Monday, 24 June 2013

Always My Star Man!

Starman and I have very strange conversations whilst drinking our respective tea and coffee on a Sunday morning.

"So," he remarked, "how is it that mine is plain white, and yours has hearts, flowers and butterflies all over it?"

I stopped mid-sip.  "I beg your pardon?"

"Well, I'm just wondering about the fairness of it."  He took another slurp.  "Mine's thicker though.  I'll bet it goes further."

By this time my mind was working overtime.  

"Yes" he said, "there's no doubt about it.  Mine is stronger than yours.  There's nothing worse than putting your finger straight through it at the crucial moment."

The penny dropped.

He was discussing (of all things) my toilet paper!  He'd been in our ensuite and discovered my soft and pretty "bathroom tissue" as they call it over here.  So okay, I like a little luxury in my life.  (A few weeks ago I had some with flamingoes all over it!)  But for the other "conveniences" I provide plain old white stuff.  At least it isn't hard and slippery like they used in my grandparents' day!  And I do get the men what is called "quilted", as they seem to like a thicker bog roll than I do!

When you know each other as well as we do, you tend to have these silly little conversations.  There have been times when having a sense of humour has been very important - when it has been about the only thing keeping us afloat.

Tomorrow it is 36 years since we were wed!

It's hard to believe.  Those years have gone so fast.  Starman says his best man cautioned him just before going into the Church, and said that he could always change his mind and run back down the path and make a quick getaway!  Luckily he didn't.  Despite, at times, some pretty tough going, he has stayed the course.

It's been a long time, and we've done a lot of dancing through our lives together.  Mostly with me pushing him around the floor.  It's strange now that he is doing the leading.  I find I'm not tripping over my own feet nearly as much.

However, there are still times when I get mixed up when we get in a corner, and I am not so good at reversing.  We end up having a bit of a tussle!  Then he swings me around, points me in the right direction, and we are off again.

I'm actually wondering how many times I've told Starman how much I value his love.  

It's not always easy to say "I love you".  Especially when we're rushing around doing the million and one things that make up our lives.  Maybe I don't say it enough?

I wonder whether some of you have noticed that I am beginning to call Starman "Dan"?  

Perhaps you think it's because I wrote about Ami and Dan in my little description of Kat and Nat's holiday adventure?  But no.  There you might just be a tad wrong.

Remember the dancing?  And me pushing him every which way?  He said that at times, life with me, had made him think about what it must be like to walk into a lion's den!  He never knew exactly what sort of mood the lion(ess!) might be in that day.  Oh dear!  That was hard to hear, but the truth nonetheless.

We've only been doing this thing a mere seven months.  Some of the changes have been quite subtle.  Some not so...  It's still not always easy.  I still enjoy a good long moan.  But then, nothing worthwhile was ever easy, was it?

And whenever I get out of step, or trip over his feet or mine, I have to remind myself that the lion's den isn't such a scary place any more.  My Daniel has found a clever and convincing way of keeping the mouth closed and the claws sheathed.  (Naturally, he has had certain little 'aids' to persuasion!)

Rarely does he enter the lion's den these days without these aids.  And whilst he'd never use one of those horrible long lion-taming whips you see portrayed in old pictures, he's not above resorting to other, slightly less flexible means.

So I thought you might (at the risk of wanting to put your fingers down your throats!) like to see the card I will be giving him tomorrow.  (Usually, he gets a funny card, or one with an extract of the Rubriat of Omah Kyham written on it!)

And so, (roll of drums here!!!) without further delay, this is my gift to Daniel for our anniversary!  We have joined the exclusive "Rose Paddle Club"!!!

All of a sudden it looks very stiff, and very new, and very well made!  Gulp!  I'll let you know how we get on if I survive!

However.  Because I am an Ami, and a pickle, here is another little gift to, shall we say, take the sting out of it?!!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Anastasia Vitsky - Lighting the Way

Ana placed me in a position of enormous trust when she asked me recently to read her new book and write a review.  Although I had concerns about my ability to do so, it was quite simply beautiful, and a pleasure to read.

"Exclamation marks are bad form!  I have read about editors who immediately throw a manuscript in the bin if they encounter too many exclamation marks!

However, all I can say is that having read Lighting the Way by Anastasia Vitsky, my exclamation marks are going to be out in full force!

Without doubt her writing simply gets better and better with each story she writes.  She effortlessly weaves interaction between her main characters Kat and Natalie, into different moments in time, as they continue their journey towards truth and self-realisation.

In essence, it is a tender love story - the growth of an all-encompassing love that flourishes between two best friends.  Maybe not of the bodice-ripping variety, but of the deeply stirring type, that causes the reader to sigh and take deep breaths as emotion is piled on top of emotion.

That fact that spankings contained in the story can sometimes be viewed as harsh and ill-considered beckons the reader to look beyond those actions, to the advice imparted by a character portrayed as older and more experienced in life and what it has to offer.  This acts as a catalyst, a turning point, a pivotal moment, welding together the cracks in Kat's life and reigniting the spark of her love and friendship with Natalie into a bright and steady flame, which lights their way into a future neither had previously contemplated."

All I can say is, I can't wait for Ana to finish the next book in the series!  If you haven't ordered a copy, then I urge you to do so.  You will love it too!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Forty 'Borrowed' Sexy Questions

I got this from Sunny and she got it from Hermione and she got it from Angel Brat....


1 When you looked at yourself in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?  Shall I do a Lemon Meringue Pie or a Peach Cobbler for dessert?  (The Peach Cobbler won!)

2  How much cash do you have on you?  Not a penny - it's all in my handbag.

3  Name a word that rhymes with door.  Floor

4  Name your favourite planet.  So far, Earth, but the Jovian Moons sound interesting.

5  Do you own more than 100 cds?  No, I have an IPod.

6  Have you ever finished a bag of popcorn and ate the junk from the bottom? No

7  What kind of top are you wearing?  Navy lace

8  Have you ever labelled yourself?  As in sticky?

9  Name the brand of shoes you are currently wearing.  I have bare feet!

10  Bright or dark room?  In shadow - it's evening.

11  Have you ever been pooped on from the sky?  Blooming seagulls!

12  What does your watch look like?  It's a multi-coloured Swatch watch.

13  What were you doing at midnight last night?  That's for me to know and you to wonder...

14  Have you ever dated someone a decade older than you?  No

15  Have you ever listened to a song and cried?  Many times

16  Who last told you he/she loved you?  My little grandson, this afternoon!

17  What was the last furry thing you touched?  Our big black cat, Mr Pussycat.

18  How many drugs have you taken within the last three days?  Too many to mention.

19  Favourite age so far?  Each age brings something special.

20  Have you ever had a secret crush on a teacher?  No

21  What was the last thing you said to someone?  You've let your tea get cold.

22  Have you ever been found sleep-walking?  No

23  What was the last song you sang?  Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

24  What's your favourite number?  7

25  Where did you live in 1987?  Right here

26  What do you do when the vending machine eats your money?  Never use them.

27  Do you  kiss with your eyes open or closed?  It depends what I am kissing!

28  What was the last song you heard?  Video Games by Lana Del Rey

29  If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?  Italian.  Now that is a sexy language!

30  Have you ever seen a ghost?  Yes, we have one.

31  When was the last time you ever wrote a letter to someone and mailed it?  I just wrote a reply to an invitation.

32  Can you change the oil in a car?  In theory yes, but I leave the dirty jobs to the males in the family.

33  How far back do you know about your ancestry?  The early 1700s.

34  When showering, do you start the water and then get in, or get in and then start the water?  I'm not a masochist, so I run the water first - I hate to be cold!

35  Have you ever crashed a car?  No

36  Does every family have a crazy relative?  Look, you all know I'm a pickle!

37  Have you ever sent or made a crank call?  Not that I can recall.  But can I be cranky at times when on the phone to repairmen?  The answer has to be yes!

38  How old do you look?  It depends on the time of day!  And what I've been doing!

39  Should guys wear pink?  Not in my book

40  Have you ever done anything for which you could be arrested?  Define "arrested".

Sunny was right, these are decidedly unsexy, but who cares, it's late Sunday evening and I feel as if I cooked for the world today!

Night, night everyone.  Enjoy your Monday.  Ugh!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Spankee Doodle Dandy - want to be an Ambassador?

Ambassador Ami here!

Just wanted to tell you of this great up-coming event that you're bound to want to be a part of!

Be sure to write the dates on your calendars so you can participate in the contests which offer some wonderful prizes!

For those in the northern hemisphere, summer is here! What better way to celebrate summer vacations than to give (or receive) a sizzling hot spanking? After the rousing success of Love Spanks and Spank or Treat, Anastasia Vitsky and her team of spanking fiction authors have returned to bring you a collective Spankee Doodle Dandy story extravaganza.  It’s love and kisses for adults, and we do mean adults

Want to become a Spankee Doodle Dandy ambassador and earn an extra prize entry? See below!

Even better, participation could earn you a GRAND PRIZE!

Many authors will also be offering a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests! 

What’s the catch?  Absolutely nothing!  We love writing for you and want to thank you for your readership.  Perhaps someone might get a spanking or two, but that’s a reward rather than a catch, right?  ;)

Here are the rules:
  1. Visit each blog between the Thursday, June 20th and Sunday, June 23rd to read the posted stories and excerpts.
  2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog.  You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing.  You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if he or she has one.
  3. If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.
    Deadline is midnight EDT (UTC -4) on June 23rd!!
  4. If you successfully completed the Love Spanks or Spank or Treat challenge and visited all of the blogs for either challenge, you may add "VIP" to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Spankee Doodle Dandy challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)
  5. Visit any of the participating blogs on Thursday, June 27th to find out the lucky winners.  Will it be you?

Like these events? Want to support your friendly spanking fiction authors? Become a Spankee Doodle Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, send an email to ana_stasia2007 at yahoo dot com, with the subject line “Spankee Doodle Ambassador”.

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please

Participating authors:

Anastasia Vitsky
Celeste Jones
Constance Masters
Joseph McNamara
Kate Richards
Kathryn Blake
Maren Smith
Penelope Jones
Renee Rose
Starla Kaye
Sue Lyndon

and introducing our first ever guest participant (roll of drums here!)

Joey Gallo

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Happy Birthday Kat!

Ana kindly asked me whether I would like to help her celebrate Kat's birthday.  When I had picked myself up off the floor where I had fallen in astonishment, I suggested that Nat might like to buy flight tickets for a trip to England.

This, then, is my short snapshot of their holiday, and my humble interpretation of a 'birthday spanking'.

I should like this to be a tribute to Anastasia Vitsky for all her hard endeavours around Blogland.  She has helped me in more ways than she will ever truly know.  I just want to say I am working hard Ana, and even if I never get anywhere, I will have enjoyed the ride.  

If you have never read any of her books, I suggest you do so, she is a brilliant writer!

I hope you enjoy my little contribution. 

Kat shivered violently, pulling the collar of her raincoat firmly up around her chin.  A late spring squall had blown in from off the lake, and the idle wind howled round the sky-scrapers like it was moving into winter not summer.  The wind was 'idle' because people said it blew through you instead of around you.  Kat didn't care either way.  She kicked disconsolately at a piece of gravel, which spun around, flew three feet into the air, and pinged off the side of Natalie's car taking a chip out of her brand new paint job.

Kat gasped.  Natalie was talking, but her face froze mid-sentence as she gazed at the dime-sized patch of bare metal.  Her eyebrows lifted and she growled at Kat.

"Well thank's a bunch.  Look what you just did!"

"Oh for heaven's sake.  It's not as if I intended to do it" Kat huffed back.  "Do we have to go jogging on such a crap day?  I'm freezing under this coat.  All I can think of is sitting in Madison's Pattiserie eating a honey and pecan muffin and washing it down with a huge mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows sprinkled on top."

"Think again buster!"  Nat was not amused.  She bent down and examined the damage.  "I very well may blister your butt for this."

She gave it one last rub with her thumb before rising to her feet, grabbing Kat by the arm and twirling her around to face the car.  

Kat heard the locks pop open and then Nat had opened the door and scooted the passenger seat forwards.  

"Coat. In. Now."  Nat pointed to Kat's shower-proof mac and then to the back seat.  Her face looked stern and it was plain she wouldn't take any procrastination on Kat's behalf.

Kat slowly unbuttoned her mac and drew it off before flinging it in the back of the car.  She was wearing a figure-hugging plain white tee-shirt and a pair of dark blue jogging shorts.  She could see the goosepimples rising along her arms.  They looked more like miniature volcanoes than goosepimples.  She turned once more to Nat to try to change her mind.  A two mile jog along the lake's edge was her idea of hell.  

"You are being really cruel to me, Nat" she whined.

"Don't care" replied Natalie.  "It's for your own good.  When did you last do any exercise of your own volition?  This is for your benefit.  Look how much fitter you're getting.  Come on, just a few stretches.  You'll feel warmer when we've done a few hundred yards."

"Huh!" Kat grimaced, but she obediently started her stretches.  She didn't like the gleam in Nat's eyes.


The girls slowly completed their circuit, which took them up and away from the lake's edge and through the park.  Natalie was right.  Once they had warmed up, the wind seemed almost pleasant.

The last few hundred yards took them slightly downhill, through a glade of birch trees and back to the car.  Kat jogged on the spot while Nat pressed the key fob.  They had been doing this circuit for the last three weeks, and she was amazed to find she was hardly out of breath.  The first time they had come here, Nat had nearly been obliged to pick her up and carry her the last half a mile.  

They retrieved their coats, Natalie started the engine and Kat reached forward turning the heat pretty near full on.  She sat back and savoured the warmth as Nat drove home, ensuring she kept strictly to the speed limit.  It wasn't a long journey, and Kat let her eyes droop until they were closed.  When she opened them again, they were turning into their driveway.  She removed her seat belt and her hand went to the door handle.  Nat leaned over and stopped her.

Kat looked at Natalie questioningly.  Was Nat still mad about the chipped paintwork?

Nat's hand brushed the side of Kat's cheek.  "I'm so proud of you, Sweetie.  You've done so well this past few months.  I know how difficult things have been for you.  And all this jogging.  You haven't complained once, until today."

Kat's eyes widened.  Nat tucked a stray curl behind her ear and patted her gently on her nose.

"So I got you a bit of a surprise" she told her.

Kat's eyes were round like saucers.  She was desperate to know what the surprise was, but somehow the excitement and anticipation outweighed her need to know.  Surprises were good to savour.

"So I wanted to talk to you about tomorrow.  Did you really think I'd forget your birthday next week?" Nat asked her with a smile.

Kat looked down at her hands.  She felt embarrassed.  She knew that she was blushing.  She could feel the heat start down at her cleavage and move all the way up her neck and face to her hairline.  Last year, Nat had promised never, ever to forget her birthday, but even though it was still a whole week away, Nat hadn't so much as dropped a hint.  Now she felt guilty for her lack of trust.

"I'm so sorry, Nat.  I feel awful now.  It doesn't matter in the least if you forgot.  You're always too good to me.  It's like I have a birthday every day."

Natalie clasped her arms around Kat and gave her a big hug.  Kat looked so forlorn.  

"That was the real problem huh?  Not because I forced you to go for a jog in the cold wind?"  She was still smiling.  And still hugging.

"Come on.  Out you get.  I've got a surprise for you."

Kat rushed around the house to the back door, fumbling for her key.  

Back in the kitchen Natalie put on the kettle and went to hang up their coats. Kat got out two mugs and a tin containing peanut butter cookies.  By the time Nat came back, having stopped to freshen up and change into jeans and a long-sleeved tee-shirt, Kat had the tea and cookies carried through to their small back sitting room with the large glass windows that looked down over the gardens of other houses towards the cityscape that was Chicago.

She could barely contain her excitement any longer, and her eyes danced as she looked over to Nat.  "I can't wait a second longer, Nat, you have to tell me what this surprise is, because if you don't I'm just going to explode."

Nat looked at her fondly, biting her lower lip, and wondering whether she should stretch this out just a bit longer.  But the look on Kat's face caused her to shake her head slightly and take a small breath.

"Tomorrow we're going on vacation."  Kat was almost bouncing on her seat.  "We're taking a long distance flight."  Kat was bouncing now, in fact she nearly bounced right off her chair.  "But our destination is a secret.  Till we reach the airport that is.  You'll need your passport," she added.

Kat left her chair and leapt on to Natalie's knees, still bouncing.  She flung her arms around her neck and hugged and hugged.  Then she jumped up and danced around the room, singing at the top of her voice "We're going on vacation, we're going on vacation!"


Kat yawned and shifted around in her seat.  Natalie was still slumbering peacefully, her head resting back against the soft pillow the air stewardess had provided her with, together with the blanket that she had pulled over her knees and tucked in over her seatbelt.

Kat undid her own seatbelt and carefully moved around Nat and into the aisle.  She stretched.  Although, to her delight, Nat had booked them both on business class, she was still very stiff.  She found she was subconsciously rubbing her bottom.  Nat had eventually found it necessary to administer a little calming exercise in that direction.  She was sure she could still feel the burn.

She slipped into the toilet, thinking how much better these were than in the usual 'cattle class'.  There were an assortment of toiletries and even real towels.  She quickly combed her hair and spritzed herself with cologne.  How people managed to arrive off aeroplanes looking like fashion plates, she would never know, but at least she felt she had achieved some small semblance of order.

She grabbed some fruit and a couple of orange juices off the small side table in the galley, smiling a good morning to the stewardess, who was busy setting out breakfast trays.  Natalie was standing in the aisle, and running her fingers through her hair which seemed to be standing up on end.

"Morning, Nat" Kat greeted her and passed an orange juice.  Nat took a sip and then excused herself to go freshen up.  Kat climbed back into her seat, curling her legs up under her and gazing out of the window.  They were lower now, and she could see the ocean far beneath them.  Little white horses galloping over the waves.  The stewardess arrived with their breakfast trays.  

"We'll be commencing our descent in just under an hour" she informed Kat.

Kat was still so excited that her whole body was humming.  It was an excellent feeling.  When they had arrived at the airport and checked in for the London flight, she had very nearly been beside herself.  It had taken an enormous effort, and a threat of a visit to the 'Ladies' for a spanking, to stop her from completely bubbling over.  She just couldn't believe that Natalie had arranged for them to visit England.  She wanted to shout it out all over the terminal.  She nearly ran to board the aeroplane.  Nat had to grip her arm tightly to prevent her from doing so.

"But how did you manage this?" she had asked Nat.  "It's incredible.  I had no idea at all."

Nat laughed.  So far the surprise had been everything she had hoped for and more.

"Remember last autumn when we were at Angus and Minelle's for that barbecue party they threw for their English friends?  You must remember Ami and Dan?  They were visiting with a cousin of his over the other side of Chicago, and so they spent a few days with the Labrauns.  You must remember."

Kat thought back to the previous autumn.  It all came back to her.  They'd been invited over to the barbecue because Minelle had thought they might like to meet Ami and her husband Daniel.  

Angus had introduced Daniel to a couple of other guys and they were all grouped around the barbecue and seemingly trying to out drink each other on designer beer.  Minelle had pulled her and Nat over to introduce them to the other two ladies, and to Ami from England.

Minelle was demonstrating how to mix a Cosmopolitan, and Ami was mid-gasp.  Nat wasted no time in warning Kat to watch her alcohol intake.  Ami had caught her eye and understood the raised eyebrow.  They had winked at each other as an understanding passed between them.  

It had been a great evening.  They'd gotten on like a house on fire.  As Ami was hugging Nat when they were leaving, she had looked at them both and issued an invitation, that if ever they were in England, they were to give them a call, because they would be very welcome to visit.  Kat hadn't thought too much of it at the time, thinking it was good manners and nothing else.

However, it seemed that Nat had called Ami from Chicago and mentioned Kat's birthday, telling her that Kat had always expressed a desire to travel across the Atlantic.  Ami had immediately reinforced her invite and between them they had made secretive arrangements.

The breakfast trays were collected.  Kat looked out of the window and saw that they were flying over land.  There were small white houses dotting the landscape, then more ocean, and then a rugged coastline that she assumed must be England.  She leant nearer to the glass.  Nat smiled at her and reached out for her hand, her thumb grazing her knuckles with a gentle circular motion.  Seeing Kat's joy made her so happy.

Now they were passing over a patchwork quilt of fields - greens, browns, and the brightest of yellows, even a splash or two of blue.  

The seat-belt signs went on and the captain announced they would soon be commencing their approach into one of the large London airports.  Ami had explained to Nat at the time of booking, which airport was the nearest, from their point of view.  The large Virgin aircraft glided gracefully down the runway, finally coming to a halt before turning and taxiing towards the terminal.  In no time at all they were disembarking and heading towards passport control and customs.


Ami was unmissable.  She was wearing a ridiculous pink straw hat in order to be noticed, and holding up a sign that unmistakably read "Birthday Girl!" in large glitzy capitals.  Daniel was by her side looking sheepish and a tad embarrassed, but there were hugs and kisses for them both, before they headed for the exit and the car park, where Dan had left his car.

In no time at all they were speeding down the motorway and heading in the direction of Ami and Dan's home.

They left the motorway for smaller main roads, though they were still dual carriageways.  The brilliant colours of the fields were amazing.  Neither Nat nor Kat could remember having seen such vibrant greens ever before, and the fields were smaller than in the States and there were hedges everywhere.  Ami explained that they lived in a part of the UK which was mainly arable land, and provided grain for the brewing industry.  She told them that although she didn't like beer herself, a trip to a brewery was definitely on the cards.

The journey seemed relatively short.  Daniel's car was comfortable, and there was so much talking and laughing that it made the time fly.

As they pulled into Ami and Daniel's driveway they fell silent.  Gravel crunched under tyres as they passed slowly along between meadowland.  Some of the fields had horses in them, which lifted their heads and twitched their ears, before swishing their tails and going back to grazing amongst the buttercups.  Their coats were glossy and their noses looked like velvet to Nat and Kat.

The car drew up outside the house.  It was very old and had a lopsided look about it.  Daniel got out and opened the doors for the ladies before opening the boot and retrieving their cases and hand luggage, which he stacked ready to take into the house.

"I put you at the other end of the house from us.  I hope that's okay.  But it's the only other room with an ensuite.  If you need a bath you'll have to use the family bathroom as it only has a shower."  Ami ushered them into the kitchen.

It was like nothing Nat or Kat had ever seen.  The ceiling was so low.  Anyone over six foot would have to stoop under some of doorways.  There were beams everywhere.  It was warm and welcoming.  As Ami had warned them, she was definitely not minimalist!

They were given a lightening tour and shown to their room, which was under the eaves looking out over the vegetable garden.  It was quiet and comfortable.  Blues and creams.  Ami had suggested they rest till lunchtime.  Long flights were always exhausting, and red-eyes were the worst.

Kat sank down gratefully pulling the lightweight summer duvet over her legs.  It wasn't long before Nat joined her.  Within minutes, they were both asleep.


Three days had passed since Nat and Kat had arrived in England.  They were days packed with interest, discovery, excitement and pure unadulterated joy.  Kat couldn't remember ever having experienced such endless pleasure.

They had taken the train to London and stayed overnight doing the main tourist attractions like Buck House and the Tower.  They'd both been happy to return to the peace and quiet of the countryside.  Their feet were sore with tramping pavements all day, and the number of people, from all corners of the world, had been overwhelming.  Ami had remarked that she was always happy to get home after being in the city for any length of time.  They had thought Chicago a busy place, until they witnessed London in the summer.

Tomorrow would be Kat's birthday.  Even Natalie was not sure what to expect.  Ami and Dan had planned a special outing for them.  When questioned, all Ami would say was that she thought they needed to be treated to a slice of 'old England' at its best.  And that was all she would say.

Kat woke early.  At least she thought it was until she looked at the clock on the bedside table.  It said eight o'clock.  Nat was no where in sight.  She shot up and quickly visited the bathroom before flinging on her robe and galloping down the stairs.

She trotted along the little passageway and into the kitchen.  The floor bricks were cold beneath her bare feet.  She had been in too much of a rush to even think about putting her mules on her feet.

Strung across the large beam that traversed the kitchen ceiling was a large silver banner.  It read "Happy Birthday Kat"!

She heard voices coming from the small terrace to the side of the house.  She fought her way through a mixture of trailing honeysuckle and clematis, and found Nat, Daniel and Ami seated around a wooden table that was laid for breakfast.  Ami had spread it with a brightly checked tablecloth and place settings that seemed to have roosters all over them.  In fact, when she thought about it, Ami's whole kitchen seemed to be covered in chickens!

"Good morning, Birthday Girl".  Ami rushed forward and gave her a hug and a kiss.  "Come and sit down and have some juice.  Do you prefer tea or coffee for breakfast?  And would you like a traditional English breakfast?  Or something lighter?"

Nat and Daniel both hugged and kissed her wishing her Many Happy Returns.  Kat considered.  "Hmmm.  I think I'll just start with toast and some of your home made marmalade, thanks.  Juice will be good, and I'd love some coffee please."

Ami disappeared back into the kitchen and Kat sipped her juice.

"So, Kat.  We're planning on taking you out today.  Somewhere traditionally English, and hopefully a bit different from what you are used to" Daniel told her.  "Ami had this bee in her bonnet from the minute she knew you would be visiting.  I think you'll enjoy yourself too, Nat."  Daniel turned to her.  "We want you both to have a good time here in England.  People come to visit, but they often miss the 'real' parts of English life.  We want to give you both some good memories to take home with you."

"Oh, Dan" Nat patted his hand.  "You couldn't have been more kind to us.  This is all like a dream."  She turned to Ami, who had reappeared from the kitchen and was off-loading a tray full of coffee, toast, croissants, butter and marmalade.  "You led us to believe it always rained here.  That it was always cold and miserable."  She breathed in the fresh morning air, and watched a couple of large bees buzzing around the flowers.  The sun caught their furry bodies and the dusting of pollen gave the impression of pure gold.

Ami had sped off yet again.  But this time she returned quickly.

"These are for you Sweetie" she dumped a whole heap of cards and presents wrapped in bright colours on the table in front of Kat.

Kat gasped and looked at Natalie who was looking like the Cheshire Cat.

"All for me?"

"I don't see anyone else around here with a birthday" Ami smiled at her.

"You'd better open them" Daniel instructed her.  "If you don't, you'll find they'll get opened them for you!"

Kat shrieked and started ripping paper.  Natalie had brought several cards with her from their friends.  After opening each one Kat set them up all over the table.  Some were funny and some were pretty.  She didn't know which she preferred.  Nat had written the most beautiful words in her card.  Kat felt tears fill her eyes.  She couldn't help but give her a big hug.  

Ami and Dan had given her an amusing card.  Something to do with taking the day off and having a bubble bath.  

Then she opened her gifts.  Her presents from Ami and Dan were a selection of English Lavender toiletries, a pair of velvet slippers with large satin bows, and a couple of tickets to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.  She was speechless.  Nat had, of course, paid for the entire trip to England, but she also gave her a box of English chocolates, and had paid for the train tickets to Stratford and a hotel there for the night.

"We're also going to pull in a visit to Cambridge when you return from Stratford.  Actually, it's difficult to choose where to take you, because there are so many places you really should visit.  A week isn't long enough.  You'll have to come again!"  Ami laughed.

"But we need to think about today" Daniel interrupted.  "I think you should be ready by eleven o'clock.  We'll eat out tonight at an old pub.  It's heavily beamed.  It used to be a coaching inn.  Lots of atmosphere.  Come on girls!  Get your arses into gear!"

Kat laughed.  Nat helped her gather up her presents and cards, and Ami quickly cleared the table and put the dishes into the dishwasher.  

It looked like being a hot day, and Ami put on a floaty summer sun dress and sandals.  A quick spray of Light Blue, some dangly earrings, and she grabbed a cardigan, just in case.

Nat put on a pair of white cropped cotton trousers and a bright pink top, and Kat wore a navy pair with a green top.  They fought over earrings, and they both sprayed themselves liberally with Kat's new lavender cologne.

Daniel was surprised to see women ready ahead of time for once.  Ami smirked. "I usually have to wait for Dan" she explained to them.

Daniel was getting used to having a harem.  He felt it to be very good for his ego.

They set off, this time using country lanes and passing through pretty villages with thatched cottages clustered around village greens.  Both Nat and Kat oooohed and aaaahed.

"It's okay" assured Ami, "You'll like where you are going."

"The getting there is good too," assured Nat.

"I think I can hear music" yelled Kat with her head hanging out of the window.

Daniel pulled into a nearby meadow being used as a makeshift car park.  There seemed to be hundreds of other vehicles of all types, and many people making their way to the centre of the village.

Looking up as they walked along the lane Nat spied a banner strung between two oak trees.  "Barsham Strawberry Fayre" it read.  She glanced at Kat, caught her eye and they both giggled with excitement.

Ami linked arms with both of them.  "This happens every year in early June" she explained.  "The highlight is the "Strawberry Teas" which are served all day.  But it is an old-fashioned Fayre, and people visit from miles around.  It is almost entirely steam-powered.  The big old steam engines are fascinating.  Daniel would love to buy one and take it home as a pet!"  She and Dan shared a knowing look.  "However, you will see all their uses as we walk around.  One of them turns a huge carousel, you know the type, with the horses that go up and down?  There are others that turn different types of roundabouts, and if you go down into the meadow towards the stream, there is a whole line up of them powering thrashing machines, which is how they used to get the corn out of the husks, in years gone by, before combine harvesters."

She waved her arm in another direction.  "There's a small gymkhana over there, with lots of silly games for the children like a sack race and an egg and spoon.  Over there, where that large marquee is, they have the vegetable and flower show.  Then there is a cake-baking competition, a coconut shie , several white elephant stalls, lots of raffles, and enough food and drink to keep the third world going for half a year."

Daniel had met a friend and stopped to chat.  "I'll catch up with you later on, girls" he called.  "Don't get into any trouble" he added with a wink.

They had a wonderful time.  It felt like they walked for miles.  They had a go on every roundabout (except the one for very small children), and three goes on the 'horses'.  They cheered on the competitors in the gymkhana events, and watched in awe as the huge steam engines turned various types of old-fashioned farm machinery.  Nat and Kat even got invited up on the footplate of one of them.

Eventually they were feeling in need of refreshment.  They made their way over to where the "all day" teas were being served and sank into three of the four chairs around a small wicker table.  Daniel had obviously gotten sidetracked. Ami immediately removed her sandals and stretched her feet out, fanning herself with a napkin.  It was very warm.  Both Nat and Kat wished they had worn dresses instead of cut-offs.  The first cup of tea went down very well.  Ami had coffee.  She didn't care for tea.

"Very un-English" Nat told her.

It didn't matter.  They managed to polish off several scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and a rather large basin each of fresh strawberries.  Nat was holding her tummy and Kat was groaning with "fullness".

"Tell you what" Ami leaned forward in a conspiratorial way.  "Over there, in that marquee, is a wine-tasting with a difference.  They are all 'country wines' made from things like damsons, blackberries and elderberries.  There may even be some sloe gin. Shall we go and sample some?"

"Oh yes" said Kat.  "But what is 'slow gin'?  I didn't even realise gin could be fast or slow?"

Ami wailed with laughter.  She laughed so much that both Nat and Kat joined in, laughing at themselves.

"Silly" she said.  "It's made with 'sloes'.  They are small, round, black berries which grow on quickthorn bushes.  They are very bitter.  You can't eat them.  But if you prick them all over with a pin and put them in a bottle with some sugar, and fill them up with gin, they turn into the most magnificent and warming drink in time for winter, and Christmas.  Come on," she got up from her chair.  "Let's go see what they've got.  You could even buy some to take home with you."

Although Natalie wondered whether this was going to turn out to be such a good idea as it had first sounded, she readily agreed to take the opportunity to try some "old fashioned" local wines.

They started with Blackberry, and steadily worked their way through Damson, Elderberry, Parsnip, Elderflower, Rhubarb and Blackcurrant.  By the time they got to the 'gins' Kat and Ami were having trouble standing upright.  Nevertheless, Ami persisted. Nat had been taking very small sips and leaving the rest.  She hated the feeling of over-imbibing.  It always made her end up with a bad headache, a feeling of nausea and a very dry mouth.  So she was always careful.  Had they been alone, she would have removed Kat from the marquee by force if necessary, but it was her birthday after all, and Ami was clasping her hand and leading her from stall to stall.    

Kat preferred the Damson Gin and Nat preferred the Sloe Gin.  Ami couldn't make up her mind. 

Natalie looked around anxiously for Daniel. Handling Kat was one thing, but Ami was a whole new ball game.  She loved Ami from the outset, but she didn't envy Daniel the fact that he had a headstrong hooligan on his hands.

Ami was past caring.  Each sample of wine, and then gin, was very small.  It was the number of them that was the problem.  Kat's face was red and she was fanning herself with her hand.  Ami giggled and picked up yet another small glass of Sloe Gin, tossing it back.  She saw Kat staring at something over her right shoulder.  Turning slowly she saw Daniel.  He was standing by the entrance to the marquee looking towards them.  He looked very serious.  She saw Nat shake her head slightly at his questioning gaze.  He came towards them.  He didn't look pleased.

"I think you've had enough Ami" he told her with a sigh.  "I'm sorry Nat, but I think we should get these two home don't you?  We'll forage in the house, I think to stop at a pub now would be nuts."

"We had a great time thank you Daniel" Nat assured him.  "But this wine is all much stronger than it looks.  If you're not careful your legs can develop a life of their own."

"They certainly can" he agreed, looking darkly at his wife.  "Come on Ami.  You've tried far too many.  You'll make yourself sick."

Daniel took Ami by the arm and Nat put her arm around Kat.  "This is not good Kat" she whispered.  "The words are "in moderation"."  Kat stumbled.  "Oh glory, I think we need to have a little chat when we get home."


Both Ami and Kat fell asleep in the car.  Daniel wore a 'set' face and Natalie had her arm around Kat's shoulders.  Kat was resting her head on Nat's left shoulder.

Both women looked up in surprise when the car turned on to the gravel drive.  

"Goodness, home already?" asked Ami.


"Oh my head."

"Serves you right.  I have no sympathy whatsoever" Daniel muttered.  

Once they were back in the kitchen Daniel poured them both large glasses of water.

"Drink that" he instructed them. "It's a good job I came along when I did.  Didn't it occur to you that it's a warm day and you were drinking far too much?"

Ami got some paracetamol from the cupboard.  She gave the pack to Kat.  They both looked pretty well sorry for themselves.

"I suppose I got carried away" she admitted sorrowfully.  "Are you okay Kat?"

"I'm fine" Kat replied, wincing.  Her head ached.  "You Brits sure know how to make wine.  That damson gin tasted like damson-flavoured moonshine."

"How would you know what moonshine tastes like?" Nat asked her.

"I may just have tried some in my dim and distant past" Kat informed her.  

They sat in the sitting room side by side with their feet up.  Both Daniel and Natalie kept them supplied with glasses of water.

"It's to prevent dehydration" Nat told them.  "With a bit of luck you should avoid the worst of the hangover."

Ami hardly dared look at Kat.  She was feeling better now, and very guilty.  Not surprisingly Kat had the same guilty look on her face.

Eventually Ami felt normal enough to get some supper.  She worked quietly in the kitchen preparing salads and slicing a mixture of cold meats.  She carried everything carefully out to the same terrace where they had sat for breakfast. It would be good to get some food in her stomach.  She was beginning to feel water-logged, but Daniel had nearly snarled at her when she'd suggested they keep to plan and got out to the local pub to eat.

Supper was a bit more subdued than normal, but it was a pleasant meal and they all made the most of the warm evening.

After they had cleared away the dishes and stacked the dishwasher Daniel took Ami by the arm.  He turned to Nat and Kat, a gleam in his eyes.

"Ami and I just need to go upstairs for a little discussion, girls.  We shouldn't be too long, but there is something I need to get settled."  He led her away towards the stairs.  Ami seemed a bit reluctant, Kat thought.  Natalie merely smiled.

She turned to Kat.  "Do you think we might need the same sort of a discussion Kat?" she asked her.

Kat shifted uncomfortably knowing that she was going to be a great deal more uncomfortable later.

"Come along Kat dear.  Let's get it over with now, before it gets too late."

Natalie stood and offered Kat her hand.

"But it's my birthday Nat" Kat whined.

"Hmmm, you're right.  I'd nearly forgotten" Nat smiled knowingly.  "Do Ami and Daniel know about our custom for a 'birthday spanking'?

Kat looked horrified.  "...Er.  I don't think so" she said softly, wondering whether or not she may have told Ami.

"Well, tonight would be a good time to introduce them to it, now wouldn't it?" she looked exceedingly smug.

"Come along.  Let's get our 'private' little discussion out of the way first shall we?"

Meanwhile, Ami and Daniel were having their own 'little discussion'.

Ami was bent over the end of the bed grasping a pillow for all she was worth. Her bottom was a deep shade of rose.  It was about to get a whole lot deeper.  Daniel brandished the leather paddle.  Strange that it had a rose on it too.

The spanks came about every two seconds.  The paddle made a swishing sound as it sailed through the air.

"I don't like it when you drink to excess. Swat, swat.  It doesn't do you any good, swat, swat, and it doesn't look good to see my wife giggling her head off swat, swat, and trying every bottle, swat, swat, in sight.  Swat, swat.

Ami started to howl into the pillow.  She was terrified the sound would reach the other end of house.  The walls and doors were old and thin, even if it was a good distance.

Daniel threw down the leather paddle and picked up the bath brush.  Ami wailed as it collided with her sit-spots.  

"Oh Dan, stop!  You've got to stop!  I can't take any more!" she sobbed.

"So what do you want to say then Ami?" Daniel asked her sternly, swat, swat.

"I'm sorry Daniel.  I'm sorry.  I'll never visit the local wine tent again!  Not ever!  Oh Dan, stop, please stop!"  She went limp, her face hidden in the damp white linen.  

Daniel threw the bath brush on the bed and pulled her up and into his arms.

"It's not good for you, Ami.  Too much sugar.  You know it yet you always give in to temptation.  I love you.  I want you around a bit longer you know, darling."  He hugged her and kissed her wet face.  She continued to cry, her sobs gradually quieting and becoming more of a sniffle.  Daniel handed her a tissue.  He sat on the bed and sat her on his knees, continuing to hold her tightly.  Ami could hardly sit, and Daniel noticed her bottom was not only good and red, it was good and hot as well.  

After a while she was quiet apart form the occasional hiccup.

Nat had pulled Kat into their room, and shut the door firmly behind them.  She sat down on the chair next to the chest of drawers, and stood Kat in front of her.  Kat looked down miserably, her fingers knotting and unknotting.

"You know what to do Sweetie" Nat took Kat's hands in hers and tugged her down over her lap, adjusting her bottom upwards.  She reached underneath and undid the fastener at the waist of Kat's jeans, and then slid them down to her knees.  

Kat dangled over Nat's lap and placed her hands on the floor.  She could just reach the floor with her toes on Nat's other side, but she felt Nat gently place her right knee over both of her legs.  This was going to hurt then.

Nat started spanking using her hand over Kat's white bikini panties.  The swats came thick and fast, and boy did they sting.  Kat shifted uncomfortably.  She knew it was just the warm up.

"You know the rules for alcohol, Kat," Nat told her.  "We are guests here.  We can't go acting like idiots.  It doesn't look good.  And anyway, you know yourself how alcohol makes you feel.  You were very lucky not to have been very sick with the amount you drank.  Even with the small amount I had I could begin to feel its effect."  She continued to swat steadily.  She could see the deep pink where Kat's panties left her cheeks bare.

"Lift up Sweetie.  This is going to hurt me far more than it hurts you!"

Kat would have laughed it she wasn't so uncomfortable, and guilty.  Nat adjusted her bottom, and then she reached sideways, opened one of the drawers, and removed Kat's hairbrush.

Kat shivered in anticipation.

The hairbrush came down three times on the same spot.  Then it did the same on the other cheek.  Kat burst into tears.  

"I'm so sorry, Nat.  I just wasn't thinking.  I was having such a good time," she wailed.

"Then perhaps this will be a good reminder to think in future, Kat.  This sort of behaviour just isn't fitting.  You could taste those wines quite easily just by having a small sip of each one.  There was no need to slug the entire shot glass each time."

"I know, I know.  Please stop, Nat, please stop.  I've learned my lesson," sobbed Kat.

Natalie continued to connect hairbrush with bottom for quite a while longer.  When she was sure that Kat had really wouldn't repeat her behaviour she stopped and helped her upright.  Kat sat very gingerly on Nat's lap and cried into her neck, wetting her tee-shirt.

"I never want to drink any of that awful wine ever again," she vowed.

"Oh Sweetie, that would be a shame.  I bought two bottles to take home with us.  Surely you're not going to let me drink it on my own?" Nat smiled lovingly at her, and brushed the recalcitrant curl back from her forehead.

Downstairs, after both Ami and Kat had washed their faces and brushed their hair, all four friends sat enjoying mugs of latte and watching the sun set over the distant water meadows.  

Daniel reflected that only a few years ago an incident like this would have led to yelling, screaming and slamming doors.  Now it was all put to rest.  It would never again be mentioned.  Until the next time that was.

Ami, perked up by the coffee, looked at Kat.

"Tell me something, Kat" she said, "Didn't you say that birthday spankings were a custom in the US?"

Kat shifted on the cushion she had carried out of the house to place on the wooden seat, and glared at Ami.

Then they all burst into fits of laughter.

"I guess you have both gotten birthday spankings this year" Nat informed them.  "Only yours, Ami, was just a few months early.  I'm sure Daniel will be only too happy to repeat the performance."

Still laughing, Daniel acknowledged the perspicacity of this remark.


The week had been wonderful.  Beyond wonderful, it had been magnificent.  A week to remember all her life.

Kat sat on the aeroplane as it flew steadily through the vast blue sky above the Atlantic.

She'd been lucky enough to see England at its best.  Bright sunshine, friendly people, interesting places.

And all the fun of the Fayre!!!!

This is the first book in the series, and underneath is Lighting the Way, which is due out very soon.

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You can find Anastasia Vitsky at