Tuesday 18 September 2012

Nameless and Friendless

The Victorians were such dull old sticks, or so we are taught to believe.

I have just bought, on Ebay, a rather splendid engraving from an 1850s periodical of a schoolteacher, armed with a cane, about to seize a boy for some undoubtedly much deserved punishment. As one does.

But it is not the illustration itself that intrigues me. There is print on the reverse, and the very first entry I read deserves to be quoted verbatim:

"Nameless and Friendless", by Miss E. Osborne, is another picture by a lady artist, to which, though we can scarcely praise it for its execution, we have many favourable words to give, for its admirable purity of intention and its sentiment without sentimentality. Poor "Nameless and Friendless" - in the shape of a young, thinly-clad female, too young almost to be a widow but, we will assume, an orphan - has brought a picture into the shop of a wealthy "pictoriopole" - if we may invent that term for a dealer in the fine arts - and is tremblingly waiting while the great man examines it. A little shivering boy, her brother, nestles by her side; for the day is bitterly cold, and through the shop window you can see a rime of snow on the lace hats of the footmen, and the roofs of the carriage, towards which the warmly and richly-dressed figure at the door - a dowager countess at least - is progressing. You are afraid that the picture-dealer's answer to "Nameless and Friendless" will be a supercilious negative; and that she will be told that the "picture doesn't suit him, isn't in his line," or at best that she may "call again." But the best bit of story telling in the picture is the two dandies - very heavy mustachioed dandies, officers in the Guards in "mufti" they appear to be - who, with their backs to the spectator, are lounging over some staringly-coloured lithographs of "pets of the ballet," very curt as to drapery, and very lengthy as to leg. Ah, dear! poor "Nameless and Friendless;" we are afraid there is very little chance for you, at this "Fine Arts Repository," at least.

Yes, such dull old sticks.

Footnote, to show I've done my homework:

Remarkably, this picture still exists, and may be found on the Web: it was bought for £1,250 in the late 1960s by David Montagu Douglas Scott (1887-1986), a grandson of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, and Sotheby's sold it in 2008. Colin Gleadell wrote in the Telegraph at the time:

"Osborne's paintings are also rare. On average, one might appear every two years at auction, though not as good as this one, which is now estimated at £300,000 to £500,000."

Oh, all right: here's the link to the picture itself. Interesting what the Victorians classed as "thinly clad".

Saturday 25 December 2010

Lying naked in the snow

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

Weekend detention

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.

Saturday 11 September 2010

In the wardrobe...

My friend Not an Odalisque visited me for a weekend recently. We had a wonderful time. She's in process of writing about it on her blog, far better than I could.

She says she came "partly to visit HH, and partly to see his house." So when she'd gone, I did wonder: what impression does it give when the man you're visiting for the weekend turns out to have more canes in his wardrobe than shirts?

19 shirts, 21 canes. I counted.

So, what would you think?

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Not dead yet

Since it's been over 2 months since my last post, I just want to reassure everyone (yes, both of you!) that I'm still alive.

I've been feeling a little stretched: happy to spend time with friends, but without the energy to push myself out into the wider world and engage with people I don't know yet. I think I've been running on emotional overdrive since Niki left, and now the engine is running out of steam. So I've been pulling in my horns a bit until my batteries are recharged. [There's nothing like a mixed metaphor!]

I'm not short of kinky thoughts, just the energy to craft and hone them. But I'll be back!

But in the mean time, let me tell you about one of my longer-term projects. I have always been an admirer of Alan Bell, the photographer behind the early days of Blushes magazine (who also appeared in a few videos, such as the iconic Room 2D from Roue). His particular mastery was to extract expressions of shame and embarrassment from his models, to catch them in pensive moments of anticipation.

I don't have that skill yet, but I'd love to acquire it. So my project is to pick a few of his most evocative photos and try to reproduce them: not exactly, but enough to capture the expression and emotions of the model. I plan to post a few of my favourites here, and ask for comments on just what it is that they convey: what was the girl thinking, what was she feeling?

Niki and I made a start on this a few years ago, with a set of photos of a reformatory caning in wet punishment shorts.

The top one one is the original Blushes photo, and the bottom one is our recreation. I didn't manage to catch Niki's face in that particular shot, but I love the way the rivulets of water cascade down her legs, pouring into and through the tight shorts.

What thoughts are going through her mind as the cold water soaks her shorts, held tight between her legs by a doubled cord? Soon the cane will be gliding over her cheeks, probing and tapping. Soon it will lift up. What will come next? Will the tapping resume, keeping her in suspense? Or will the cane cleave the air with its characteristic swish and cut hard into her waiting bottom?

Of course I don't really know which shoots were Alan Bell's. I fancy I know his style, but it's always possible that someone else was responsible for a particular shoot or set. If one of my readers knows better than me, please tell me!

A footnote: Blushes had a habit of reusing photo shoots, often with a slightly different set of photos and quite different stories attached. The original of this particular shoot was in Blushes Supplement 2, which I think was published in about March 1985. But the particular photo reproduced above is not in that issue. Some time I must make a compilation of which photosets were repeated in which issues, so that I can collect all the different photos into a coherent set. Yes, I'm that OCD.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

San Francisco Spanking Party

Who's going to the San Francisco Spanking Party that Zille is organising this weekend?

I'm very much looking forward to it and would love to hear from people who'll be there. I'm never very good at introducing myself to complete strangers, so it would be good to exchange a message or an email beforehand. If you don't want to comment here, send email to the address in my profile.

I'm aiming for the prize for "furthest traveller" :-)

And just for good measure, here are a couple of gratuitous photos of a very appealing girl-pile taken at Shadow Lane a few years ago. Or should that be a pile of very appealing girls?

Friday 5 March 2010

Spanking in dreams

EmmaJane has just made a fascinating post in which she describes dreams about being spanked.

It raises a serious question that I'd love to know the answer to:
Do you ever have dreams in which you are actually spanked and feel pain?
EmmaJane describes two dreams in her post: in the first, she is prepared for punishment but wakes up before the spanking starts. From what I've heard, this is the most common experience: the dream is about the situation, the anticipation, the emotions.

Even in the second dream that EJ describes, where the spanking does actually start, what makes an impression is the emotional impact, not the physical one. Is this everyone's (every bottom's) experience? I don't think anyone has ever told me about a dream-spanking in which they felt actual pain - and certainly not catharsis.

Let's extend this a bit further: if you're a bottom who's interested in things beyond the CP realm, do you experience them in dreams as physically as you would in real life? Or is the dream experience focussed on different aspects?

There could be a Ph. D. thesis here. Are any psychologists reading this?