Painful parental advice

I writing to tell you about the flat-out worst spanking I ever had as a boy – and it was from (almost) a complete stranger. I grew up in a small Irish town in the 1960s. And although I didn’t really know Mrs O’Riordan, I knew who she was and I knew of her reputation.

Mrs O’Riordan lived a few streets away from my own home. At the time of this story, when I was 10 years old, I’m guessing she must have been in her 60s. She was a typical ‘granny’ type, with grew hair in a tight bun and horn-rimmed glasses, only she had quite a hard and forbidding face. She had had nine children of her own, although one of them died very young, so I guess she had a great deal of experience as a mother.

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