he cried, softly at first and then more deeply
At last his thrashing was finished. Still sobbing he felt exhausted and did not move from his position as he sensed Hannah move from and sit on the top of the bed, gently lifting his head so that it rested on her lap
“That’s right my darling, you rest. You have learnt your lesson well and I am so very proud of you. Let me make your bottom better” and as she lent over to apply cream to his bottom, he felt the warmth of her breasts pressing into his back; at that moment he felt a tremendous sense of closeness and togetherness, unlike any feeling he had ever experienced before and as he drifted to sleep, he could hear in his half conscious state her say
“Sleep well, my lovely boy, sleep well. You’re home now and I will always be here for you in your good times and bad. I love you so much and have loved you from the moment I saw you; I will always love you – you are my boy and you always will be.