RICHARD ORD: A cheap holiday is other people’s misery ...

"You've spent money on what?"
"You've spent money on what?"

I cheerily informed my family this week that I’d bought an item of clothing.

My words were greeted like the pub darts scene in American Werewolf in London. You know the one. Where the hitchhikers cheerily ask the locals in the Slaughtered Lamb what the star on the wall is for, only to be met with a deathly silence and the threat of violence.

Our Isaac, 12, almost choked on his orange juice, while our Bradley, 15, started backing out of the room, his eyes nervously swivelling from me to the fixed gaze of my wife. Her eyes blazed: “You made me miss.”

In the Ord household, only my wife is allowed to spend money. Like all good wives she runs a tight financial ship. She’s the captain, the kids are the crew, and I’m the, erm, deckchair attendant. Sometimes I feel like the iceberg. The financial outgoings are divided into two categories. Essentials and luxuries.

In the current economic climate, luxury expenditure is left to a bare minimum.

Only essential payments are allowed like food, energy bills and false eyelashes.

Yes, false eyelashes come under essential buys. They can be found on the indispensable list sandwiched between exfoliating cream and nail varnish. Her eye-care range alone beggars belief. There’s under-eye de-wrinkling gel, eyelash curlers, and mascaras of every hue. Last week, however, she went out to the local beauty parlour to have false eyelashes glued to her eyelids.

I made a point of complimenting her on the new lashes. It was either that or asking her to get on her hands and knees and using them to sweep the porch!

Anyway, the point is she didn’t ask if it was okay to spend the money. Essentials, you see. Unlike my purchase.

Her eyes burned under their new false eyelash awning.

“I can’t believe you’ve spent money on clothes,” she bleated. “We’ve got loads of outgoings at the moment.”

I stopped her in her tracks. “I bought a tie,” I said. “It cost £2.” Her eyelashes fluttered approvingly. The way to a woman’s heart is pretty easy, take any route, as long as you avoid going through her purse.

I mention all this because dad Jon Platt just made all our lives harder by taking his kid out of school to go to Florida. He’s been lauded as a hero for refusing to pay the fine he was given and getting it overturned through the High Court.

While the rest of us fork out a fortune taking our children on holiday during official school breaks, he reckons he’s above the law and has every right to do what he thinks is fair, whether it breaks rules or not.

Oh, cheers mate. Now if everyone does that, what a mess we’re going to be left with. He was caught out and should have paid up. I’m sure he wouldn’t be too happy if his kid returned to school only to find the teachers were playing hooky so they could take advantage of cheap holidays.

Wave your £2 tie above your head if you’re with me...