Mum was going away with a friend to a wedding one weekend when I was about 9 or 10 and I was deposited at my gran’s for her to look after me for the weekend. Normally, I would have loved it. We made buns and such like, and went for walks in the countryside. She lived outside a small village about 15 minutes from home. However, this particular weekend, my friend Jamie Pollard was having her 10th birthday party on Saturday and as gran was currently without a motor car it meant I would have to miss it.

I was already sulking when I arrived, but gran did her best to cheer me up. I know it wasn’t her fault I couldn’t go, it was mum’s and she did manage to take my mind off it on the Friday evening. We made a cake and took her dog to the woods for a long walk. It was mid-May, so the evenings were light until quite late which I always loved. We watched TV for a while and I settled down to bed at about 9.30.

Next morning, I asked gran if we could get a bus home as I really wanted to go to the party. Gran smiled and said no, it was too far. The sulking resumed. Gran asked if I wanted to watch TV with her. I just said no, I wanted to go to my party. Would I like to go for a walk with the dog, to which I responded with something along the lines of yes, but only if it is to go home for the party. Gran was getting a little exasperated by now, and just at that moment, the doorbell rang and Mrs Wiggins from over the road was standing there with a pie dish which she was returning. Gran had apparently made her an apple and raisin pie last week and she had just finished it. She returned the dish with a glowing critique of the pie. Mrs Wiggins asked me if I liked apple and raisin pie. Of course my answer was predictable; it was no, but I love birthday cake! Gran just rolled her eyes and explained to Mrs Wiggins, who tutted and left.

Gran busied herself getting dinner ready, even though it was still only 11.30 am. I declined to help her when asked, saying there was plenty of food going spare at the party. I knew I was pushing gran now, that was sort of the point. Soon, she would snap, I reasoned, and take me to the bus stop. The number 27 runs every hour on the hour to our town, then the number 12 goes to our estate. We could be home in 30 minutes. I had 20 minutes to persuade her so I put my heart and soul into it. By now, I could see she was starting to get genuinely cross and I thought one more push and I would be there. I told her if we got a move one we could make the number 27 easily, we could even take Rupert, her dog. She told me in no uncertain terms to stop going on about the party. I was not going, she had a friend coming around dinner with us later, and that was what had been arranged. That was the first I had heard of that plan and threw what could only be described as a tantrum. It was so unfair; you get to do what you like and I have to miss out, as usual.

That last line did it! She lectured me on how she was always doing things for mum and me, which she did not mind as she enjoyed it enormously, especially living alone as she did since grandpa died around the time I was born. She told me that if I did not adjust my attitude, she would adjust if for me. That was a red rag to a bull. I started screaming about what she had ever done for me, except what she wanted to do and I just had to go along with it. That was it. Even I realised I had gone too far. A little too late, I stopped my ranting. The next thing I knew, gran had taken me by the hand and was taking me into the sitting room. She pulled out the piano stool and plonked her bottom down with a thud as she sat on it. In a blur, I felt myself leave the ground and land face down over gran’s lap. Surely she wasn’t going to spank me, not at my age. She had not spanked me since I was about 8. Her hand came crashing down on my upturned bottom and my legs kicked for all they were worth, but being a good 6 inches off the ground, they were essentially treading water. Her hand crashed into my behind again and again, and I was starting to get more and more angry and frustrated at being punished for her selfishness. How dare she. I felt my dress being pulled up and I reached back to cover my panties, but she just held my arms and spanked on. She paused for a moment. I felt her reaching forwards and I tried to struggle free. She warned me to stay still and then whack! My bottom exploded in pain and I realised she had been taking off her slipper, which she was now applying to my bottom with quite a lot of force, or so it felt at that tender age. Five more times her slipper made its mark across my bottom before, now sobbing my heart out, I went limp, the anger and hatred dissipated.

Gran immediately finished the spanking, spun me around and gave me a long, deep hug. I could feel the top of my head getting wet, so Gran must have been crying too. I remember that once we had both hugged for a few minutes she dried both our eyes and said she hoped she would never need to do that again, but would if it was needed. As I stood holding my bottom, I promised to be good and, besides, who wants to go to a stupid kids party in any case?