Somewhere else in that weekend, EmmaJane looked out through the window into the frozen garden and announced that she was interested in doing some photography. I didn't quite understand what she meant to begin with, but it became clear.
She couldn't quite decide which shot she wanted to post as her Christmas photo, so eventually we agreed that she'd post one and I'd post another. Here it is.
Somewhere between the sitting shots and the lying-down shots, the sun came out. But have you any idea how cold it is to lie down naked in the snow? She's a brave and crazy girl.
But doesn't she look good?
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Abel and I recently got together with Catherine and EmmaJane. Somewhere over Sunday lunch in the village pub, a detention scene emerged: two girls who had each earned 6 demerits the previous week, for a succession of minor offences, and found themselves in the school's traditional Sunday afternoon Punishment Detention. It's meant to deter repeat offenders, to make them think twice and mend their behaviour the next time they have accumulated two or three demerits in a week.
The standard procedure in Punishment Detention is that the girls each have to write a letter of apology for their misbehaviour, to be posted on the school board for all to read. Pour encourager les autres, as Voltaire put it. Afterwards they are required to check each other's letter for grammar and spelling, then stand and read their own letter aloud to the masters in charge. They know that any insincerity in their apology will be reflected in their punishment.
I need to anonymise the next part, for reasons that will emerge later.
There were no mistakes (they know better than that!), but we knew something was wrong when Girl P had to suppress a chuckle as she checked over Girl Q's letter. And when Girl Q read it out, we discovered what. I'll let the letters speak for themselves:
We had decided in advance that each girl's basic punishment would be six strokes with my wooden paddle, followed by six with Abel's tawse. But this could not be overlooked. I dealt with Girl P first: six firm strokes just on the junction of bottom and thighs, which had her wriggling and crying out long before the end. Girl Q watched nervously, knowing she was next.
The paddle is quite severe, and I knew even six would be challenging, so I was quite restrained in announcing just one extra stroke for her attempt to dig at the goalie in her apology. She very nearly increased that, first when I found her to be wearing highly non-regulation lace-trimmed knickers, and then again by miscounting. But the paddle hurts, so I was lenient - though I made her thank me for leaving the count at just one extra stroke. Again, she was wriggling and squirming long before I reached six, and I made the seventh one to remember.
Then Abel took over; he's promised his own blog post about the scene, so I'll leave him to tell you about that. But at the end we had two very sorry girls, promising faithfully to behave better in future. I wonder how long it will last?
But now my reason for anonymising: which of the letters do you think is EmmaJane's, and which Catherine's? Who was the impertinent one who earned the extra stroke?
For the record, Girl Q was required to rewrite the letter without the offending passage for posting on the school notice board. But you get to see the unredacted version.
Posted by Henry Higgins at 10:39