When I was about 17 years old, went on holiday in France. Mum, dad and my sister Chloe were staying at a gite in Normandy, about 500m from a D-day landing beach.

Chloe and dad were off exploring yet again, mum was getting lunch ready, and I was bored out of my mind. A dream family holiday on the landing beaches is great if you are into the history of World War 2, which I was not.

I wandered through a couple of fields on a footpath which led to a small farm yard surrounded by apple trees with small bright red fruit in every direction. I was wearing a tee shirt and a short red skirt with pockets on either side. Feeling a little hungry, I thought I would try some apples and quickly picked 3 or 4 and stuffed them in my pocket. I sat on a small bench under one of the trees and took another shiny red apple to eat there and then. I took a bite. Agh, it was horrible! Juicy, but tart with almost no sweetness. I spat it out and threw the others away in anger. Little did I know at that age that Normandy was famous for far more than the 6th June 1944, and this was a large cider apple orchard.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder and I stood up and turned around quickly with a start to be greeted by the sight of a plump French lady dressed in a tee shirt and dungarees. She started speaking loudly and quickly in French, clearly not at all happy. In my schoolgirl French, I got her to understand I didn’t understand French, so she switched to broken English which was far better than my French would ever be. The conversation went something like this:

“What you do on my farm? It private, you not taking apples,” she barked.

“Sorry madame, I did not know they are not nice to eat,” I replied slowly like English people always do to non-English speakers.

“Non, taking of apples forbidden. Understand?” she tried again to make me understand. “I cider makers, this my living!”

“Yes, I understand now. I am very sorry, madame. Very sorry. OK?”

“No, not OK. You very bad, err, naughty. Where you parents?” she asked. “They here with you?”

“No, they are back at our gite,” I explained.

“Very well, I deal with you then,” came her reply.

Unsure of what was happening, I stood rooted to the spot. Maybe I should have followed my instinct and legged it at that point. I was young and a good sprinter at school, but I stood rooted to the spot as the lady, still with her hand on my shoulder, came to my side of the bench. Then, in one blur of a movement, she planted her ample bottom on the bench beside me, took a firm grip of my left wrist and pulled me, pony tail flying, across her chubby but firm lap. Before my brain could make sense of what was happening, a sharp burning pain ripped through my bottom. As I struggled and turned my head to look behind myself, I finally worked it out. I was being spanked. I had never been punished in this way before. Mum and dad were corner-time parents and at school, lines or detention was the limit of the sanctions allowed.

I could not believe this was happening. A total stranger was spanking my bottom with her hand in the middle of a field in France. More spanks landed across by bottom, stinging and burning with every slap. After 10 or 12 spanks, she let me go and I jumped up my, bottom feeling like I had fallen onto the glowing embers of a fire, though that soon started to pass. I jumped about and quickly reached back and rubbed my bottom for all I was worth.

“What was that? You can’t do that to a stranger!” I shouted in anger.

“You must not go on other people’s farm and steal,” she responded.

She had a point, I suppose, but I was not happy she had taken it upon herself to spank me. I consoled myself that at least it was over, and no one else had seen or heard my punishment. With little else I could say or do, I said sorry one more time and went back to the gite the way I had come. I walked slowly on my return trip, thinking about what had just happened. The pain had faded into a warm glow, which to my astonishment was now beginning to feel quite pleasant, in an unfamiliar way.

“Where have you been, daydreaming in the fields?” asked mum. “Get washed up, lunch will be ready in a few minutes. Dad and Chloe have just got back from the museum. Have you caught the sun? Your cheeks are a little red, dear.”

“Something like that. I met a French farmer who taught me a thing or two about the apples around here. They use them for cider,” I replied and went inside and into the bathroom, where I locked the door. Once inside, I whipped up my skirt, dropped my panties and inspected the results of the earlier spanking. My red blotchy bottom now tingled to the touch as the effects of the spanking wore off.

That was the very first time I was spanked over someone’s knee.