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.


34. 34

   Upon their return from Poland and the Ukraine Kevin Matuszewski relayed the messages given to him by his grandparents to his father and mother. Kevin was telling them how spritely they were considering their ages and how like the reception that they received at Tanya’s parent’s house, it had been repeated at his grans. He told them of the music and the dancing that continued long into the morning, Kevin said he’d tried every Polish traditional dish. His father was sad that he had not been able to get the time off from his new job to go with them but later that night wrote a letter to them both. Since they had moved house He and Anna were far happier. They liked the area and the shops nearby. Kevin and Tanya stayed for supper then they drove back to Durham that night because they both had lectures to attend the next morning then they had to go to work. They said goodbye as they drove away and Kevin told his mother that he would ring her.

It was after twelve when Kevin dropped Tanya off then drove back to the digs where Marko and Danile were waiting to hear all the news from home it was late again by the time Kevin relayed all the news. He made himself a cup of tea before unrolling his sleeping bag and getting his head down.


The next morning at 6.45am Kevin hurried out for his first lecture on campus for a week. He took down all the notes and was dreading being picked out to answer any questions by Mr Hawthorne. His notes had to produce something that had to be marked. Mr Hawthorne was meticulous and scanned every page correcting grammar so it had to be spot on. He had given him some sound advice for producing good essays. He spent hours in the library reading countless books on engineering and their contributions to modern society. He rushed off to the garage afterwards to do his shift. Tonight, the American students were holding a fancy dress party to celebrate Thanks’ giving. Kevin was undecided whether to go or not until Tanya came around and persuaded him. He tied an American flag in a bandana and wore a tee shirt with Abraham Lincoln on the front. Those was the only things he could find that symbolised America. They were all meeting in the usual pub where they would set off around the town and visit the many bars trying to cadge as many free drinks as possible from other students. By eleven forty- five the rowdy students headed back to their digs with cheap bottles of plonk. Kevin walked Tanya back to her digs She had an early lecture in the morning so Kevin kissed her and then ran back to his place.

Marko and Danile were still drinking when he got back they had two girls with them and a do not disturb notice on the door. Kevin smiled then went in and got his sleeping bag. He went to the toilet then out into the corridor and got into his sleeping bag and the lay against the wall.

The sounds from the two couples making love filled his ears and he wished Tanya was with him.


Four weeks after the death of his son, Bob Stephenson went out of the house. The murder of his son had taken a lot out of him and he felt totally empty. His father had been around to try and shake him out of his depression. The Prozac tablets he’d been given from the doctor had done little to help. That morning though, he felt better able to cope and he and Paula went to the cemetery with him to see the memorial plaque that Shirley had placed on a kerb stone in the garden of remembrance. Paula looked at Bob who really didn’t know what Bob expected to find there at the cemetery, she believed that the soul left the body upon death and that there was nothing there but a memory.  Paula went along with her husband because as long as Bob got some comfort from being there then it was alright by her. Afterwards Paula drove to the new Morrison’s Shopping centre in Preston Grange. It was snowing fairly heavily as Bob pushed the shopping trolley inside and along the aisles as Paula placed Items of fruit and vegetables into it.

“Would you like me to make some home- made soup for you Bob, they have some bacon off cuts here and the weather is decidedly colder now?’

“Yes, that would be nice said Bob flatly.’

 They had been married almost two months now and since Jimmy’s death things had ceased in the bedroom so to speak which was understandable given the circumstances. She hoped that now Bob was now coming to terms with the death of his son that things would return to some kind of normality. Paula wondered over to the deli and bought some ham and peas pudding that Bob was partial to. She bought some flour and other ingredients to make scones and a cake with some dried fruit, marzipan and icing sugar.

“Could I have a pound of Cheddar cheese please?’

“Would that be mild or extra mature Cheddar madam?

“I’ll have the extra mature please.’

The man wrapped up the cheese after weighing it then asked if there was anything else that she required.

“That will be all thank you.’

Finally, they went to the butcher and bought some pork and beef sausages and some bacon.

They picked up some freshly baked bread and a dozen eggs on the way to the check out.

Paula paid on her credit card then asked bob to help her pack the shopping into the carrier bags she had brought with her.

When they were all filled Bob placed them back into the trolley and they headed for the exit and out into the extensive car park. Bob tried to push the trolley that had a mind of its own to the car whereupon Paula began to tie the bags before placing them into the boot.

“I think I had better buy some petrol Bob the car is running low.’

“There’s the petrol station over there, said Bob.’

Yes, you get a discount if you show them you till receipt apparently.’

“Well every little helps.’

“Bob that’s the slogan Asda use.’

Paula got into the car and followed the arrows around to the petrol station then filled up. She went inside then came out with a newspaper for Bob after paying on her credit card.

They drove home and Bob helped her unload the car and then plonked the bags down onto the kitchen bench before wondering into the living room and sitting in his favourite chair with a reclining foot rest. He placed his right leg up onto it then placed his specs that he’d bought from Poundland on his nose so he could read the sports section of the Daily Mirror. He didn’t like the smutty Sun newspaper.

After scanning the headline’s, he turned to the racing section automatically, then looked at the field in Lincoln and at Newbury that were being shown on Channel Four.

He picked out his Yankee bet then wrote them out on a Ladbroke’s betting slip. “Paula I’m just going out to the Bookies I won’t be long.’

Paula smiled knowing that things were getting better, Bob hadn’t had a bet since Jimmy died.

“I’ll make you a sandwich for coming back then Bob.’

“Aye with plenty of mustard on them said Bob as he closed the door and went down the ramp.

Walking down the bank he bumped into a few people he knew who offered their condolences. It was something that he was going to have to get used to for a while he thought as passed “Supa- Snooker then walked down towards the traffic lights. He went into the bookies and placed his bet before having a walk around the forum. He bought some flowers from Tom Owen’s fruit and vegetable shop for his wife before walking back home again. He felt a lot better as he breathed fresh air into his lungs. Since moving to the bungalow Bob had taken to walking more and it was surprising how much weight that he’d lost. He was now back to just under eleven stone. He’d dropped four and a half stone in weight in just a few months. The good thing was since reducing his beer and food intake he felt healthier for it. There was less pain in his knee joints because he was carrying less weight. He didn’t feel out of breath anymore when walking just a short distance. He took to doing the garden and cultivating the vegetable plot which came in handy on a Sunday when he could just walk out the back and grab a large cabbage or turnip and some leeks, to make soup with. It saved Paula a few pounds and it gave Bob a hobby as well as some exercise. Paula was pleased with the flowers and gave Bob a kiss.

 Bob and Paula returned to the quiz that Thursday. All the lads were pleased to see them both as they had missed his input in the music round. Bob told them when Paula had gone to the bar that he’d booked a holiday for them to go to Gran Canaria in May but she didn’t know anything about it yet. They would be staying in Maspalomas near Puerto Rico.

“That’s lovely, It will do you both good to get away for a while Bob said Micky. Claire and I are going to Zanti in June.’ 

“So, it’s getting pretty serious between you two now then. Could we see another wedding before the end of the year?’

“Who knows.’

“Do what I did Mick and marry her out there then there’s just the two of you, it’s one hell of a sight cheaper than a formal wedding here in England.’

“I will certainly think about it mate thanks.’

The team finished third that night which pleased Mick. They had now another fiver to put into the pot.

Paula drove Mick and Drop Gob to Howdon where they stopped at a Chinese take away on the way. Then returned home. “I think I’ll have a shower said Paula, I won’t be long, just keep the food hot in the oven until I come out.’

“I’ll jump in after you if you put my shower leg handy for me.’

“I’ll put your pyjamas on the bed for you.’

“Thanks pet.’

“Do you want a cup of tea to go with your supper?’

“A cup of hot chocolate would be nice.’

I’ll put some milk on then and make you one.’

Paula disappeared into the bathroom, she turned on the water in the shower then went to get some bath towels and her terry towelling dressing gown. She placed a shower cap over her head after undressing then stepped into the warming water. Using some shower gel, she used a loofah to do her back and a sponge to wash herself with she looked down as she rinsed herself and the soapy suds went down the plug hole. Paula stepped onto a bathmat then began to dry herself with one of the soft light blue towels that she had bought in Las Vegas. They were large soft, thick quality towels made to last. She put on a clean pair of briefs then put on the bath robe. Going into the bedroom she put on her slippers then placed Bobs pyjamas on the bed. When she came out Bob went in the shower he didn’t stay in long and when he came out he removed the warmed plates from under the bottom shelf of the oven. He used the oven gloves to take out the aluminium cartons that had a prawn curry in one and pork curry in the other. There was a serving of chips in another and another with boiled rice. He took the lids off so that they could help themselves to a little of each. Bob placed some of the food on the plates and they sat at the table. Paula hated sitting on the sofa to eat food. She said that it was uncivilised so Bob joined her at the dining table. He brought her the cup of chocolate she asked for whilst he squeezed the tea bag in his mug that had been stewing for less than three minutes. He placed some milk into the cup but he didn’t take sugar at all these days. Little adjustments like this had helped in his weight loss programme.

“Did you enjoy being back with the team tonight Bob?’

“Aye, I thought we were going to win it tonight, it’s those questions that ask you how many miles is Antarctic circle and questions like that that get me stuck.’

“It makes you wonder how some teams get it spot on all the time.’

“They have to be cheating either that or they have a geography lecturer in their team.’

“You will never stop cheating Paula, it nature some people just have to win one way or another.’

“It spoils it for the others though Bob.  Mm try this pork it’s nice.’

“Try some of mine then.’

“There’s far too much food here to be eating for bed really Bob.’

“We can burn off a few calories later if you want to.’

“Why Bob Stephenson,’ you certainly know how to be romantic don’t you.’ she threw her head back and laughed.’

“Just wait until I’ve eaten my supper, I’ll make you think you’ve just done a ten- mile run.’

“Promises, promises.’

“Just don’t make me chase you around the bedroom or I’ll fall over.’

Paula got up from her seat and sat on Bob’s lap she placed one arm around his neck, her robe was gaping and Bob could see a hint of her breasts underneath and he felt himself stir in the loins.

She began to kiss his neck then nibbled on his ear lobe.

“Come on woman, let’s get you to bed.’

He placed the lids on all the cartons, put the plates in the sink with some washing up liquid and ran the hot water over them until they were covered. Bob took Paula by the hand and then led her to the bedroom after turning out the lights in the living room and dining room.



“By the start of 1990 Keith Berry Launched his new Blackberry notebook. It had taken him just over twelve months to complete but had been an idea in his head for three years. There had been a few setbacks along the way but he’d done it. He had orders coming in every second via his notepad. He went into mass production of his product with his father. Students all over the world were all trying to get their hands on the portable computer that could be carried around. Solicitors, small businesses, and even school children wanted one.

In its first three month’s he had 20 million orders. At £450 pounds per unit Keith, was going to be a rich young man. He was given an honorary master’s degree from Newcastle University. Keith Berry was named as young inventor of the year in no less than 47 countries. He was invited all over the world to talk about his product. Margaret travelled with him to New York then onto Hong Kong where they were very interested in his product. Most of his components came from China and Japan so he was keen to talk with them. Keith Berry, the graduate from Newcastle now drove a BMW with personalised plates (BERRY 1).

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