ANOTHER man, with a more suspicious mind, might easily have wondered if his wife was having an affair.

However, being the trusting type, I’ve accepted my wife’s promise that her dalliance with the Mayor of Easingwold was all the computer’s fault.

Technology’s like that. It’s exceedingly useful but I can also drop you in it from a great height. Like the time my daughter went on a trip with school and I texted her to say: “Miss you, love you xxx.”

Except, somehow, I managed to send it to Health Secretary and Darlington MP, Alan Milburn, who was taking his seat in the House of Commons at the time and instinctively feared he had a stalker when the message flashed up on his phone.

That was a long time ago now, but my wife and the Mayor of Easingwold are a more current item.

Their relationship came about because she edits a magazine and had been writing an article extolling the virtues of the pretty North Yorkshire market town of Easingwold. This required her to interview the town’s distinguished Mayor, Councillor Peter Nottage, and exchange some emails.

This meant that he was the latest “Peter” in her computer’s memory, and that explains why he received a couple of emails that were intended for me. When my wife began to type in “Peter Barron”, predictive text inserted “Peter Nottage” without her noticing, and the results must have been somewhat alarming for him.

I should probably explain that my wife and I both work from home these days. She has an office downstairs, and I beaver away upstairs, so she sends me emails to save time and energy.

Anyway, the first message, asking the Mayor out on a date, was bad enough: “Do you fancy going to see a Midsummer Night’s Dream with me in York?” it said.

The email didn’t stop there: “I know you don’t particularly like Shakespeare but let me know if you’re interested.”

To give his worship due credit, he guessed that it was much ado about nothing and that the email probably wasn’t meant for him. He went on to say he wouldn’t have accepted anyway, explaining that he's watched a lot of bad Shakespeare plays in his time.

But having accepted the first email from my wife as being an innocent mistake, even he must have started having doubts when the second landed in his in-box. This time, the request had longer-term implications: “Have you got time to come and view a house with me?” asked my wife, who’s clearly a faster mover that I remembered.

I’m pleased to say the Mayor of Easingwold again politely, and patiently, declined the invitation, although I’m sure he’s bracing himself for what future communications from my wife might throw up.

It’s my birthday in a couple of weeks, and our 30th wedding anniversary in June. My hopes are high, so heaven knows what invitations he might receive.


THANKS to Tom Armstrong, of Hartlepool, for letting me know about his conversation with six-year-old grandson Ethan.

“Have you and Nanna got me an Easter egg, Grandad?” asked the little lad.

“You’ll have to wait and see,” replied Tom.

“I can’t wait,” insisted Ethan. “It’s just that if you haven’t got me one, I need to send you a reminder.”

SAM, aged three, from Sunderland, turned to his Auntie Marion and said: “Do you know, Auntie Marion, my legs go right up to my bottom.”

JILL, aged eight, came home from school with a rather delicate question: “How did Mary have a baby without a husband?”

Her Mum did her best to explain: “It was just that God thought she was special.”

“No,” replied Jill. “I mean Mary, the secretary at school.”