The Jolly Boys

Shirley Stephenson is a bored housewife who never stops day in day out, its the same humdrum existence. Bob her husband is a lazy good for nothing. who lost his leg in an industrial accident and is claiming benefit fraudulently. he keeps her short and moans because she goes to the bingo. Shirley finds the courage to file for a divorce and free herself. her life is suddenly transformed after she finds all of the compensation that Bob has been hiding from her. she orders a taxi she takes £30.000 and takes a box with some things that her gran had left her.

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They moved from bar to bar after meeting Alison Potter in Charlies the small slim air hostess was only about five feet tall which suited Bilko as he was only about five feet seven. She was just twenty- eight and Bilko was thirty- five going on thirty- six in just a few short weeks.’

He lied and told her he was thirty-two, four years didn’t sound as bad as nearly eight.’ They all ended up in Blondies Bar dancing until two in the morning. They went back to the girl’s hotel which was called “The Idas” and not far from where they were staying. They walked back with them after getting more acquainted on the way. The five girls shared the one apartment to save money. There were three sofa beds and a room with two single beds. They took turns as to who would sleep in the beds; tonight, it was Dominique and Beatrice’s turn.’ Soon the five men were making love without a care in the world.

It was after five in the morning when they got off to sleep. The girls had to be up and out of the apartment by 6-15 a.m. to get to the airport. They had agreed to meet “The Jolly Boys” the next night in the New York bar in Marmaris at 7.30 p.m. as they would get in earlier that day. They did two flights per day to Newcastle and then back to Dalaman Airport. The Boys left the hotel at eight o’clock that morning and headed to Sylvia’s bar to have breakfast. Freddy had Hamed taken with his order of six sausages, six scrambled eggs, a pound of bacon (no fat) mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, Hash browns, a whole Turkish loaf toasted. Hamed even took a photo of him eating it. There was that much food on his plate it would have choked a Camel.’ Of course, the lads weren’t phased by what he could eat. They’d seen him eat far more.

Freddy demanded that Hamed cook that up for him every morning.’

“Yes Sir, said Hamed.’

After breakfast Freddy asked Hamed where the nearest gym was. Hamed explained that his friend Mamet owned a gym and would let him use it free of charge since he was a valued customer in his restaurant. Freddy changed into his gym shorts vest and training shoes and ran down to Mamet’s gym and did an hour of back and then biceps in reps of eight. He got another guy training alone to spot for him. Rick Weatherall was from Kirkby in Liverpool but originally from Dublin. The softly spoken Irishman liked a beer or two like all Irishmen and was here with his wife and seven children. He was older than Freddy but kept in shape. Freddy never said anything about him being a soldier or serving in Northern Ireland during the troubles. Instead the conversation was kept to train techniques that he used to keep himself in shape. Like many others he couldn’t believe that Freddy was thirty- five. He had the body of a twenty- year old.

After his session was over Freddy said he’d see him again tomorrow when he’d be doing abs and legs.’ Freddy headed back to the hotel then had a shower and shave. The others had gone back to the hotel after breakfast; no one talked about what they’d done they just hit the showers and changed into clean shorts and tee- shirts all printed with “The Jolly Boys” on them. Rolling up a towel Freddy placed his sun cream inside.

“We ready to roll then?’

“Yes, we’ll take a few bottles of water with us said Bilko going into the fridge and placing a few bottles of water into a carrier bag.

“Okay let’s make like sheep and get the flock out of here.’

They walked down to the reception and ordered a dolmush to take them to the marina in Marmaris. The driver who was a Muslim wore a brightly coloured hat upon his head, a white shirt, black trousers, and sandals with bare feet. He had the windows open and was smoking a Turkish cigarette.

Bob gave him directions to the marina as he sat up front. The taxi cost less than two pounds in Turkish lira to go to the marina. They looked around as the taxi drove past other drivers who were honking horns in another lane. This driver took no prisoners as he made his way through the maze of traffic. The lads gave him ten Lira for his trouble as he got them all there in fifteen minutes. Bob found Gertie’s boat and made their way towards it. He spotted Gunter at the controls and shouted.

“Permission to come aboard sir.’

“Bob, wait I will help you said Gunter. He held out his hand as Bob stepped down then embraced his friend. You’ve put on a bit of weight said Gunter as he kissed and hugged Gertrude.

“Leave him alone Gunter, he looks well said Gertie as she liked to be called.’

“These are some of my friends who want to come out for the day, can you accommodate us?’ Bob introduced them all to the two Germans.  Gertie was surprised when Freddy spoke to her in fluent German.

The forty- two-year-old looked at Freddy and felt his biceps then squeezed his buttock with the other hand.

“Was ein Adonis.’ (What an Adonis)

“Watch her Freddy she’ll have the pants off you and on your back in no time said Bob jokingly.’ Gertie was still and attractive woman she was close to six feet tall and wore cut down denims and a shirt tied just under her breasts. She was well tanned with years of being in the sun. Her hair was platinum blonde and she had stunning blue eyes. Gunter was a retired Navy captain and near to sixty years old. For the last five years they had been running a charter boat called Brun Hilde after Wagner’s operetta “The ring” They had one son called Tomas who was now twenty years old. Gertie had no stretch marks or cellulite on her body she looked younger than her forty-two years and was a hopeless flirt.

“If you give me your beer I will drink them she laughed and Slack Arse was uncertain whether or not to give her the box containing 24 bottles of Effes beer.’

“She’s kidding Slack Arse.’

“Gertie laughed and said Schaff Arsch. That’s funny why you call him so?’

“Well he got a case of the trots one night and tried to fart and he shit himself.’

“Gertie looked at the man and asked him his real name.’

“It’s John Sutherland.’

“I agree, Schaff Arsch is a better name for you.’

“The Jolly Boys fell about laughing as John pulled a face.’

Gunter asked Gertie to cast off in German as he started the engine.

She moved with the grace of a leopard as her long legs moved past them and expertly released the ropes that held the boat to the dock. “Why don’t you guys get yourselves up on top and I will give you a shout when lunch is made.

“We get lunch asked Freddy?’

“Oh yes, and desert too if you play your cards right said Gertie.’

Bob laughed out loud knowing what Gertie was like and stepped onto the rail and made his way up onto the top of the boat, it was flat and made of hard plastic. There were several sun loungers and the lads spread their towels down then took turns to do the each other’s back with sun cream. It was very hot under foot Bob reminded them not to walk barefoot or they would burn. Bob hadn’t bought his shower leg with him. Bob would just remove his false leg and when the boat came to a halt would launch himself into the sea from on top of boat. He could drag himself up the steps and back on-board Gertie would bring his false leg and a towel to dry his stump for him then hand him the leg to put back on. They all lay on their stomachs first and drifted off to sleep for an hour as the boat headed out to another part of the island some fifteen miles away. The music was not the rappy crappy kind that was preferred by other boats geared for the younger crowds. They got packed with holiday makers and were loud. Various games were played on board and it wasn’t long before both the young men and women stripped off naked and began skinny dipping in the sea. That kind of stuff wasn’t for Bob who liked to just bask in the quiet of Gerties boat and relax. There was the odd time that a boat returning back to the marina would pass and the girls would bare their breasts and stick out their arses. Bob had seen it before but the others were lapping it up.

  The Brun Hilde came to a stop and the lads all were glad to jump into the sea to cool off. The place they had chosen had a little cove and there were some mountains in the background. Some cliff divers put on a display for them before Gertie called them to tell them that dinner was being served. They swam to the boat and climbed back on board after fifteen minutes and dried off. Bob put on his false leg and sat in the dining area whilst Gertie brought out some pasta with chicken in a creamy sauce. There was some crusty bread to go with it and the lads drank a few bottles of beer before going back up to the top of the boat again and lying down. It was just after four that afternoon when Gertie told them all that they were going back to the marina. The boat swung around and headed back; the mountains fading into the distance as they got further away. It had been a very relaxing day for them all they had managed to grab a few hours’ sleep before the boat headed for the marina. They came down and Bob took the money for the trip from the lads and gave it to Gertie. Many of the other boats were heading in too and it was a race to see who would get in first. Gunter wasn’t bothered he just took his time. When they reached the marina most of the younger members had disembarked and were making their way to the stop where the dolmush would pick them up. They were pretty regular so when Bob and the lads got off the people waiting had all but gone. The forty seat buses took them back to near the Siesta and they crossed the road and walked up the hill to the hotel.

The lads decided to have a lie on the bed before going in the shower and going out but first they had to cover themselves in after sun cream. They had all caught the sun and were glowing. Slack Arse had burnt his back slightly because he’d not put anymore sun cream on after he’d gone swimming.

Bob poured quite a lot of cream on his back which made him yelp because it was cold. He lay face down on the sofa bed then was soon snoring. Freddy made himself a cup of tea and went out onto the balcony in the shade of the parasol.

 

 

The first semester was over for Kevin Matuszewski it had not been as hard as he anticipated, of course he’d had help when he needed it from Marko and Danile. He and Tanya Bratislava were in love and enjoying life together. They had both saved money from their part time jobs and had decided to go to Poland and visit her parents and for Kevin to meet his grandparents. Driving to the ferry terminal in North Shields they boarded the Prince of Scandinavia and sailed silently through the piers at Tynemouth before heading to Amsterdam. They would arrive at 9 a.m. the next morning. The accommodation was spartan but both Kevin and Tanya were used to slumming it. They had brought a tent, sleeping bag and other camping equipment with them so they could save money they would drive to Poland from Amsterdam, a distance of 590 miles. They set off at 10.15 a.m. driving through Amersfoort to Apeldoom, then onto Enschede and Osnabruck. They stopped for a drink and a rest in a layby. Tanya had taken some fruit, cold meats, cheeses, and some bread from the ferry to eat later that day. Kevin poured hot coffee into two thermos flasks and they poured milk into a jar with a screw topped lid. Picking up sachets of sugar Kevin placed them into his pocket. He also took four bottles of water. They had a long way to go and would have to sleep overnight in Berlin before carrying on to Lodz in Poland. It began to rain and when they reached Osnabruck they could hardly see out of the windows. It took them nearly five hours to reach Berlin.

 

It was nearly 4.30 p.m. when they arrived.

Tanya took over the driving to give Kevin a break as darkness started to creep in they drove through Furstenwalde and found a place to camp for the night. The rain had stopped now and it took them half an hour to set up the tent. The second flask of coffee was reheated on a small gas heater then poured into plastic cups. It was not as good as the first but it was hot. Kevin lit a Tilley lamp and placed it above them so it lit up the tent. They ate the last of the meat and cheese they had taken from the ferry and shared a Mars bar that Tanya had bought. By twelve that evening they were both tired and fell asleep.

The next morning, they were awoken by the sounds of cattle as a farmer on the other side of the road was taking his cows to be milked.

Tanya asked him if there was anywhere where they could eat breakfast and the German farmer told them to follow him. They left the tent and the car and walked up the road to the farm.

“Please go up to the house until I milk the cows, if you go up to the house I will join you soon.’ My wife Aneka will look after you.’

 

Both Tanya and Kevin needed to use the bathroom and when they knocked on the door and introduced themselves Aneka let them use the toilet and then the bathroom where they could both freshen up. Tanya did all the talking as Kevin could not speak German. She told Aneka and Willy that they were going to visit her parents on Lodz.

“You still have 190 kilometres to go said Willy; you may do it in two hours if the traffic is light.’

Aneka made them some scones with fruit jam and they ate an oatmeal porridge. They drank two cups of coffee before thanking Willy and Aneka and headed back to the car. They took down the tent and packed all the equipment away into the boot then feeling refreshed they set off again following the road signs for Frankfurt. They saw a lot more people now as they drove through the town.

They came to a place called Stupca where they saw some German Jews. Some were survivors from the Nazi concentration camps. Now in their late seventies and early eighties they walked cautiously along the street all wearing the familiar garb that set them apart from anyone else. They still carried the look of horror in their eyes. Kevin wondered how many deaths they had witnessed and how they had managed to survive the atrocities that had befallen their race as Adolf Hitler ordered the deaths of over six million Jews. Gassed, executed and burned in huge crematoriums. The final solution was genocide on a massive scale. Tanya told Kevin how her grandparents had helped many Jews to escape during the war. “They saw whole families shot dead at the hands of German officer’s. ’Kevin turned right then headed towards Turek it wasn’t far to Lodz now and Tanya began to point out familiar places of interest. Tanya was now driving and drove into her parent’s street in Winnica.

“When the car pulled outside of the house both her parents rushed out and hugged them both.

“Come in, come in said Apolonia (Pauline) Tanya’s mother and led Kevin into the house. Borys (Boris) her father kissed his daughter.’

“Did you have a pleasant journey Kevin’ which sounded more like (Keevan)

 “Yes, thank you Apolonia, apart from a bit of rain.’

“Please take off your coat and I will make coffee.’

Kevin took off his jacket and was quite surprised at how warm the house was. There was a log fire going in the living room which heated water. They weren’t as modern as his parent’s house and things were done mostly by hand. No electric kettles or washing machines here. Apolonia baked fresh bread and cakes every day. Tanya got straight on to help her mother she had obviously been brought up the same way and could bake and cook some delicious Polish food. Tanya helped her mother make rye bread which they were going to have with something called Bigos a traditional meal in Poland made from the outer leaves of cabbage stuffed with meat and rice. They were also having Barszez bialy a kind of broth with cubed pork(Kielbasa)and hard- boiled eggs. Kevin Helped Borys Lift another two tables into the living room and place a large tablecloth over them then Borys asked him to come with him they took his car and drove about two miles into another little village where they stopped and picked up his brother and his wife. Then across the street they brought his father and mother.

Before long the car was packed. They stopped at a nearby shop and bought out cases of Zywiek, Polish beer and Wodka(Vodka) 

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