Some years ago, mum took my sister, April, and I to the Lake District one summer for a week’s camping holiday. Cash was tight and this was a great way of getting away reasonably cheaply. I was really up for the adventure.

We arrived mid-afternoon one Saturday and the traffic, remarkably, had not been too bad until the last few miles. We were staying on a small camping site about a half mile from Coniston. We had brought a blow up dinghy, swimming gear and a few other things to keep us amused, or so mum hoped. We pitched the family-sized tent, which we had borrowed from a good friend of mum’s, and got settled in. The site had a small shop for absolute basics, a toilet and shower block, and several small attached fields where families were allowed to play and explore as they were being used to grow hay for the sheep over winter and had just been cut.

Sunday dawned, and I suppose the clue is in the name; Lake District. The sky was dark grey and the rain was torrential. We played a few games of snap and other card games in the tent before getting bored. When the rain eased after lunch, we decided to brave the weather and took the rubber dinghy and pump as we in hand trekked off down the road to one of the access points to Coniston Water itself.

Needless to say, it was very quiet and we got the dingy set up and away in less than 10 minutes. However, we were soon so cold and wet that we headed back to shore. Fortunately, mum had brought cheese sandwiches and a flask of piping hot tomato soup. Having deflated the dinghy, which always seems to take three times longer than blowing it up, we headed back to camp. By now, the skies were starting to look rather less stormy and more like a holiday sky. Even the rain was barely more than a drizzle now.

Mum ushered us off to the shower block to get cleaned up, changed and warm. The water on the men’s side was warm, but nowhere near as nice as the shower at home. Mum had told me the ladies’ showers were lovely the previous evening. I waited for my sister, April, who emerged wearing a short dress and flip flops as testament to the improving conditions overhead.  She was quite subdued and looked at the ground as we were passed by the lady who owned the site along with her husband.

No sooner were we back at our tent, when there was a ‘knock’ and I opened the huge outer zip to find the owner standing there looking very cross. She must have virtually followed us back. She told mum that someone had broken the head off of one of the showers. Only one cubical had been wet, and that was the one with the broken head. Putting 2 and 2 together, given no one else was in the shower block at the time, it seemed that April must have broken it.

April burst into tears. No wonder she had been so glum on the way back after seeing the owners. Mum asked April if she had done it, and to her credit she did admit it. The owner said they had one broken at Easter in the same way and that had cost £45 to mend. With our limited budget, mum was not best pleased in the least at the prospect of having to pay £45. She of course offered to pay and the owner departed with mum’s cheque in her hand, leaving April to face the music.

Mum stepped out of the tent and had a good look around, presumably checking if anyone was about. It was obvious, coming back from the showers, that with the improving weather everyone had finally left to enjoy the surroundings. Mum scurried back inside and closed the flaps with the huge zip, before giving April the biggest telling-off I had ever heard.

April explained the water was not coming out of the shower quick enough and banged it against the wall in case there was a blockage. After four or five blows, the shower head split it two and the water just shot out like a hose pipe. She said she didn’t mean to do it. Mum was still not at all happy and told April that she was going to get her bottom spanked here and now. April pleaded that she was far too old to have her bottom spanked. Mum responded by telling her she would never be too old for her own mother to spank her bottom if she thought it would do any good.

Mum pulled a camping chair into the middle of the main living space, took hold of April, and as she sat down on the camping chair, she unceremoniously took my sister across her lap. I didn’t know what to do. I had seen April spanked many times, but not for quite a time. April tells me mum usually spanked her on her knickers, but sometimes it would be on her bare bottom, and I did not think it right that I saw that, not at her age.

Mum scolded April again, saying we can’t afford to waste that amount of money. Then, without warning, mum raised her hand and brought it crashing down on the seat of April’s dress with a sound slapping noise. April yelped, and yelped again as mum’s hand repeated the motion. I well remember being in that position myself and knew it would be stinging. Soon after maybe eight or ten smacks, mum tugged April’s dress up over her bottom, revealing her knickers and lower edges of her bottom edges where the effects of mum’s spanking were plain to see. I should have left, or at least not watched, but I have to admit standing transfixed by the spectacle.

April was crying as mum started to spank directly onto her knickers, which had unfortunately migrated more towards the centre during her spanking, revealing more and more of her increasingly reddening bottom. Mum tugged at the knickers and, for a brief second, I and I think April thought that they were coming down, but she was spreading them back out again. Phew! A few more loud slaps landed before mum was satisfied April had been spanked enough, and stopped smacking her bottom.

April jumped up, still sobbing, and rushed to the door, unzipped it, and ran out, leaving the flap hanging. It was only then that mum and I spotted there was a family of four standing only some 15 yards away who clearly had heard the noise, realised what was happening and stood to listen. Indignantly, mum pulled the zip back around the flap and pretended they were not there. She said she was sorry I had to watch that and, after a couple of minutes to allow the bystanders a chance to make their escape, sent me to find April and make sure she was alright.

I found April just coming out of the shower block, her eyes all red and puffy, whilst rubbing her bottom gently. I put a brotherly arm around her and she buried her face in my chest until she had finished her second cry. She told me how bad she felt, especially about the money, and she hoped it didn’t spoil the holiday now.

I confided that mum seemed upset at having to spank her once again, but that maybe she should go and give mum a big hug, as I think mum needed one as much as April did. We went back to the tent to find mum tidying up. April took my advice and gave mum a hug and I am sure I saw one tear escaping mum’s eye as she rubbed her head against April’s hair and kissed her head tenderly.

That incident was now behind us. From then on, the weather improved and the temperature rose higher. On Tuesday, we were just about to leave for the lake when the owner appeared at our tent door. Fearing bad news, April and I stood back whilst mum spoke with her. We could not quite hear what was being said, but mum returned with quite a happy disposition before showing us two crisp £5 notes. The owner had given her £10 back as the repairs cost less than she thought, so mum decided to treat us with a large ice cream down at the lake.

I do not remember much else about that holiday, so it must have gone well and I do know mum still speaks fondly of that trip. She never did mention the shower incident again.