Monday, 13 October 2014
Saturday, 27 September 2014
Pete Amas has kindly contributed this story about a weary travellers unwitting introduction to pyjama discipline.
A New Life Begins
John had been on the road since 6.30 that morning. His back was hurting and he was ravenous having skipped lunch.
As he pulled into the hotel car park he was looking forward to a hot shower, dinner, a couple of whiskeys and a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed.
He noted the hotel was unusually busy as he entered the lobby. A frequent visitor he had not made a booking as it was normally pretty quite this far north at this time of the year.
Approaching the desk he spotted Sally, the manager, whom he’d dealt with on numerous occasions.
‘What’s going on Sal, you look a little busy?’
Sally smiled at seeing him; ‘yes we have a Women’s Institute conference in town’. Are you looking to book in?’
‘I was hoping too... I've been on the road since early and have had an exhaustive day. Am I in trouble?’
A little frown crept into her smile; John knew he was in trouble.
‘I'm afraid we don’t have anything left and I'm pretty sure almost every bed in the town has been booked out for weeks. Let me ring around and see if anything’s left’. Why don’t you go into the bar and I’ll swing by in half an hour and let you know if I have sorted something for you?’
John knew he was in good hands and headed to the bar with his holdall. He ordered a scotch on ice and took a seat at the bar. Three drinks later Sally came striding into the Bar.
‘I'm really sorry John it took a while but I've managed to get you the last bed within 20 miles. St. Cambusnethan House it’s a beautiful old Gothic manor further up the valley. Elizabeth Quince is the owner and a good friend of mine. It’s a bit of a drive I'm afraid but you’ll be in good hands. How about I get the hotel bus to drop you up and collect you in the morning? That way you won’t have to worry about finding the place in the dark’.
John was not in a position to argue and appreciated Sally’s efforts, he accepted her offer of a lift and left his keys with her at the reception desk as he left in the hotel minibus. He was glad he had decided to take the lift as there was no way he would have found his way through the forest roads, tired and with one too many to drink.
After 20 minutes driving the minibus halted at an imposing set of gates. As they slowly opened John wondered how anyone would ever find this place particularly at night.
It took another five minutes to reach the manor but it was just as Sally had said; a rather imposing Gothic manor silhouetted against the moonlit sky. The minibus driver took John’s holdall and carried it to the door. He knocked on an old cast iron door knocker. Shortly after John could hear a number of bolts being undone behind the door. He thought the security a little unusual for a guest house. As the large heavy door drew open he was a little take back by the diminutive old lady that stood behind it.
‘Good evening dear, you must be John? I'm Elizabeth, Sally told me you’re in a bit of a pickle. Please come in and rest your weary bones’.
John took the holdall from the driver and entered the manor. As the driver turned to leave John asked what time he would be picked up at in the morning? ‘You just phone Sally when you’re ready to leave and I’ll be up in a flash’. With that he drove off leaving John and Elizabeth.
‘Follow me dear and I’ll just get you to sign the register’. John followed Elizabeth into a beautiful old hallway with oak panelling all around; a large oak desk served as a reception. It sat under the stairs which wound their way up and around the hallway. The hallway itself was dimly lit but warm and a beautiful smell of roast beef was filling the air.
Like the building Elizabeth was old and of a different era. She wore a grey knee length tweed skirt, pale blue cashmere twin set and horn-rimmed spectacles. She smelt of rose water and had an imposing manner about her despite her size. John thought she may have been a school mistress in a previous life.
‘I’m afraid I only have one room left dear. It is in the attic and you will have to share a bathroom’. John expressed his gratitude and indicated how tired he was. ‘Would it be possible to have a shower and get something to eat’? ‘I'm afraid a shower is out of the question but I could run a bath for you after which you could join us for dinner. Would that suit?’ The thought of a good soak was appealing. John smiled and nodded.
‘Good dear, you follow me to the room and while you unpack I’ll run the bath for you’. Dinner will be ready in 50 minutes which should give you just enough time to unwind.
John followed Elizabeth up the stairs, off down a landing and up another smaller set of stairs to another smaller landing. There were three rooms on the landing one at each end and one in the middle.
Elizabeth pointed at the middle door which was half stippled glass. ‘This is the bathroom dear. You will be able to tell when it is occupied as you will see the light through the glass’.
She then led him to the room on the right. As they entered the room John noted it was old but clean. It looked like something from an old Miss Marple murder mystery. A wine candlewick bedspread was turned down on the single bed revealing candy stripped flannel sheets and two pillows. The room was warm but a little musty and had one window which was high out of reach in the sloped ceiling.
‘Now dear, you unpack and I’ll run your bath’. John sat on the bed and sighed. It had a deep hallow in the middle from years of use and was a far cry from the firm bed he was looking forward to.
Before removing his shaving kit from his holdall he tried to check his e-mail on his mobile only to discover that there was no service. He also wanted to phone Jenny his wife and catch up with the day’s news. He would ask Elizabeth if he could use the manor phone at dinner.
After years on the road John had a habit of travelling light. His holdall contained a couple of clean shirts, underwear, socks and shaving kit.
Five minutes later Elizabeth knocked on the door. ‘Your bath is ready dear; I've left some additional towels for you by the bath’.
John took off his suit jacket, shoes and tie and took a clean shirt, underwear and his shaving kit to the bathroom. The room was full of steam; a large cast iron bath was waiting filled to the brim and smelling of lavender. John stripped and left his clothes on a wooden towel stand. He slipped into the piping hot water and after a few minutes could feel the tiredness seeping out of his body. Within minutes he was dozing off; the effects of the journey, tiredness and alcohol taking effect.
John awoke with a start, he could feel the water temperature had dropped and realised he may have been sleeping for some time. Mindful of his hunger and not wanting to keep other guests waiting he got out of the bath and went to dry himself. It was then that he noticed that his clothes were gone from the towel rail. Taking one of the towels he began to dry himself off. Whatever Elizabeth had put into the water his skin was incredibly soft and sensitive and the towel felt luxurious. He wrapped a towel around his waist but it was too small and he had to hold both ends together on his left side. Mindful of his predicament and curious as to where his clothes had disappeared he checked that the hallway was clear before creeping back to his room hoping not to meet anyone.
As he entered the room he was startled to see Elizabeth sitting on the end of the bed. ‘I took the liberty of taking your clothes down for an airing. We will have them cleaned and freshly ironed for you first thing in the morning’.
Somewhat embarrassed John thanked her but explained that he had no other clothes. ‘Not to worry dear I have taken care of that’.
As Elizabeth stood up John could see that she had left a pair of old fashioned, purple and grey, candy striped flannel pyjamas neatly folded on the bed, with an old woollen, tartan dressing gown and matching carpet slippers beside them. ‘I've left these out for you, now put them on quickly while the heat from the radiator is still in them’.
Not knowing what to do John stressed that he did not wear pyjamas and didn't want to put her to any more trouble. ‘No trouble dear; I don’t accept this modern habit of men sleeping naked. It leads to all forms of inappropriate behaviour. Quickly now let's put these on. Once you feel the warmth of the flannel you will be happy to wear them’. Elizabeth took the jacket from the bed and shook it out. She undid the buttons and approached John with the jacket outstretched. John was feeling a little aroused by the whole affair. He didn't want to wear the pyjamas but part of him wished to surrender to this motherly figure ordering him about like a child. He offered her his right arm and slowly she slipped the jacket sleeve up over his shoulder and back. The warmth and softness of the flannel excited him as it caressed his skin and he began to feel movement in his loins. As she took his left arm the towel fell from his waist revealing his growing manhood.
Elizabeth was not concerned by his growing appendage, and slowly her fingers began to close the buttons, finishing at the top by fastening the top button of the pyjamas jacket. He remembered as a child, how his mother insisted on the top button always being fastened and now, as he stood there, in a fully buttoned pyjama jacket, naked from the waist down, he was transported back those childhood days.
John was pink with embarrassment as Elizabeth smoothed down the collar of the pyjama top. 'Now dear, don’t be embarrassed, after 30 years nursing men I've seen all sorts’. Having finished buttoning him into the jacket she grabbed the pyjama bottoms. Like the jacket, they were a little too large. She offered a pyjama leg to John and he willing stepped into them, once more a helpless little boy. At this point he was hot and weak from the bath and excitement.
Elizabeth pulled the bottoms right up over John’s belly button and began to tie the waist. She tied a series of granny knots to ensure the bottoms did not fall down. John could see himself in a full length mirror with a large bulge tenting out his pyjama bottoms. He looked ridiculous, like an overgrown schoolboy, made ready for bed by matron. But for some reason he was further aroused by the image he saw and the softness and warmth of the flannel pyjamas that caressed his skin.
He was looking in the mirror when Elizabeth hit the top of his penis with something hard; it immediately shrank away. Elizabeth was holding a wooden spoon; ‘something I learnt from my days in nursing, it always works my dear’. John was somewhat taken aback but Elizabeth assured him it was in his best interest.
Elizabeth slipped the tartan dressing gown over his shoulders and tied it together with the corded belt. Finally, she insisted he place the carpet slippers upon his feet, which had disappeared under a curtain of flannel.
She stood behind him, both hands on his shoulders as they both stared into the mirror. 'Now dear don’t you look delightful; I'd swear you were born to wear those jim-jams.'.
The whole episode could not have taken no more than five minutes yet John was now encased in warm, cosy flannel and completely at the mercy of this diminutive old woman. He was not sure how this had happened or why, but he was also aware that he had enjoyed it and was in part responsible as he had willed it to happen.
Elizabeth invited John to join her and the other guests for dinner. John protested that he did not wish to be seen by others dressed like this. ‘Nonsense’ Elizabeth said as she led him by the hand leading him out onto the landing and down to the dining room.
Not used to wearing pyjamas John felt a little restricted but found pleasure in how the fabric caressed his skin and loins as he walked. He felt a degree of comfort and peace he had not felt since his childhood.
As they entered the dining room John was take aback to see five other men sitting around the dining table; all dressed in pyjamas and dressing gowns. Some wearing traditional pyjamas like John’s; some paisley flannel pyjamas and one , younger man, a teenager perhaps was wearing floral women's pyjamas and a quilted house coat. What on earth had he got himself into?
Elizabeth stood behind a vacant chair and invited him to sit down. As she pulled the chair back from the table he could see that it was an old fashioned, wicker wheelchair. Something told him that if the sat in the chair his life would never be the same again. He looked to the faces of the other men for answers but they looked lost and bewildered, like little children waiting to be told what to do. Standing there dressed in pyjamas and matching dressing gown and slippers, vulnerable and with no visible means of escape, John became resigned to his fate. Elizabeth took his hand and gently led him to the chair. As he sat down a feeling of total nervous exhaustion swept over him; he felt powerless, drained and completely alone.
‘Gentlemen’ Elizabeth announced. I would like to introduce our latest guest. John will be joining our little clan to discover the finer arts of pyjama discipline. Please be considerate of him as he learns to adapt to his new life.'
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
As they walked to Aunty Susan's, Anthony found himself being held by the hand by both his mum and Angela. The late afternoon rain had left puddles of water on the pavement, as they walked, Anthony felt rather foolish. Not just because he was wearing his special visiting outfit, which was bad enough, but because each time they came to a puddle his mum and Angela insisted on hoisting him in the air by his hand and shouting, "wheeeee….", as they lifted him across the puddles.
Anthony was fifteen years old, and being lifted like a toddler was not something he enjoyed. The rain came again, this time more persistent and his mum decided they should hop onto a bus to take them the rest of their journey. Thanks to the rain, the bus was quite full and there were only two vacant seats downstairs. His mum insisted Angela take one of those.
"Anthony can sit on my lap, he doesn't mind, do you bunny, upsa-daisy."
To his utter dismay Anthony was positioned onto his mother's lap as she sat down. He felt that everyone else on the bus was looking and sniggering at him. His mother's hand rested on the inside of his bare thigh as his "visiting trousers", rode high up his legs.
Angela was definitely looking at Anthony. She watched as the boy sat docilely upon Mrs Green's lap and noticed that her hand rested on Anthony's smooth, inner thigh. She pondered on why a fifteen year old would allow himself to be dressed, and treated as a much younger boy. It was then she noticed that Anthony's hands were clenched in frustration and that he was acutely embarrassed and frustrated by the situation he was in. It was just that he didn't, or couldn't rebel against Mrs Green's authority.
Angela realised that she rather enjoyed witnessing his discomfort and that being "Aunty Angela", was a desirable prospect and she promised herself that, if possible she would add to Anthony's woes.
In fact, nobody apart from Angela had been looking at Anthony. Why would they? A small boy sitting on his mother's lap on a crowded bus was not unusual, Anthony was a convincing little boy.
The bus dropped them yards from Aunty Susan's house. Anthony's hands were firmly grasped by his two female companions as he door opened. Aunty Susan was his mother's younger sister, her husband had worked on the oil rigs in the North sea for many years and Anthony had rarely seen him. She was taller than his mother, but her auburn hair was dyed blonde, and she dressed much more fashionably than his mother.
Likewise, his cousin Kevin, who was two years younger than Anthony was allowed to wear the latest fashions. As they entered the house Anthony noticed Kevin's expensive trainers and his jeans. How he longed to wear clothes such as those.
"Well hello Anthony," she said as they entered, "what a lovely outfit you are wearing, aren't your legs a bit chilly in those short trousers though?"
"Short trousers are just fine, whatever the weather, " said his mother forcefully as she looked distastefully at Kevin's jeans.
Angela and Aunty Susan knew each other and the three women sat on the sofa and the chair whilst Anthony had to make do with the carpet. He sat on the carpet surrounded by the females whilst Kevin sniggered and made faces at him behind the grown ups back.
"Well why are we here," his mother demanded, it' s getting very close to Anthony's pyjama time and bedtime." Kevin sniggered loudly this time and was admonished by his mother.
"Now Kevin, just because I don't insist that you wear pyjamas to bed, doesn't mean that Anthony's mummy can't put him into his jimmy-jams before his early beddy-bye time. Even if he is fifteen."
Angela noted how Aunty Susan had managed to babify Anthony, by attributing nursery type words such as jimmy-jams and beddy-byes to him and mentioning his age.
Of course his mother didn't help when she replied. "I can't envisage any time in the future when Anthony will not have a pyjama time and a bedtime, it seems perfectly sensible to me."
Angela was once again bemused by Mrs Green's apparent total lack of awareness as to how much she embarrassed Anthony in front of others.
The conversation returned to the purpose of their visit.
"Tell them why they are here mum, tell them." Kevin urged his mother.
"You know Mrs Jackson's, daughter is getting married tomorrow," She began. "Well unfortunately the little boy who was due to be her page boy has come down with chicken pox. I immediately thought of Anthony as short notice replacement. All he has to do is carry her wedding train up and down the aisle, it is so simple."
Anthony looked at his mother, he didn't like the sound of this one little bit.
"And he has to wear the outfit, don't forget mum," added Kevin mischievously as he handed his mother a box.
"Oh yes. This is the best bit, " Aunty Susan said excitedly. "Anthony gets to wear this gorgeous page boy costume too."
The box was opened and out came the most ridiculous outfit Angela had ever seen. It consisted of a long sleeved, frilly silk blouse with an enormous frilly collar, white knee length socks and black, patent Mary Jane shoes. A suit of black crushed velvet with a pale blue, silken sash that tied around the middle completed the ghastly outfit.
Angela fully expected Mrs Green to dismiss the idea immediately, but no, not a bit of it. Mrs Green was clapping her hands in excitement, proclaiming how wonderful it was that her little Anthony was going to be a page boy at Kathleen Jackson's wedding.
Anthony despaired. "Mum it’s not fair. I don't want to be a page boy and wear this horrible outfit. Let Kevin do it, he is younger than me." Angela noted there was real desperation in his voice, but now, after her initial shock, she so wanted to Anthony to wear the page boy outfit.
The smirk disappeared from Kevin's face as his name was mentioned.
"Now Anthony," Aunty Susan began. "Kevin is younger that you but he is so much bigger. You are the same size as the little boy who has taken ill, that is why I volunteered you. Of course, your mum will be attending as your guardian too. Just think, Anthony a member of the Green family at the Jackson's wedding, and as the page boy too!"
Her sister's speech had made up his mother's mind. "Anthony, you are going to be the page boy and that is that. My little boy is not going to miss the opportunity to be page boy at Mrs Jackson's daughter's wedding. Why, it is the wedding of the year in this town."
Mrs Green had spoken. Anthony knew that once his mother had decided to accept the invitation his fate was sealed. Angela looked at the triumphant faces of Kevin, Moira and their mother whilst Mrs Green was genuinely delighted. Only Anthony, who was still sitting on the carpet like a pet dog, was unhappy as tomorrows itinerary was discussed.
The journey home was filled with the excited chatter of Mrs Green. Angela played her part and agreed enthusiastically with her plans. Anthony was to be put straight into his pyjamas once they were home and put to bed early as he had such an important day tomorrow. Anthony trudged silently alongside side them, imprisoned by their clasping hands and dreading what tomorrow would bring.