Saturday, 12 October 2013

The View from the Back - a Tale of Two Spankings

We are back from our holiday.  I can't believe it's over so quickly.  All I know is that we were in dire need of a break away, and time on our own.

Once again, many thanks to you all for your prayers and support for our little grandson during the time he was in the special baby care unit.  Our daughter has been unwell too, whilst we were away.  I am happy to report that Beau is now doing great, and is always hungry!  Mum is recovering and is now feeling better too. I've had so many emails and good wishes from everyone I feel truly humbled.  Thank you all!

So now.  Yet again, hurricanes have swept the Starsong landscape.


They have been whirling around all summer, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had gotten away with it, and escaped off on holiday relatively unscathed.  Alas, pride comes before a fall.  Not that I ever need the 'pride' part.  I can fall quite successfully without that.

Remember how I joked happily about what sort of implement we could take for use in a cabin on a cruise ship?  And how Dan ridiculed my scarlet silken flogger and said I would have to come up with something else?  Well neither of us could think of a single quiet implement aside from a Loopy Johnny or a plastic coathanger - and you can forget those as far as I am concerned!  So there!

But hey!  We were on holiday.  We were going to have a great time and not worry about such things as discipline.  And a bit of play couldn't cause that much noise could it?

And I can tell you quite categorically that when Dan bought a new leather belt from a small roadside vendor at our first port of call, I was very happy to help him pick out a dark brown one, beautifully braided and very fashionable.  I believe I even joked and grinned at him as I swished it playfully through the air......  


I know that people have often written about a couple or even three spankings, and discussed them, and compared them, or explained about them.  So nothing new there.  But I am going to share the 'light-hearted, play spanking' first of all, instead of the other way around.  Because that's the order they came in.

We set off on a Tuesday afternoon.  We didn't have far to travel to board the ship, and having heard all about people's ten hour journeys, we were grateful and smug that we lived only a half hour from the port.

We had booked the holiday a mere two weeks before we set off, so we had no great expectations about our cabin, but we were pleasantly surprised when we were shown to a cabin for four people and told that the cruise line had been happy just to sail with a full complement of passengers and fill any empty cabins. It was lovely and roomy and we had four wardrobes!  Imagine!  And lots of coathangers too! (No, not plastic ones!)  And it was an outside cabin and wasn't right down in the bowels of the ship - so everything was off to a good start.

It was our fourth time on this particular ship, so we know her well, and were soon right at home.  Some of the members of the crew even remembered us from last time, and that was two years ago.

All was going well.  We had been travelling for two days and it was Thursday. Spanky Thursday!  Yea!


We had had an interesting walk around our first port of call and seen all the sights (it was only a small town) and returned to the ship for lunch.  I sat on the bed and pouted hopefully at Dan.  He started to tease me and amid shrieks of laughter to divest me of my jeans and knickers, all the while telling me that we mustn't make a noise in case we were overheard by the people on either side of us, or our cabin steward who was always lurking outside.

It developed into a bit of a farce.  We were hopeless.

The beds were of the 'single' variety, and so I lay over the bottom of Dan's and he rubbed my cheeks and then gave me an almighty slap that ricocheted around the walls.  Believe me the echoes just went on and on. I was practically on my knees on the floor, and I just sank down on to my haunches, my eyes wide and my heart in my mouth.

Dan stopped and listened.  Nothing.  

However, just to be on the safe side he instructed me to get up off the floor and lean over the back of a small easy chair, putting my hands on the seat. Why he thought that would make it any less noisy, who knows?!

I shuffled around for a bit trying to get comfortable and leaned over.  It wasn't easy because I was on tip-toe.  However, at last I was in position.

So he continued.

Slap, slap, slap.  Slap, slap, slap.

It was like a machine gun!  

Dan panicked when he thought he heard footsteps outside and went and put his ear to the door.

The next thing I knew was that he had grabbed my arm and dragged me into the bathroom.

Now, in the main, the bathrooms aboard cruise ships are on the small side. Add to that the fact that this one only had a shower, and was on the inside (which most of them are) Dan and I were practically nose to nose.  To compound it all I started to giggle.  Loudly. But the best was yet to come.

Dan pushed me down and told me to grasp the toilet seat with both hands and bend over.  There was just enough room that way, for him to get up a bit of a swing.

But every time he spanked, my body was pushed forward, and my head had a tendency to go down the toilet.  Or it would have if I hadn't put the seat down first! It was hopeless.

Eventually we were both laughing so much we had to give up.  I think it is the funniest spanking I've ever had to date.

We decided to go for another walk around the town, and the minute we opened our door our cabin steward was there asking if everything was okay, and wishing us a good day!

If only he had known just how good our day was! Perhaps he really had been listening outside all along!

The next couple of days passed uneventfully.  We had a day at sea, and a day in port.


Bitch/troll stretched, yawned and got silently to her feet.  Looking neither left nor right, she made straight for the jugular.

I've tried to explain this feeling before, when all your good mood drains quickly and completely away, without warning, and leaves you feeling depressed, down and as flat as a tyre with a nail in it.

Perhaps had we been at home I would've grabbed Dan and implored him to deal with the situation, but as we were at the pinnacle of our holiday, and had two days in St Petersburg, which has always been on our 'Bucket List' I decided to try to ignore my gloomy miserable state, and soldier onwards.

Bad idea.  Very bad.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say it was one of my worst decisions ever.  

All I can advise you is that if you ever find yourself in a similar state, to tell your husband how you feel immediately.  Do not wait a minute.  As soon as that gun goes off, leave the starting grid, paddle in hand!

I am not proud of myself for how I acted that day.  It is one thing to try to advise someone else in a similar position to take action in one way or another, but let's face it, we rarely listen to our own inner voices when they are offering good advice.  So I probably would've gone my own sweet way regardless.  I don't know.  I just thank heaven that Dan is the man he is, and was able to pull me, pull us, back from the brink.

St Petersburg is incredible.  You always get two days there, as there is quite simply so much to see and do. Two days aren't enough, but we filled them with activities. Once we had managed to queue our way through passport control and the non-smiling Russian ladies who stamped and re-stamped our passports that is.

The city is a mixture of faded (and not so faded) grandeur, much of it in various stages or restoration, and monstrous concrete appartment blocks that are not only left over from the times when Communism ruled with an iron fist, but new ones that even at this moment are continuing to be built along exactly the same lines.  Ugliness you cannot imagine.

Apart from one street full of 'designer' shops, there are very few shops.  No large supermarkets, just one or two small, grim food or clothing stores.  Oh, and a new Ikea built on the extreme outskirts of town.

No wonder all the rich Russians are buying up London!

However, I digress.

So we went to visit the Hermitage on the first day. We weren't allowed cameras unless we paid an extra amount, and were told that even if we had them we would be unlikely to get near enough to the paintings, or indeed to anything, to photograph it.  It was all lies, but then, who were we to argue. We bought a glossy book instead at an exorbitant cost, which was probably the plan in the first place.

The Palace itself was an assault on the senses.  It is magnificent.  No wonder the poor peasants on the outside revolted back in those fateful times.  The riches cannot be explained.  Especially the 'gold room'.  You have to see it yourself to understand. Then in the evening we went to a performance of Russian dancing (Cossacks) in a theatre in the middle of St Petersburg which had once been a brothel club for Russian Officers. Don't even ask me to describe the place!  But the colours were so vibrant and the music and dancing filled with electric energy. Really wonderful.

You must be wondering how and why everything fell apart.  The trouble with bitch/trolls is that they creep out silently, and lie in wait for the moment when you are at your most vulnerable.  Then they strike.

We were already pretty tired by the previous day's activities when we were forced to get up at 6am in order for the coaches to leave at 7.30am for the Catherine Palace, which is just outside of St Petersburg, and where we were scheduled to spend the day.  

It was tipping it down with rain, and grey and dreary. It was still raining when we reached our destination. I went through my bag and triumphantly produced one of those little collapsible umbrellas.  I felt pleased because Dan had left his at home by mistake.

The only snag with an umbrella is that Dan has to hold it.  There is no debating who is best at keeping it level and over the both of us.  He always has to have the umbrella.

Initially it seemed okay.

But then it wasn't.

Dan wasn't doing too well with it, it doesn't have the stability of his large golf umbrella, and lots of the time I was only partly covered, and the rain kept dripping down my neck.  I could feel myself getting annoyed. But then I wanted to keep stopping to take photographs, and Dan kept walking on ahead, and both me and the camera were getting wet through.  I called several times for him to stop and wait for me, but he didn't want to get too far from our guide and the rest of the group.

I think it was about at this point that Bitch/troll struck.

I was just furious.  Sooner than catch up with Dan I sulked and hung back on purpose.  When we entered the Palace and had to give in our coats at the cloakroom I told Dan that if he wanted the umbrella he could jolly well keep it, and I marched off and did my best to ignore him for the entire visit around the Palace which took nearly two hours. So we had this situation of Dan up front with the majority of the group and hanging on to every word the guide was telling them, and me at the back of the group, taking my photos and doing my best to avoid all eye contact.

Even when the inside tour had finished and we collected our coats, I left him to retrieve the stupid umbrella and marched off outside on my own.

The gardens were so beautiful.  Autumn in Russia is ahead of England and the trees were turning colour. The rain stopped and even the sky cleared a little. We could have had such a lovely time, but I was so intent on being angry that I continued to stay at the back and simmer.

I was practically that last person in the group and easily two hundred yards from everyone else.  I stopped and took a couple of pictures and then stood and looked at a beautiful maple tree decked out in autumn foliage.  

It was incredible.  We don't have many such trees in England, and I so wanted to stand hand in hand with Dan and enjoy it.  But he was miles up ahead.  I felt very sad.  I turned around and a friend we had met on the ship suddenly appeared at my elbow.  

Before I go on, I just want to tell you that we often get on well with other couples on holiday.  It's pleasant to sit of an evening, and chat over a cocktail, or just sit and drink a beer at a bar.

We really got on very well with this particular couple. We were teasing each other and bragging about how long we had been together.  Dan boasted that we had been married for 36 years.  We all raised our glasses. Then the elder of the two told us that they had been together for 42 years.  So we raised our glasses again, clinking away.  They were very interesting people, and we shared the same type of humour. They were both a older than us, but it didn't seem to matter a bit.  The elder one's name was Steven, and the younger one's name was Tom.

Steven was long retired, at 73 and had been a London builder and property developer.  Tom was, like me, just retired and had been a history teacher.

We had one particularly hilarious conversation where Steven was describing how he had been called in to renovate a certain property, only to find out that it was a 'dungeon'.  I was so intrigued that I asked him all about it and he had us laughing till tears ran down our cheeks.  I told him I hadn't thought they existed outside of books, and he informed me that there were lots! Dan was rendered quite speechless once or twice.  He told me afterwards that he was terrified I was going to tell them something I shouldn't!

Anyway,Tom and I stood together admiring the maple.  We were standing quite close, and I knew he could see that my eyes were full of tears which I was doing my best to blink back.  He was a very kind and perceptive type of man. He looked ahead, quite a way off now, to where the rest of the group were, and then looked back at me.  

"You know," he observed, "sometimes the view is much better from the back."

He smiled kindly at me and we walked onwards together, gradually catching everyone up.


It wasn't finished.  I knew it couldn't be until there was atonement.  

We had eaten an uncomfortable dinner; conversation was stilted and cold, and we eventually decided we were too tired to go to a show or sit up late sipping cocktails and listening to the Jazz trio.  

Dan put the TV on in our cabin and sat and drank three or four glasses of Scotch, and I put my nightie on and tried to read. I felt so miserable and very unhappy, both with myself and with the situation I had caused virtually single-handed.

Suddenly Dan leapt to his feet and went to the wardrobe.  He turned around, slammed the door, and came towards me with his new leather belt clasped firmly in his hand.  He was very angry.

"You can get up and go bend over that chair right now.  We're going to settle this.  I am so sick and tired of the way you treat me.  It's a wonder my neck isn't bleeding, you've pecked at it so much.  I can tell you that I am not standing for it one minute longer!"

He was brandishing the belt and yelling at me.  

I put my Kindle down, looked up and him, and started to cry.

"No I won't.  I refuse.  You're not coming near me with that thing!"

I promptly burst into tears.

"You want to know something?" I told him, "I think this is the end.  I think we are finished.  I think we should just give up and go our separate ways.  I can't live like this any more."

Dan sank down on to the bed in front of my and let the belt fall to the floor. The look on his face was one I never want to see again.

"All we do is rub each other the wrong way.  We just don't seem to get on like we used to.  What's the point of living like this to the end of our days?"

I sobbed and sobbed.

"But, Ami, where would you go?"

"I don't know!" I wailed. "I just know I feel I've tried everything.  And nothing seems to work.  It seems to work for other people, but not for us.  I want to give more of myself, I truly do.  I hate being this horrible shrewish person who just wants to be spiteful and hurtful all the time.  But I need some feedback from you.  I'm just worn out trying to do it all alone. 

"To tell you the truth, Dan, I need you to show me more affection than you do.  I need a bit of praise from time to time.  I need the occasional hug and for you to hold my hand sometimes.  You have such a stiff, cold exterior.  You may not mean to come across like that, but you do, and I can't do this any more like this.  I need to feel cherished.  And I don't.  I'm fed up of being treated like an Arab wife!"

If I were to write down everything we said it would be as long as a book.  We talked for two hours at least. We didn't shout, we weren't disparaging to one another, we just talked as honestly as we could.

It was very hard.  It was the hardest, yet probably the most truthful, conversation we have had since way back at the beginning.  The shutters were down, the floodgates were opened, our souls were bared to each other in a way I hadn't thought possible.  It was excruciating.  Yet it was necessary. When you're at the bottom, the only way is up.

It is interesting to reflect what an influence our parents have on us.  Mine were very "touchy feely", not afraid to show their emotions.  Our household was loud in every way - laughter, anger, affection, tears, etc. Dan's household was very different.  His father was quiet and controlling.  And I don't mean that in a good way.  I never saw his father hug his mother or give her ass a quick slap or show any affection.  He was a very good father, and I liked him a lot, but he was about as opposite from mine as chalk and cheese.  

Right back at the beginning of our relationship Dan wouldn't be comfortable with me showing him affection in front of either my parents or his.  If I went to snuggle up to him on the sofa he would pull away. He never, ever kissed me in public.  So gradually, over the years, I learned to bottle up my emotions, to keep kissing and snuggling for our private time, to give off a calm and placid exterior, when inside I was seething with the very emotions I was trying to keep down.  No wonder I had such terrible temper tantrums during the early years of our marriage.  I think I can understand that now.

We sat and discussed what we both wanted and needed.  We discussed everything, from sex to spanking, to retirement and downsizing, to commitment and communication.  Everything!

When we were finished talking, Dan picked up his belt from where it lay on the floor.  He didn't tell me, he 'asked' me to bend over the chair. He intended to spank me and I understood that I had earned such a spanking. We couldn't move on until; but at least he wasn't angry any more. I think he would've been prepared to wait all night if I hadn't been immediately obedient.  But I was humbled by the fact that he didn't issue an order - he asked, and I consented.

After an initial fumble with the belt due to its being very stiff, he doubled it and holding the buckle, wrapped it around his hand.  There was no warm up. I suppose he gave me about twenty very hard spanks? swats? I don't know what you call them with a belt?  I do know that I felt every one.  I think I managed six before the sobs started in earnest.  It was a strange feeling, nothing like the leather paddle.  The thickness of the belt ensured that it had a capacity to 'thud' down on my backside.  I only just managed to make it through. I was very glad when it was over.

We made love passionately, each wanting to give more than take.  I know that we both fell asleep in the one bed and it was some time later, during the night, when I crawled out to visit the bathroom and that I returned to creep into my own bed.  We were emotionally and in my case, physically, exhausted.

We both have to work at this.  We are not going to change overnight.  I have to get a hold of my temper and not take everything so 'personally'.  Dan is working hard to be more affectionate.

He is trying very hard.  He has even slapped my bottom once or twice playfully, which is a completely new thing for him.  He seems to be more attentive and open - although no hand holding yet.  

He got up the other morning completely out of the blue and brought back the rose paddle and gave me a good reminder of how he felt things should be proceeding. And as for me, I am doing my best to tell him if I feel upset about something, before it escalates out of hand.  So we talk it over and he helps me decide how to deal with my feelings.  It's early days, but so far it's working.  

As I said, it's so easy to be able to issue advice to others, yet when it comes to yourself, you often can't see the wood for the trees.  There is so much undergrowth to battle your way through!  But a forest is made up of many different types of trees, and in order to break clear of that canopy at the top, the trees have been growing for a very long time.

Since we got home I often think of that piece of advice I was given when admiring the maple, "Sometimes the view is much better from the back," and I know Tom wasn't really referring to our sightseeing group, or to the tree.   



  1. Ami

    So glad to hear your grandbaby is doing better. I've missed you. <3 Loved reading about the toilet spanking. Hope your trip was mostly great.

    Much love

    1. Hello Sara! How lovely to have you back among us all! We missed you! I do hope things are better for you now.

      Our trip was definitely "mostly great". We learned a lot from our heart to heart; and from his hand to my bottom!



    2. Yes things are much better. We did go through some very upsetting family stuff (can't go into it here really) but all is well. I am thankful to be back. I missed everyone very much!!! (((hugs))) sara

  2. I'm so happy to hear that your daughter and grandson are doing better.

    I totally cracked up at your description of the first spanking. I can just imagine the look of horror when that first swat echoed across the room.

    I can so relate to the meltdown that came with the second spanking. I also have a tendency to bottle things up until finally there's just no more room to push things back and there's one heck of an explosion. On a good note, these meltdowns always lead to productive conversations.

    I'm glad you two were able to talk, not just about how you were feeling at that moment, but also how you'd been feeling leading up to it. It sounds like you're in a good place right now and I pray that it continues.


    1. My meltdown had such productive consequences that it has had a very positive effect on our relationship. I shall have to learn to talk instead of to 'bottle up' everything I am feeling. How can I expect Dan to respond positively if I don't tell him things? Maybe we women keep too much buried? I suppose we don't like to make waves, but then all we do is create a tsunami!



  3. Ami,

    Good account of your holiday. St. Petersburg sounds really nice, I wish we could travel but with young children that's difficult.

    You've posted on my wife's blog before, and I've just started my own so we'd love for you to stop by either one and comment if you get the chance!

    It's weird how vacations so more relationship issues. I know my wife and I had a horrid Labor Day weekend away from the kids over a year ago. Sometimes being around each other so much makes it difficult, and you end of wondering why in the world you were looking forward to the vacation so much. I'm glad you were able to have some really good conversations together and some spankings boot. It's a good reminder that even when others have been married for a longer time than you (we've only been for 7 yrs), they still have issues like this and it takes a lifetime to improve.

    Anyway, thanks for your account. Blessings

    1. Hello good sir, and welcome! I should love to stop by your blog and promise to do so, only my blogger is misbehaving at the moment, my list of blogs I follow has all but vanished, and I am in the process of having a complete reorganisation - so just bare with me for the time being please. I am so glad we have an HOH who is happy to contribute. We have very few of you these days, and my Dan runs for the hills when I mention reading any of the bogs including mine, so you are in great need here, for both your opinions and your advice!

      I think that you can never stop learning how to improve your marriage. Of course, there are some people who falter and call it a day at the first hurdle, but we have always tried to meet problems head on. It hurts at times, and to be absolutely truthful is so very difficult.

      Some of our best conversations take place with me staring at the floorboards, and I simply don't have the answer to why we are not always able to look each other in the eye and be truthful. I am going to try my best to ask for help a lot more than I have previously. Especially with Christmas coming up on the horizon. I remember well how many meltdowns there were right across Blogland last year!



  4. Isn't it amazing how you can be together with someone for all that time and still not know all of them. We are strange creatures.
    I should think it would be very freeing to Dan to let his emotions show, it has to be hard to be bottled up. Hope it continues.

    Love Tom's analogy. He's a very smart man.

    1. The shakeup did us good! It was like racing towards each other head on like locomotives, but stopping before we crashed, and considering the consequences. We now know we never want to crash, but we need to work on ensuring the track is well-maintained.

      Both Tom and Steven were very kind-hearted men, and Tom certainly gave me some good advice!



  5. Ami,

    So happy to hear your daughter and grandbaby are well.

    Sounds like you had a fun but emotional holiday. Some times it takes what seems like a set back at first to get us back on track for the good.


    1. Thank you Tricia!

      It was an emotional holiday, but we had lots of fun too, and the importance of communication has been reinforced. In a way, we have both now been catapulted forwards yet again.



  6. Ami, it sounds like your holiday was fantastic! Even the painful part. Not that you had to experience the rough time but that because of it you were able to get to the point of a deep meaningful conversation and resolution. I think sometimes the longer we have known someone the harder it is to change. On one hand we have the deep desire to please the other person but on the other hand we have years of relating in a certain way and it's so hard to change those ways. I'm so happy and excited for you and Dan that you brought so many hard issues up and that you were able to both feel heard and understood. If your relationship is anything like ours don't be surprised if old habits show through again. But remember also that he heard your heart and that he is willing to keep working on finding a new path. Ami, this is such a beautiful love story!

    So glad your daughter and grandson are doing better! From one Grandma to another, congratulations.


    1. Aw Clara, thank you for your comments. It is very difficult to change the "habits of a lifetime!" I think we both feel "cleansed" after the meaningful conversation we had. The storm clouds had been gathering for a very long time, and it needed to rain and rain hard! We both feel lighter and happier now, and are determined to initiate some changes.

      You are a granny too? Wonderful! Yes, they are both doing well at long last. They were here all day today making Christmas cakes, and now they have gone home, I am in a state of exhaustion!

      Many hugs


  7. Sounds to me like everything is on the mend, the baby, your daughter, and even your relationship. Nick doesn't show emotion or affections (in public) very well either. It varies sometimes I'm fine with it other times, my feelings are hurt. I'm glad things are looking up for you.

    1. Hi Elis! We are all different and I know we shouldn't blame our men if they find it difficult to show affection openly, but there are times when I think we 'need' that show of affection.

      Perhaps one of the important things for us is not to let ourselves get so worn down and exhausted in future, and that makes logical and good-tempered communication difficult.



  8. I am so happy your daughter and grandson are doing well. I sure hope your MIL stays well!

    That first spanking account was just a hoot. I feel like that is something that would happen to me. I assure you that my head would have been in the toilet.

    No couple is always perfectly content all the time. It is good to challenge and share our desires. Acceptance of each other doesn't mean we stop trying to grow.

    Tom is a wise and experience as well as the ability to see through the trees helps. What a generous man to reach out and share his perception.

    The second spanking was a way of closing the negativity for both of you.

    1. Thanks Minelle!

      That is exactly why I had to shut the toilet lid in that first spanking - the last place I wanted my head was down a vacuum operated toilet!

      I shall always remember Tom with gratitude. You are right, he was very perceptive.

      The second spanking was important - but forget belts - bury them all at midnight!



  9. Hi Ami, I am so glad to hear that your family are getting there now.
    I wonder perhaps if it is a generation thing, this lack of demonstrativeness from some of the husbands in blogland. I hope things will improve for you from now on
    Btw you should have had our cabin. we could have done anything , no one would have heard anything over the noise of the air conditioner!! Mind you, you may have frozen to death if you had were naked whilst doing it
    love Jan.xx

    1. Thanks Jan. I am happy to report that daughter and family are now doing great.

      I don't know about husbands being demonstrative. Everyone else's husbands seem to be very demonstrative compared with mine! But now at least he knows how I feel about the state of affairs, and hopefully he will put in a little more effort! Even if I have to nudge him from time to time!

      Laughed about your air-con! We were so cold we had to turn ours off and turn the heating up! To the north, in Sweden, they were getting their first snows of the season!



  10. So glad your grandbaby and daughter are doing well. I picture them smiling and happy. And your account of your playful spanking by the toilet made me laugh. As for the other spanking, it seems you communicated some important feelings and that even if it may have been difficult brought you yet closer together. much hugs to you

    1. Thank you Terps! They are doing very well now.

      To be truthful, it was the honesty we shared in our communication before the second spanking that hurt the most, and was the most difficult, and as I said, it is early days yet, but things seem to have improved all round.



  11. I used up all my time it was a good read.

    The hard conversations are so hard Ami. I know it, but in those moments of honesty we too have learned a whole lot about each other. We start to understand some of the deepest hurts and both work to change some. It sounds like you two are doing something similar.

  12. Honestly I don't know what more I can share here than what you have already heard. You know I am right beside you looking at the tree. *wink*. I'll just reiterate, that sometimes the biggest stumbling blocks transform into an amazing building block. Slow and steady wins the race and all that jazz.

    Will there be more difficult times again? You can count on it. Having said that, each time the feeling of 'stopping', throwing in the towel, gets weaker and weaker. It doesn't become your 'go to' reaction anymore. That is progress. Remember that!