Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Make a New Years Resolution

Are you going to make a New Year's resolution? You may have some ideas already, perhaps to lose weight or to quit smoking. Perhaps you want to be more cultured and plan on listening to Wagner's Ring cycle.

One resolution you could make is to stop wearing shoes in your house and to ask family and friends to do the same.

Adopting a shoes-off rule might not be a great moral transformation, but it is a simple thing that will have a definite practical benefit.

Perhaps tomorrow you will be hosting a New Year's Eve party and the guests will damage the floor in their spike heels. Personally, I would recommend you to ask for shoes-off, but perhaps seeing the damage on New Years' day will add force to your resolution to go shoes-free.

If you adopt this resolution, your carpet will last longer and you can spend less money on carpet cleaning.

Perhaps you are expecting to have a baby in the next year. If so, having a shoes-off policy will create a safer and healthier environment for your family.

Life is full of small and simple decisions and this is one decision that could improve the quality of your life. Make that resolution.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Really Daft Comment

If you don't want shoe-wearing people in your house, then why invite them to a party at your house to begin with?

This person is evidently under the impression that shoes are an integral part of the wearer's body.

Some Very Reasonable Thoughts

The Domestic Empress: Hospitality is not the same as Customer Service

A very nicely balanced post on the etiquette of the shoes-off rule. Good title too.

The Empress argues that while it is rude to demand that guests remove their shoes if they do not fee comfortable removing them, there is nothing inherently rude about asking guests politely to take off their shoes:

I was raised to know that when you are a guest in someone’s home you are to be on your very best behavior. People invite you into their home as a treat. It is a privilege to be asked into someone’s home and be treated as a guest – not a right. Of course you should make yourself comfortable, but that means relax and have fun being polite – not to walk all over them and expect to bend house rules just because you’re a guest. After all, this is someone’s home, it’s not a hotel. It is polite for them to make you feel comfortable, but it is not their job.

So if I am asked to someone else’s home and they politely request that I take my shoes off before I come inside then by all means I am going to take my shoes off. Most of the time I will leave my shoes at the door without being asked, just out of courtesy, especially if I walk in and see a pile of shoes by the door.

I don’t think it’s even a little bit rude to ask your guests to take their shoes off before they come in. After all, odds are high you’ve just cleaned the house and would like to keep it that way. Depending on the number of guests you’re having, there may be serious consequences for your floor if everyone keeps their shoes on – especially in this dismal winter weather.

Readers of this blog may disagree with the Empress when she rejects shoes-off signs and insists on allowing in refuseniks, but it is nice to see somebody recognising that a simpe request is perfectly reasonabe.

A Rather Extreme Reaction

Things I want to punch in the Face: Shoeless Households

Sidebar Comments Box

I am afraid I had to remove the sidebar comments box.

Somebody used some bad language and I could not see a way to delete the comment.

I hate to delete comments, but I do want this to be a family-friendly page.

Please feel free to leave comments on the posts; I do not mind if they are a little off-topic. However, please refrain from using bad language. This blog is all about showing respect.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

My parents had some relatives visit today; a couple with small children. They removed their shoes without being asked (though they did prompt their children to remove theirs) and came in with socks or bare feet.

For once, my parents did not urge them to keep their shoes on.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

I have driven down to Hastings to see my family. I have openned lots of presents, had a few drinks and we are all having a good time.

Perhaps you are having family visiting at Christmas and the New Year. It is not wrong to think about your carpet or floor. The weather outside probably is not likely to be brilliant.

It is Christmas. Everybody will be relaxed and wanting to unwind. Your guests will not be offended if you ask them to slip their shoes off.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seeing this blog in Romanian

Somebody from Romania came onto this blog on a Google search. The Google page offered a translation of the blog into Romanian. It was kind of weird to see my stuff translated into another language. Of course, I can't vouch for the accuracy of an electronic translation.

Saturday, December 19, 2009



I believe there is an issue of stewardship here.

All that we have is a gift from God. We may enjoy our posessions, but we do need to give account to the Lord of how we have used them.

Carpet cleaning services are necessary to keep homes really clean, but they are very expensive. Replacing carpets costs even more. Having a shoes-off policy considerably reduces the need for maintaining carpets and other kinds of flooring. Therefore, as stewards of God's gifts, I would suggest that Christians ought to strongly consider the benefits of having a shoes-off policy in their homes.

Clean homes can also be more effectively used in the service of the Kingdom. Homes can be put to so many uses; entertaining visiting speakers, providing shelter for those who need it, hosting fellowship meetings (I think a good case can be made for holding all church meetings in homes) and Church lunches. Keeping homes shoe-free means that larger numbers of people can be accomdated at the home with minimal impact. It also makes the floor a safer place for small children and babies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Getting Attention

This blog got a mention in an article in the Boston Herald website, written by Lauren Beckham Falcone. Its from the pro-shoes-on perspective: Party hosts’ shoes-off policy should be booted to the curb

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fictional People (Stereotypes?) Part 4


Pekka is an hydraulic engineer from Finland, but he lives and works in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is single and rents an apartment in Aberdeen.

Pekka has lived in the UK for two years and finds it an interesting place. He finds the Scots rather noisy and a little odd, but is proud to demonstrate that Finns can drink more than any Scotsman.

Like many in his country, Pekka is very fond of heavy metal, and being patriotic loves Finnish bands like Finntroll and Turisas. Pekka also loves ice hockey, the Finnish national game and is baffled by the British preference for soccer, a game he finds rather dull.

Pekka has a no-shoes rule in his apartment.

All his life, Pekka had removed his shoes when entering homes. That was until he came to Britain. He was shocked when he discovered that Scots and English often keep their shoes on in homes. He had imagined that in other countries people took their shoes off, just like in Finland. He had seen people in American sitcoms wear shoes in homes, but had just thought this was just a convention.

When a few visitors came into his apartment with their shoes on, he was strongly tempted to try out some hand-to-hand combat techniques he had picked up during his military service, but thought better of it. Now he just asks for shoes-off in short, sweet, Finnish style.


Martha is the mother of four children and lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband, who is a doctor.

Martha and her husband are devout evangelical Christians. They left their previous Baptist church, believing it to be too worldly and now host a small fellowship of Christians in their home. They feel that the intimacy of a church meeting in a home is much deeper than the usual experience of a congregation.

Martha does not work, but has taken on the responsiblity of home schooling her four children. She believes that much of the teaching in the public school system is built on an evolutionary and humanistic philosophy. She wants her children to learn biblical ways of thinking.

Martha has a shoes-off policy in her home. She wants to protect her children from the dirt and filth outside the home. Just as she would not allow horror films or rock music into the home, she would not allow anybody to defile it with dirt from their shoes.

Martha make considerable use of their house. Four families worship their at the house church meeting and sometimes a few others attend. The tiny congregation appreciate the hospitality of Martha and her husband in openning up their home for church meetings and are happy to respect their wish for shoes-off at the door.

Martha also offers tuition in maths and science for other home-schoolers and naturally asks her pupils and their parents to remove their shoes when attending.

Martha seeks to use her home for the service of God and feels that by looking after the carpets and floors, she is making it last longer and better able to accomodate guests.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Egyptian Gods

And we must not forget that the gods of ancient Egypt were always portrayed barefoot.

The ancient Egyptians were so enlightened that they saw nothing odd about Pharaohs, queens or noblemen being shoeless in public. Contrary to any movies you might have seen, even if they do star Charlton Heston.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Elegantly Bare Foot

I want to challenge the notion that being bare foot should be associated with informality, poverty, tackiness or 'rednecks.'

The great artists of the past loved to paint the human form and they welcomed the challenge of painting the naked human foot. They have left us with many images of people who are barefoot, yet still posessing grace and elegance.

This blog's header image, The Golden Stairs, by Edward Burne Jones is a good example of this, but here are some more:

Monday, December 07, 2009

A great comment

I found this comment on this thread, Fodorite Lounge Forum: Shoes off in my house! Does this bug you?

"Good Morning America" did a story on the underside of people's shoes -- they said that 9 out of 10 shoes were contaminated with coliform (bacteria from fecal matter) that was most likely picked up from the floor of public restrooms or animal waste. The level of bacteria was 1,000 times higher than the level found on most toilet seats.

They cited university studies that found other forms of bacteria as well, which cause intestinal infections, eye infections, and even lung infections. The bacteria was easily transfered from the shoes onto both carpet and tile flooring. The bacteria apparently live longer on shoes than on other surfaces because as we walk around, the constant addition of new germs feeds the growing bacteria population.

Maybe it's just me, but I prefer my home -- where my grandchildren play on the floor and put their hands in their mouths afterwards -- to be cleaner than a public toilet seat, not 1,000 times filthier. If that makes me a poor host, so be it. (But I like to think that I'm doing my guests a favor, even if they don't realize or appreciate it -- I'm providing them with a clean environment to relax in, one that won't make them ill, and probably cleaner than their own home).



You might think that with cars having catalytic converters, lead on the ground would not be much of a risk. However, cars had been belting out leaded petrol for years.

Lead does not biodegrage, decay or dissipate. Furthermore it gets absorbed by soil. It is not just cars that have introduced lead into our environment, lead paint, debris from demolished and various industrial activities have deposited lead onto the ground in urban locations.

Lead can be introduced into homes on peoples' shoes through soil and dust. This creates a serious risk of exposure, particularly for children. Potential risks of lead exposure include brain damage, behaviour changes, slowed growth, poor mental and educational development and hearing problems and seizures.

Having a shoe-free home can considerably reduce the risk of lead exposure.

Sole Truth About Those Soles

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Strange Bedfellow

Being rather sceptical about environmental concerns, I am naturally a bit smug about the 'Climategate' emails.

It is weird because most of the blogs and websites that advocate removing shoes in homes revolve around environmentalism and green living.

But as I have said before, what I like about championing this issue is that it is something that can cut across differences over politics and religion.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009



You may not have a baby at crawling age
But if you ask visitors to your home to remove their shoes, you send a message that it is acceptable to keep your home shoe-free. That makes life easier for those who do have crawling babies.

You may not have a new carpet
You may have an old carpet that needs replacing or a wooden
floor that is covered in scratch marks. But if you have a shoes-off policy, it will make it easier for those who do have a new carpet to do the same.

You may not live in an area where there is pesticide on the ground
But if you have a no-shoes rule in your house, it will make thos