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.


29. 29

“Yes, I do, by the way did Bob not tell you that he and I are to be married on Christmas day. We are flying to Las Vegas where they are putting us up in the bridal suite. A chauffeur limousine is then driving us to the “Chapel of love.” To be married.

“That’s lovely, I certainly missed out didn’t I Bob.’

“Yes, you missed out alright. Bobs a good man and he’s my man so just keep off him do I make myself clear.’


Bob went to the table with the drinks and he and Paula sat down together with the other team members.

“What was all that about said Emily Watson?’

“Just warning that piece of trash off Emily.’

Bob Paid them all into the quiz then sat down and told them all about their forth coming wedding.

“Now you are all welcome to come to Las Vegas if you can afford it, but don’t worry if you can’t, we will be hlding a wedding party in the club for all of our friends when we get back.  You are all invited.’

“I do love a good wedding said Claire Douglas.’

“You nnever kknow it might be you two next, laughed Strut.’

“Take it easy Strut mate you’ll scare the lass off.’

“Well you’ve been going out long enough said Christine Charters have you not popped the question yet Mick?’

“I haven’t thought about it said Mick.’

“Well don’t wait too long mate or you will lose her said Bob.’

“She may not want to marry me?’

“Well you haven’t asked said Claire looking at Mick in the eye.’

“If I asked you, would you?’

“Jjust bbloody ask her man.’

“Claire Douglass would you do me the honour of becoming my wife.’

“I thought that you’d never ask. Yes, I will.’

“Wow get the Champagne out Mick said Paula.

Mick went to the bar and ordered two bottles of Champagne and some glasses.

“Has Bob told you he’s getting married Mick, there’s still hope for me then isn’t there.’

“Not to me there isn’t; I just asked Claire and she said yes.’

“Knocked back twice in a night what’s going on laughed Molly nervously.’

She handed him the bottles and some plastic flutes then wished him luck.

Trevor the quiz master halted the quiz and then announced the engagements of Bob and Paula and Mick and Claire over the microphone. There was a big round of applause.

“See what quizzes can do?’ every Thursday folks at the Railway, come along and meet people – you never know, like these people here you might meet your future wife.’ “I think I’ll change the name to “Quiz Date” what do you think?’

“No way, someone in the audience shouted.

“Okay let’s get on with it.’ You first round tonight is a general knowledge round.’




The plane landed in on Kanafushi island in the Maldives at one in the afternoon (their time) as they were four hours ahead of UK time. The hotel they were shown was 5-star accommodation. The room they had was first class with every amenity at their disposal.

“This place is just paradise isn’t it.’

“It certainly beats a Spanish holiday replied Gary.’

“Look at the colour of the water and the beach.’ God, I could live here forever and never go back.’

“Well you could if you wanted to Shirley.’

They unpacked then headed to the reception area where a buffet style lunch was provided for all of the guests. There was so much food on display it was hard to choose what to eat.

They both settled on the lobster with a salad. They drank fresh pineapple juice and finished with coffee. Later that afternoon they walked down to the beach after changing into a bathing costume.  And it was there that they found a secluded lagoon further down from the hotel they walked in sandals to it. They placed thick towels down and sat on two of the loungers with a parasol just soaking up the sun.

“Isn’t it just nice to relax Gary, I think we were both ready for a holiday, don’t you?’

 “Yes, it’s certainly been hectic these last few months.’

“You know, I can’t believe how lucky I am. I went from having virtually nothing to become a millionaire overnight.’ “I believe in fate don’t you.’

“Was it fate that brought us both together?’

“I believe it yes, a simple bus ride changed my life.’

“Don’t forget the driver.’

 Shirley adjusted the sunglasses on her nose as a young man approached them and asked if they would like a cocktail or a cold drink?’

“My name is Tamil, and I will be looking after you on your stay here. if there is anything that you need please do not hesitate to ask and I will help you.’

Hello Tamil, I am Shirley and this is Gary.’  “Could I try one of your cocktails please.’

“I will bring you our specialty Madam.’ It’s called a Maldivian Lady.’

“Thank you.’

“Would you like anything to drink sir?’

“Yes,’ please could you bring me a nice cold beer.’

The Holiday they had paid for was all inclusive, all the food and the drinks and live entertainment was included.

“I will be but a moment said Tamil as he walked back to get them the drinks that they had asked for.

When he returned there was a tall glass filled with pineapple, mango, and lime. The cocktail was a mixture of coconut milk and rum and it was delicious.

As promised the beer was ice cold. Gary went to give him a tip and Tamil politely refused.

“I will be back soon to see if you need another. Please excuse me.’

With that the young man was gone.

Shirley sipped on her Cocktail through a straw as Gary drank his Carlsberg lager.  

They stayed out for three hours then headed back to the hotel to have a shower and then to have a siesta before dressing and going out for dinner a light sarong was the order of the day here as it was very humid. Gary wore a white pair of slacks, with a black leather belt, a pair of black leather sandals worn by all the Maldivian people and a sky-blue shirt. Again, it was a buffet styles menu where you could help yourself. There was a cook on hand at the griller for anyone wanting steak, lamb or chicken all freshly cooked to order. The huge grill had several pieces of meat on it so there was very little waiting to get something to eat.

Gary ate a fillet steak whilst Shirley had a piece of the best chicken she’d ever tasted marinated in spices.  Once dinner was over the entertainment began and there was dancing and singing by the locals. After a few Margheritas, Shirley was getting in the holiday mood and joined in with the dancing she took hold of Gary’s hand and got him up to dance too. Their first day had gone well and by one in the morning they both were ready for bed.

They made love under the stars and it was wonderful, they lay naked and unashamedly in each other’s arms. They talked in the stillness of the night until they both dropped off to sleep.



Over the next few days Gary took Shirley on a sightseeing tour in the city, they went snorkelling in lagoon and Shirley even had a go at water skiing.

They went to Reethi Rah to learn yoga in the serenity of a flowered garden then had a relaxing massage with coconut oil before having a jacuzzi. On the Thursday, they visited the Male market where they bought ornaments made from shells and miniature boats all made by the locals.

They flew by light aircraft over to Sri Lanka on the Friday. It was there that Gary Asked Shirley to marry him and she accepted. They were married in a simple ceremony on the island with only a few locals for witnesses. They stayed the night making love in the hotel before returning the next morning. The last day of their holiday was spent by the lagoon. They gave Tamil a good tip before they left and he could not thank them enough. The staff here worked hard for very little money. Mohammad Quasim the hotel owner wished them a safe journey back home as the taxi took them back to the airport.

Once on board the plane Gary looked at Shirley and smiled. Well Mrs Sanderson what does it feel like to be a married woman again.

“Marvellous, much better second time around for me. I have found my true soul mate. Someone who appreciates me, supports me, and loves me. What more could a woman ask for.

“Are you going to tell Margaret and Jimmy when we get back?’

“Yes, they will be okay about it you know.’

“I’m not worried about It, I just thought that you’d be nervous about breaking the news to them.’

“They are adults now Gary, they will understand. They are not going to change you know because you have married me.’

“I guess you’re right.’

The trolley dollies came around and asked if they wanted anything after they had been in the air two hours. The flight would take sixteen hours altogether and the plane would have to stop and refuel.

Shirley ordered two cups of coffee as they sat reading the newspapers. The lights had been darkened down so that other passengers could sleep it was two in the morning and Shirley and Gary were wide awake. Gary took to attempting the times crossword in the hope that it would make him sleep but it took another five hours before the two of them nodded off.

They slept through breakfast and woke up at just after 12 45 p.m. having just had three and a half hours sleep.

By the time the plane landed, refuelled and the plane took off again it was close to three o’clock in the afternoon. They ate lunch then went to the toilet to freshen up. The flight seemed longer as they kept checking their watches.

I don’t think I could hack these long-haul flights all the time could you Shirley?’

“Definitely not, I’m getting bored now and just want to get home to my bed.’


They were just showing another movie having just sat through “Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. Then “Crocodile Dundee” starring Paul Hogan. Now they were showing “Ruthless People” with Bette Midler and Danny De Vito. As much as they didn’t want to, they watched the movie just to pass the time away. With three hours to go, the route that they had taken was now shown on the mini screen in front of them they were flying over Germany now and England looked like a stepping stone away.

“Not long now Swirly said Gary as he squeezed her hand, her new gold band on her finger glistened and it matched his in design. They were inscribed on the inside with both their names and the date that they were married which Shirley thought was a nice touch.  She thought back to the wedding and smiled as she remembered the Sri Lankan priest trying to pronounce Gary’s name. It sounded like Gawi coming from his lips.

Shirley fought to keep herself from laughing as he called her Swirly Miller. From then on whenever she felt miserable. Gary would turn to her and say are you alright Swirly? And she would laugh.



Margaret Stephenson was looking for a book BTEC Business studies by Collin’s she was bending down to read along the row of books paying little attention to who was behind her and she bumped into a young man. The books he was holding went flying out of his hand and landed on the floor.

“I’m so sorry, can I help you?’  Margaret bent down and picked up the books and noticed he had the book that she was searching for.

“It’s alright honestly said the young man as he put on his gold rimmed spectacles.’

“It was my fault I’m as blind as a bat without these on.’

“No, it was me, I don’t wear glasses but I still managed to knock the books out of your hand.’

The young man looked at Margaret and smiled. Hi, I’m Keith Berry.’ Are you reading business studies?’

“Yes, actually you have the book that I was looking for.’

“Oh, I’m sorry, we can share it if you like?’

Keith walked over to the table and pulled out a chair so that Margaret could sit down and then sat down himself next to her and opened the book.  Margaret put down her bag that she was carrying and then took out her notebook and a pencil and began taking not

“The Colin’s BTEC was a reference book and Margaret used it to do her thesis.’

“How long have you been at the university asked Keith?’

“This is my second year.’ What about you?’

“I’m in my final year, maybe I can help you erm…


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