Come with me and you'll see that the world is pure imagination
Updated: Oct 17
Notes on attending GBS (The Girls’Boarding School) 2021 in Norway, run by ‘strictandcaring’
Having just returned from GBS (Girls Boarding School), in Norway, people have been asking me- How was it? What was it like? I’ve replied, ‘It was amazing/It was intense/I’ve never been to anything like that in my life,’ and ‘I loved every minute of it.’ All of these are true, specially after the past year and a half, which have been like a long crawl through the desert when it comes to travel, fun, meeting new people, going on adventures and what I’d call ‘shenanigans’.
I spoke to our school chef a couple of days after the event, and he said the following: ‘My friends have been asking what the weekend was like, and all I can say is: ‘No human should be allowed to have that much fun in one weekend.’ One GBS veteran, and previously head girl, said to me before we began, ‘Once we’re all in uniform, and we start on Saturday morning, it’s like stepping through the back of the wardrobe into adult Narnia.’ Thor, the organiser and Headmaster, in one of his opening speeches at the school, explained the theme of the event, from the ‘Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows’ (John Koenig): ‘Anemoia’: ‘nostalgia for a time you’ve never known.’ But the experience itself- being there, is hard to describe. What I can do is give you some of my fleeting impressions of the trip. And just think -this is merely a selection of my recollections, there were 18 of us there, and each of us will have our own impressions. I have mentioned the organiser, the female Pro Disciplinarians attending by name, but not male teachers, staff, or the students, for the sake of discretion, and to protect the ‘not-entirely’-innocent. I will also not go into detail about any private, individual spankings.
‘And what is the purpose of your visit to Norway?’ asks the passport control officer, glancing over the rim of her glasses, between my passport and my guilty face.
‘Er, to visit some friends.’ I feel busted already: crossing borders and showing test results and all the new paperwork feels strange, as if I am trying to sneak across Europe undercover. But she waves her hand and lets me through. On the shuttle train to the centre of Oslo I gaze hungrily out of the window at the tall silver birch trees everywhere, thinking about birch sprigs and twine. I did it! I got into Norway! I’m going on an adventure!
Thor meets and greets me at the hotel: grinning from ear to ear- wired, excited, and brimming with enthusiasm. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I’ve come to an event where I don’t know anybody, after living for almost 2 years like a medieval peasant- barely leaving my neighbourhood, and not speaking to strangers. The feeling is exhilarating. On our first night in Oslo, at dinner with some of the other participants, I am surrounded by open, friendly new people, with whom I will bond in a very special way over the next couple of days. There’s an undercurrent of anticipation in us all. Tor describes that heady feeling of meeting someone in person that you’ve only interacted with or followed online for what seems like forever. Two dimensional images made flesh.
On the Friday, arriving at Oslo station, and the meeting point to find my car share to the venue, I scan the crowds for our chef, smiling and waving at random tall, bald Vikings with beards, until I realise they are everywhere! Once I have found the right Viking, a few hours later, our car, with 4 of us, is winding up a hillside through the mist. I watch out for the massive ‘killer’ sheep that can appear nonchalantly, chewing, in the middle of the road, but none appear. I think our chef is winding me up… instead we climb higher and higher through the mist, and then onto a gravel track and up onto the forecourt of the ‘school’.
The first evening after dinner, at curfew time, I nip back to my room and change into Matron’s uniform, patrolling the dorms and breaking up a couple of spanking sessions. The young teaching assistant (who has permission to spank the girls) has to be hauled out of the girls’ dorm and sent to his own bedroom next door, as it is 5 minutes past the curfew time. He promises he will stay in his room, but he has a cheeky expression that suggests otherwise. I would say I hate to be a killjoy, but as Matron, this is exactly why I am here: to sneak up the creaking wooden stairs and declare ‘Bed time now, everyone, go to sleep, you all have a long day ahead of you tomorrow. Lights out, now, enough chatting, girls.’ The noise continues, so 5 minutes later I slip out of pistol-shot heels and creep upstairs silently in my stockinged feet, shooing them off to bed again, checking doors are closed and lights are being switched off. The spanking proper starts tomorrow.
Breakfast the next day, and we all stand silently around the long wooden dining tables, by the hearth, the girls now all dressed in their smart uniforms, waiting for late-comers, eyes downcast, fidgeting nervously, giggling, and shuffling. Then I catch an exchange between the teaching assistant and one of the girls he spanked the night before- she is flashing him her knickers and her pert bottom, to show him if she has any marks! After admonishing them, then going to fetch the late-comers, I lean over and murmur that they will both be coming to see me later that day, to be punished for this inappropriate behaviour. We then all wait for breakfast, heads bowed as if in prayer, with the sound of latecomers being spanked in the sitting room by some of the Masters. Then the girls scuttle into the breakfast room to join us, blushing, heads down.
I discipline the teaching assistant and his accomplice later, in my room, after beckoning them to follow me. After a stern scolding for showing off in front of the mostly new girls, and both of them setting a terrible example, I use one of my favourite boy/girl embarrassment scenarios. Each has to stand in front of me and watch, while I spank the other one hard, then each one has to approach and pull down the other’s knickers for me to spank them on the bare bottom. I send them both on their way, then catch a glimpse of them in the forecourt of the main building, consoling each other with a hug.
Sitting at the back during the first class, all about the Viking Invasion of the UK, I learn, among many other things, that the old Norse word for ‘bag’ is ‘baggins’. This makes me smile. Good old Tolkien, such a nerd. The class is excellent, as are all the classes that day, and not one of the girls misbehaves during lessons (sadly).
After Miss Clara Hewitt the Headmistress gives her music therapy class, the girls are standing around a large table, facing inward. they have all failed to pass the music quiz, so they are all instructed to pull up their skirts and bend over. Then they are all spanked, us teachers and staff taking 2 students at a time, alternating spanking bottoms rhythmically, moving round the table, and making the girls sing in unison.
At some point later that weekend I find Miss Hewitt expertly spanking three people at a time: three bare bottoms side by side, all kneeling on one of the red leather sofas, while leaning and peering through the hatch into the main room, where they observe a caning going on at the table. Later, one of the girls taking a spanking tells me she was still eating her boiled egg from breakfast throughout the discipline!
A minute of blissful silence and calm, and a break in the rain, so I walk to the front of the main building and down the path a little, and catch the magnificent panoramic view over the lake, fields, toy villages, pine forests, and open, cloudy sky, drinking in the crisp mountain air, the autumnal colours, and the distant sounds of cows mooing.
In the final stages of Kalyss Mercury’s intense meditation and tantric breathing class, at the close of the day, we sit in a circle and breathe together, arms round each other’s waists. The men have been banished to go on a country walk or ‘smoke cigars’, as this is a sisterhood class only, and precious time for us to bond. I have a flashback to watching ‘Midsommar' and the womens’ Fertility Hut scene. (Luckily, nobody has skinned a bear yet or made a special pie…)
Headmaster fashions a beautiful Norwegian birch- a thick, shortish collection of fresh sprigs he has collected from the forest outside, bound with twine. At the photoshoot on Sunday, when all the students are kneeling before the roaring fire in the hearth, wearing split bloomers, one of the girls grabs it from its hook on the fireplace and attempts to consign it to the flames.
Everywhere you go in the school throughout the weekend, you hear the sound of thrashings. Peering round a doorway, I see a delightful and subtle scene- just a raised hand and a belt, and two perfectly straight, white-socked legs and feet, on tip toes, silhouetted by the door frame. I hear cries, murmured conversations and giggles through the wall of my cabin, as Headmaster disciplines the girls in his office.
On Sunday morning before breakfast, and after the Saturday night cocktail party, the teaches hunt for the stash of implements, previously laid out on one of the wooden tables, which have mysteriously all gone missing at the end of the party. We find a carpet beater in the fridge, paddles underneath cabinets, and canes on top of cupboards. Still, many of them are missing, so one or two miscreants are hauled over to the chairs in the classroom/main room and spanked until they confess either where the implements are hidden, or who hid them. The investigation continues until they are all retrieved.
Our chef piles logs into the open fire so the photoshoot in front of the hearth looks splendid, then goes along the line adjusting and teasing open the split back bloomers of the 9 kneeling girls, facing the fire, so that their peachy bottoms are all perfectly on show. What a diligent member of staff! There’s an insane photoshoot that goes on for about 3 hours- stern group staff photos, a school photo of us all, staff and students, in the main room, a picture of the students kneeling through the hatch with white knickers on show and skirts raised, Miss Mercury, Miss Hewitt and then myself in front of the fire in the dining room, instructing three kneeling girls, arms round each other like the 3 Graces. Headmistress sitting flexing a cane by the hearth with 2 spanked girls behind her, hands on head and bottoms on show, and an unofficial image of the students wearing their pinafores and no blouses, pretending to drink from wine bottles and smoke cigarettes, draped like a Caravaggio in the wooden frame of the hatch.
On the final day the goodbye ceremony and the transition ritual, where one of the teachers stands us in a circle, then he asks us to whisper our favourite memory into the ear of the next person, who then whispers his/her own favourite moment to the next person. I’m frozen for a second- happily exhausted and blank- how can I possibly choose one, out of so many? Then he opens the patio door to the howling wind and the rain outside, and after a countdown, we all yell this favourite moment simultaneously at the top of our voices, into the ‘real’ world out there, as we prepare to step back out through the wardrobe.
It’s cold and rainy as I stand in front of the Angry Boy sculpture, trying to snap photos of him and the scenery beyond in the Vigeland Sculpture Park. His tiny fists clench in a perfect tantrum and his face, if it weren’t green, would be red with rage. I drift around between the statues surrounding the Monolith, such a beautiful and intimate tumble of humanity- the wriggling pile of babies, the huge figures touching each other and resting on each other tenderly, looking into each others’ eyes, or pushing and jostling for love. There’s a very sweet circle of teenage girls, holding hands, facing inwards, their plump, bare bottoms on show, heads bowed in a whisper, and they remind me of the GBS girls. So sweet, so ‘innocent’, all supporting each other and sharing their secrets.