Friday, March 20, 2015

Bed and Breakfasts in the UK

It does seem to have become very common for B & B's in the UK to ask guests to remove their shoes at the door. It is encouraging that they feel able to ask this of paying customers. It makes sense to do this as they are taking in visitors into their homes on a regular basis. They don't want their carpets or flooring ruined.

It seems to be most common for bed and breakfast places in the Scottish highlands to ask for shoes off. That is unsurprising, as their guests are going to be doing a lot of walking. However, there seem to be a fair view bed and breakfasts on the south coast and other parts of England with a no-shoes policy.

It sometimes gets negative reviews on TripAdvisor and other review sites. I suppose it is part of the different experience of the British 'Staycation.' People may be used to holidaying abroad and staying in hotels where they can keep their shoes on. Staying in somebody's house and having to shed the shoes may seem a bit strange for a lot of holidaymakers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Et tu, Magistra

A short story I wrote some time ago. It's not one of my best.

In British schools, there has been legal requirment for a "daily act of worship, of broadly Christian character." I imagine that sounds completely bizarre to Americans. These 'worship' ceremonies are called assmblies and typically involve no more than the headmaster telling a story with a moral lesson ('broadly Christian character'). It's not a rigidly enforced, but it is still technically a legal requirement (please don't argue with me about this).

These assemblies are often held in gyms, hence this story. I remember when I was eleven years old, our head of form used to wear really high heels and kick them off for the school assembly in the gym.




Kate was just grabbing a coffee in the school staff room when she was approached by Judy, the headmistress.

"I liked the display you put up in your classroom, Jane," said Judy. "Those kids put some real effort into that work and it shows."

"Thanks a lot, Judy," replied Kate.

"Um, I know this might sound awkward, Kate, but I have noticed that when your class take their shoes off in the gym for the assembly, you keep yours on," said Judy, looking slightly embarassed.

"Yes, I do. I always make sure the class take their shoes off before they come in the gym though," replied Kate. "I've always kept mine on. Jennifer and Helen keep their shoes on too."

Judy nodded.

"Um, yes. Well I was going to speak to Jennifer and Helen too. I just caught you first," said Judy.

"You want us to take our shoes off too?" asked Kate, making a face.

"Well, yes."

"Seriously? Is that really necessary? I mean, the kids take their shoes off in assembly, so it can't make that much difference," argued Kate.

"Yes, but their shoes are all flat. Your shoes have heels. And I have noticed a few scratches in the gym," said Judy.

"I'd rather not take my shoes off. I'd feel a bit silly with my class in my stocking feet," said Kate.

"You're not the one giving the lesson. I'm the one standing in front of them all and I take my shoes off," said Judy.

"You don't feel at all silly?" asked Kate.

"No. And it gives my feet a break," replied Judy.

"But you know what my class are like. When they are coming in for assembly, they are pulling each other's hair and talking. How am I supposed to keep my authority with them when I'm standing their with no shoes on? I'll be a good deal shorter as well," protested Kate.

"You really think it would make that much difference, Kate?" asked Judy, who was starting to look exasperated. "I'm not sure why you are being difficult about this."

"I dress for work. I dress to present an image of authority and elegance. And now you want to take that away from me."

"I'm not asking you to teach the class in a boiler suit. I'm not asking you to have your shoes off all day. I'm asking you to take your shoes off for twenty minutes during assembly. Is that so difficult?" asked Judy.

Kate said nothing.

"You can always wear slippers in the gym," suggested Judy.

Kate gave a disgusted look.

"No thanks! I'd feel ridiculous in my bedroom slippers. I'd rather be barefoot if I have to be," she replied. "You are absolutely firm on this?"

"Yes, Kate. We spent a lot of money on that gymnasium. There is no money in the budget for replacing the floor."

"Fine, but if you get ill, I'm not leading the assembly," said Kate with a shrug.

"Sure Kate. Get the vicar in to give a talk if that happens," said Judy, satisfied with winning the argument.

"If he does, I'll leave it to Helen to ask him to take his shoes off."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Daily Tonic: 4 Reasons to Leave Your Shoes at the Door

The Daily Tonic: 4 Reasons to Leave Your Shoes at the Door


'I didn’t always but, now that I have little ones crawling all over my floor, I ask people to take off their shoes upon entering my home. Most of the time I feel bad asking that of them, especially if it isn’t their first instinct (I’m working on that). But, the more I learned about why it’s a good idea (as if the fact that those shoes have most likely been in a public bathroom recently isn’t enough), the more I felt confident in my request. Below, see my top 4 reasons to remove your shoes when you walk in the door.'

Bob's Stuff: Reasons It's GOOD To Ask Guests To Remove Shoes When Visiting

Bob's Stuff: Reasons It's GOOD To Ask Guests To Remove Shoes When Visiting


'OK...at the Bonenfant household we're one of "THOSE" people. Yes, we ask guests to take their shoes off when visiting inside. Check out this story:

Do you annoy your friends by making them take their shoes off when they come over? Well here are five reasons you're NOT crazy for doing it.'

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Houzz: Take a Step Back and Turn Your Home Into a Shoe-Free Zone

Houzz: Take a Step Back and Turn Your Home Into a Shoe-Free Zone

The momentyou enter your home after a long day is an opportunity to slow down — and one simple way to ensure you do that is by getting in the habit of taking off your shoes and slipping on a pair of comfy slippers. This small daily ritual says that the inside of your home is a special place. It encourages relaxation and ease. Why not give it a try?

Realtor.com: Why You May Have to Take Your Shoes Off at an Open House

Realtor.com: Why You May Have to Take Your Shoes Off at an Open House

It’s been a long week, and now you’re spending your weekend house hunting, running from one open house to another. You’re tired but still hopeful as you step into yet another home, only to be greeted with a command: Take off your shoes. What gives?

It might sound like a ridiculous request, but it’s not. Sellers have good reasons to make their open houses shoeless, but they should also take care not to offend buyers in the process.

What’s the big deal about shoes?

Sellers go through the trouble of making their homes sparkling clean before an open house, paying for that shine from their wallets or with their own sweat. Open houses can attract hundreds of people—and twice that number of feet—so some sellers want to reduce the chance of floor damage, like from the following

Big in Finland: No shoes at home in Finland

Big in Finland: No shoes at home in Finland



'Not only Japanese people remove their shoes when they walk into a home: Finnish people do so too.

To everyone who isn’t used to remove their shoes at the entrances of the houses – like me – this is quite shocking.

I went to Finland at the end of a summer, and it was then when I learned about this tradition. I must admit that in summer it doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference, but in winter you truly understand why Finns do what they do.

And not doing it is truly a faux-pas in Finland.'


Green Mom: Reasons to Remove Shoes Inside

Green Mom: Reasons to Remove Shoes Inside

When you visit other people in their homes, do you keep your shoes on or remove them? I come across more and more people who ask visitors to remove their shoes, and I am completely comfortable with this request. Over the years I have discovered that this informal policy is not appreciated by everyone and is quite controversial, depending on whom you ask.
People have various reasons behind wanting shoes taken off before entering a home. In some countries, it is considered disrespectful to walk into a home with shoes on. However, in the United States and Canada, most people leave them on. Many remove shoes due to cultural customs, but I began to wonder what other motivations there are to remove shoes when entering a home.