Sunday, February 19, 2023

Marie-Chantal in Scotland, part 1

At eighteen, I barely had my French baccalaureate, and failed the entrance exams of two business schools. I worked a year as a bank teller, thanks to Papa, and hated it. I asked to see the bank's career counselor, and was told that with a literature baccalaureate without honors, my only hope to join a business school was to be multilingual with English and German.

Papa said that I should start with English. With help from his friends at the bank's international desk, he contacted British partners. They introduced a colleague's family wiling to take me for a year. Dear Papa announced they are Scottish, and he flew early in the morning to meet them. When he returned late in the evening he was enthusiastic.

"They have a daughter your age, and you will take the A-levels in the same class and school as her."

Maman helped to kit me up. A few days later, they both drove their little bird to Orly's airport. Papa gave me an envelope. "For pocket money and buying a bike."

I hugged them with brimming eyes.

I landed at Edinburgh. Mr. and Mrs. McTavish and Margaret, their daughter, warmly welcomed me. Mrs. Mc T seemed to have a frown. It was very discreet, as if she didn't like something about me.

Their Jaguar had leather seats, but so did Papa's Peugeot. Their house was even more impressive than Papa had mentioned.

Margaret showed me my room. It was superb. I had a great view of the park surrounding Edinburgh's castle. I couldn't help blushing when she said, "You best wear a skirt. Mom doesn't like girls to dress like truckers."

I understood why she had a frown when she first saw me; it was my jeans. I changed into a cord miniskirt, and made sure that it wasn't shorter than the one of my new friend.

Their dining room, like their lounge, was superb, with traditional furniture and Persian rugs. We had a great dinner prepared by Margaret's mother. There was wine on the table, but Margaret didn't touch it, and I wasn't offered any. I guessed that, in their book, nineteen is too young to be allowed to drink. I also noticed how their daughter, although cheerful and chatty, was very respectful of her parents.

They made me feel very welcome and said that my English was quite good. "Within a year you will be bilingual."

I felt wearied by my long day of travelling and asked to be excused. I retired to the lovely bedroom they gave me. I unpacked my suitcase, messaged my parents with my tablet pc, and changed into my night dress for reading in bed.

I could hear the distant sound of the television, and from what seemed another room, I heard Margaret's father. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but his voice was quite stern. I guessed he was addressing Margaret, although she was almost inaudible. Soon after a short silence, I heard a sharp smacking sound immediately followed by a squealing "Oh!"

I was quite surprised. Could it be that her father had slapped her?

I pricked up my ears and heard, "Smack! Smack! Smack! Smack!" followed by "Ah! Argh! Ouch! Aie!" Margaret's shrieks grew louder and louder as the smacks were adding up.

Although I had never received more than occasional hand smacks to my legs from Maman, I understood Margaret was being punished by her father. I counted twenty smacks, but I hadn't counted from the first one.

Next morning Margaret was as cheerful as the day before, but she sat carefully and at time even wriggled into her chair. She saw me eyeing a large mahogany hairbrush on a nearby commode. She hurriedly picked it up, and ran upstairs. I had no doubt that she was spanked with that hairbrush.

After a generous Scottish breakfast, Margaret was told to take me to the bicycle shop, so I could buy a bike for riding to our school.

The young attendant was quite cute, and he must have noticed my accent, since he said, "Mam'zelle you should also buy a helmet. They are now mandatory."

I agreed and asked him to recommend a bike lock.

Next, we tested my new bike by riding about the castle's park. We stopped at the Beehive Inn and sat outside.

I asked about Scottish beer, and Margaret said, "Pop and Mom don't want us to drink."

I did raise an eyebrow when she had said 'us.' I ordered tea.

I would have loved to ask her about the spanking of the night before, but I didn't. I figured she would be quite embarrassed to have to admit that she was spanked.

Instead, I asked her to tell me about our school and the A-levels we were to prepare for the coming year.

"Last night your mother said that she will take me to a school uniform shop. What about that uniform?"

"It's a navy blazer with school crest, white long sleeve blouse, school tie, tartan pleated skirt, grey knee-high socks and black brogues."

"Ah!" The thought of that schoolgirl uniform already brought me down a peg.

She cheered me. "Hey, don't worry. You won't be the only nineteen-year-old wearing it, and two girls in our class are twenty. They will also wear it."

We were back home for lunch. Mrs. McTavish introduced Dorothy, her maid. We exchanged polite greetings. I had difficulties understanding her heavy accent. We had lunch, and I discovered it wasn't the main meal of the day. I understood why we had such a great breakfast.

Marie-Chantal and Margaret

To be continued...


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