A QUARTER of British women believe in magic. They believe spells and potions work. This is from a survey so it must be true.

I tend to believe it. How many young ladies kissed a prince only to see him turn into a frog after five years of marriage?

Fortunately my wife Maria likes frogs because we have just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. This is a long time.

As someone said in the pub: “That’s four life sentences.”

Nice to know romance is not dead.

Mind you, I’m beginning to wonder whether my wife has stayed the course through magic.

Perhaps she cast a few spells along the way?

After all, her cousin is a white witch. Well she said she was, but then she has always been odd and lives in Spain.

She had an ancient Cletic altar in the bushes at the bottom of her back lawn, one that she had made herself with bits and pieces from a garden centre. Very ancient; very authentic.

She swore by it but wouldn’t reveal whether she danced round it naked at midnight. Well, you can do that in Spain where it’s hot. After a bottle or two of sangria the altar becomes optional.

So Maria decided she wanted one, too: an ancient altar dedicated to Wicca.

I’d seen that film The Wicker Man years ago. The dance by Britt Ekland was quite memorable but I seemed to recollect that Edward Woodward was burnt inside a wicker effigy at the end and I didn’t fancy that.

I mean, you think a wicker effigy big enough to take to take a bloke would be hard to build but I’m only little and I’m sure Maria could have got her girlfriends to help if she told them it was for Bonfire Night.

Of course, she’d probably have got them to help if she’d told it was for me.

Anyway, I mocked up my version of Stonehenge for her in the back garden.

It wasn’t as high as the original and you could only watch the sunrise on Midsummer’s Day by lying on the ground and squinting into a mirror, but the concept was the same.

And I dedicated it to Whacker rather than Wicca, just to be on the safe side, as Whacker is a mate of mine and would never knowingly set me on fire.

Maria broke a long twig off a tree for a wand and read a magazine article about spells and made the rest up as she went along.

And no, she never danced naked in the garden at midnight. Well not since 1967. And never in Huddersfield in winter.

The altar was long ago swallowed up by nature. It was, she said, a passing phase and I assumed she had packed it in years ago.

But what if she had been successful? What if she had cast a spell so that, in her eyes, I turned back into the 26-year-old prince she had originally fallen for, instead of the grumpy old frog I had become?

Maybe she had been casting spells since I peaked at 32 and I never knew it? It could explain why we’re still together.

And let's face it, after 45 years that has to be magic.