I saw something in the newspaper to cheer me up today.
A correspondent had written to the Times' etiquette column. This person was from Seattle and was asking about the increasing popularity of the shoes-off rule. The correspondent described it as a 'fad' and felt it was 'abhorrent'.
The columinist did not think that the practise was abhorrent and urged the propriety of complying with such an expectation. He said the shoes-off policy was becoming increasingly popular in London as Seattle.
I think that the shoes-off rule is probably more popular in Seattle than London, however I have read internet rumours that suggest that it has gained popularity in London. I suspect this is because of the international character of the city, as well as because of its dirty streets. This is a great encouragment to me.