Friday, September 29, 2006

Beach and Carpet

The link below makes the point that many beaches are often not very clean, as they are frequently soiled by animal excrement.

It is remarkable that people will happily walk barefoot on beaches that, despite looking clean, are contaminated by animal excrement, rubbish, pollution and other filth and yet will make a fuss if they are asked to remove their shoes and go barefoot on somebody's clean carpet or shiny hardwood floor.

Do people really think that beaches are more hygienic than floors that are cleaned regularly?

13 comments:

Redeemed said...

oh yuck, I didn't know that, Matthew.

I always wear sandals at the beach, but when it's time to get in the water, I take them off. Not that go to the beach very often anyway.

This summer I went once with my best friend, it was supposed be a very sunny and hot day, so the weather network declared...it rained and thundered as though a tornado was on the way. :(

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Some beaches are cleaner than others.

One ought not to be afraid to go barefoot on most beaches. There are bigger risks in life.

But no beach is as clean as the carpet in a no-shoes household!

God Bless

Matthew

The IBEX Scribe said...

Sand on one's feet is a rather pleasant feel, especially sand that is moist or wet. Even wearing sandals you're going to get a lot of stuff on your feet at a beach because the sand gets inside your shoes anyway. I think that washing your feet after going to the beach is sufficient. So goes the opinion of the one raised in Southern California...

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Do you agree that people who go barefoot on the beach but object to going barefoot when visiting somebody's home are being a bit silly?

Anonymous said...

Yes I definately do, the only valid reasons someone would have for refusing to take off their shoes would be either if they were disabled or if the floor at the host's house was very dirty already or if it was very cold (which wouldn't be a problem if the host had good central heating)I think a lot of it just has to do with culture which in Britain is considered to be rude and over familiar to take shoes off in other people's homes. Therefore a lot of what we are trying to achieve is cultural change.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Indeed.

But I think Blair's Britain (soon to be Gordon's Britain?) is more ripe for this cultural change.

-Younger people are inclined to remove their shoes.

-People are exposing their feet more than ever in sandals and flip flops.

-People are gettin used to removing their shoes in public, for instance in Yoga and at airport security checks.

-People are spending huge amounts of money on their homes (which cost them a lot more with the huge house prices).

-People are very paranoid about toxins, ashma, allergies and pollution.

-Increased immigration from countries where removing shoes is the norm. I totally welcome the increase in immigration from shoes-off Eastern European countries.

-The presence and awareness of religions which require removal of shoes in places of worship.

God Bless

Matthew

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts. All the trends that you have discussed certainly point to shoe removal in homes becoming more common. At first you said about Blair's Britain being more open to cultural change, do you think there may be a political element to all this? Do you think that people of some political tendencies are more likely than others to be "offalists", just a thought?

Also do you believe that shoeless homes will ever become the "norm" in the UK and if so over what sort of timescale is that likely to happen?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think removing shoes is likely to be the norm in twenty or thirty years. I am optimistic.

Political tendencies?

You may or not know that I am a card-carrying Conservative.

I think it would be rare for upper-middle class Conservatives to insist on shoes-off. That comes down to class.

If I was hosting a local Conservative branch Xmas dinner, like my parents do, I would be uncomfortable asking them to take their shoes off. But as they are mostly elderly, it would be unwise anyway.

However, removing shoes is common among the London middle-classes that the Conservative party is increasingly relying on for votes.

I do not think politics makes much difference, though people who are very concerned about the environment might be more worried about toxins on people's shoes.

God Bless

Matthew

Anonymous said...

You mention that shoe removal is common among the middle classes whose support the Conservatives are coming to depend on. Well I have here the link to an article in the Times by Matthew Parris during last year's general election
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19809-1590335,00.html

It really just mentions in passing what he calls the "middle middle class English", people he says like teachers, nurses pensioners and self employed landscape gardeners. He then says that they are the type of people who don't wear shoes indoors. Interesting he says that, he seems to have spotted a certain trend don't you think?

Anonymous said...

This is the actual relevant paragraph.

The area Mr Boles was to canvass was suburban; hardly the preserve of the exotics or the young-professional set who have moved in along the Hove seafront. Holmes Avenue and Elm Drive are a mix of smart 1930s semis, flowering dwarf cherries, mock-Tudor former council-house terraces, door knockers in the shape of brass rabbits and rather too many hyacinths. The inhabitants, who dine at seven, park their modest cars on crazy-paving in front of the house and do not wear shoes indoors, are nurses and teachers, pensioners and self-employed landscape gardeners. Nice people. Middle-middle-class English.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for sharing that. Very interesting.

The sort of people I was referring to were thirty-something London trendies.

Anonymous said...

Well those kinds of people tend to be the trend-setters for the rest of society. So maybe it represents hope for the future.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

In this area, yes. Otherwise I would not particularly praise the values of that class of people.