Monday, May 30, 2011



Roundworms live in the intestines of dogs and cats. They pass their eggs into the feces. These tiny eggs can survive in the soil for months.

You might not see any dog or cat plop on the ground on which you walk, but potentially you are picking up Roundworm eggs on your shoes.

If you allow shoes in your house, Roundworm eggs may be introduced onto the same floor on which your children play. It just takes your child one mouth to hand contact for her to become infected. Potentially she could develope lung problems as a result of infection.

Just take your shoes off and ask others to do the same. It's not rocket science.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flip Flops


Flip flops are definitely my favorite kind of footwear. I expect a lot of people who want shoes-off in their homes like flip flops, as they are easy to put on and off and are minimal enough for people who like being shoeless. The only disadvantage is that in very wet weather, your feet can get muddy and you need to wash them after coming in.

I have mentioned before that the popularity of flip flops and sandals today shows that most people are not embarassed any more about their feet. It seems doubtful that many people would mind being asked to remove their shoes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Treating other people with respect


We should always do our utmost to treat other people with respect.

All of us have little things that we are sensitive about. Other people might find it hard to understand those things and may think we are oversensitive about them. However, that does not mean that we should not take those things into consideration.

For instance, some people may not like to hear bad language. If so, you should try as hard as you can not to swear when in that person's company. You may think that is silly. You may think they have the problem, not you and they should deal with it. I disagree. I think that you should respect the fact that those people do not like bad language.

Some people may not like you to smoke when there children are present. You may think that is silly, after all they are not going to be affected by you smoking just one cigarette in front of them. However, perhaps these people do not want you to set an example to your children. You should respect that.

Likewise, some people do not want shoes to be worn inside their homes. This is something important to them.

You may think this is daft. If it is for cultural reasons you may think "They are living in the UK not in China." If it is to protect the carpet you may think "Carpets are meant to be walked on." That is fine. You are entitled to your opinion. However, you should still treat their preference with respect. They are fellow human beings who have the right to their preferences and opinions as much as you do. So please don't complain if you are asked to remove your shoes in such homes.

We should also not be afraid to state our preferences. Nobody is going to know that you would rather they avoided using bad language in front of their children unless you tell them this. In the same way nobody will know that you would like shoes-off in your house unless you make it clear. There is nothing wrong with expressing how you feel and asserting your wishes. You have the right to be respected.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Encourage but not insist?


Some people say that it is fine to encourage people to remove their shoes, but one should not insist that they do so.

There is a fine line between insisting on people removing their shoes and encouraging people to take them off. There are a number of things one could say that are subtle encouragements:

We take our shoes off here.

You might like to take your shoes off.

These imply strongly that the host wants the guest to remove her shoes. I do not see that insisting or asking is worse than encouraging. If you encourage people to take their shoes off, then you have started from the assumption that people will be willing to take them off. By encouraging, you apply a degree of moral pressure to comply.

I think a lot of people would not want the uncertainty of just being encouraged. I was dating a girl a few years ago when I was not 100% sold out to the shoes-off rule. She asked me if she should remove her shoes. I told her that we removed our shoes but she did not have to. She was actually uncomfortable at this answer and asked me whether I wanted her to take them off or not.

Sometimes it is simpler just to be straight with people and ask them to remove their shoes. No need to beat around the bush.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shoes still need to come off in Summer


Some people may be of the opinion that shoes-off in homes is a good idea in the damp of winter, but is quite unnecessary in summer, except when it rains (which it certainly does here in the UK).

However, on the contrary I maintain that shoes ought to be removed even in summer.

It is true that the weather is drier in summer,so there is less chance of bringing damp or mud into the house. However, in summer, shoes will still pick up small particles of grit. These particles gradually wear out carpets.

If you have laminate or wood floors, there is still the risk of making scratches (watch out with those high-heeled sandals, ladies) or leaving marks (why do you think you are expected to wear deck shoes or go barefoot on a yacht?).

Dust is still a problem in summer. Dust is not good for your health or your children's health and the less of it in your house, the better. There is likely to be even more dust in summer, as the ground dries up and cracks.

Dog dirt is still a problem in summer. In winter, many people will walk their dogs to the minimum that is necessary. In summer, people will be spending longer outisde with their dogs, increasing the risk of fouling up. Dog dirt is extremely unhealthy stuff. Not good for crawling babies. You may try to avoid stepping in it, but your shoes will still pick up small traces and then grind them into the carpet if you do not take them off.

There is also pollen, which is only a problem in summer. Your shoes will pick up lots of the stuff. If you suffer from Hayfever or you live with Hayfever sufferers, I recommend having a shoes-off policy in summer.

Of course, on a hot summer's day, nobody ought to mind taking their shoes off!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You can't argue with this

If you think that you can't look glamorous with your shoes off, just take a look at this picture of Lady Victoria Hervey at a yacht party in Cannes:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hey, Buddhists take their shoes off!

I am an huge fan of Doctor Who. On my other blog, Tea with Morbius, I review Doctor Who stories and also post my fan fiction.

The Doctor Who serial Planet of the Spiders came out this month on DVD. Not that I am going to buy it any time soon. I am not a big fan of the Pertwee era in Doctor Who anyway, but Planet of the Spiders is a really naff story.

One thing that annoys me about Planet of the Spiders is that a large part of the story is set in a Buddhist monastery/ meditation centre, in which nobody takes their shoes off. The characters even meditate with their shoes still on. That is not very Buddhist. It is rather surprising, because the producer at the time was the late Barry Letts, who was a Buddhist. You would think he would have pointed this out to the director.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ask Anna... Reader Question: No Shoes in the House?

Ask Anna... Reader Question: No Shoes in the House?

I think having the sign on/near the front door is a great start because it prepares people as they are walking in the door. Some will forget and you'll have to remind them but that's ok. I've had a few guests make rude comments about it but I don't care because it's my home and I'm the one cleaning it.As far as what we wear in the house, it kind of depends on the season. I do have plastic disposable booties for service workers but we usually just run around in socks or bare feet. We do all have house slippers but my daughter is the only one that really wears them. I've never had a guest complain about what they should wear after they take their shoes off and most of them know that if they want sock to bring them with them. :)

Fictional People (Stereotypes?) Part 5



Steve is in his thirties and works as a probation officer. Five years ago his wife died of cancer, leaving him with four young children to bring up on his own.

Losing the love of his life felt like a deathblow, but knowing his responsibility as a father helped pull him through, as well as the comfort of friends and family.

Juggling a busy job with being a single parent has proved quite a challenge. Thankfully, some of his relatives have lived close enough to help out at times.

Steve has a shoes-off policy in his home.

He has never been fastidious about cleanliness or wanted to live in a museum, but as a father he does not want his children to grow up in a pigsty. Even with the children helping out with household chores, keeping the place clean is a mammoth task. He therefore decided that it was not asking very much to expect anybody entering his home to remove their shoes.

Steve does not hold many dinner parties, but his children often bring along their friends. His children always make sure to let visiting friends know about the no-shoes rule.

In the last three years, Steve has dated a couple of lady friends. Neither of them minded about removing their shoes, but they were a little more daunted about becoming stepmothers to four children!


Dorothy is in her sixties and is the headmistress of a small school in a village in Kent.

She lives in a cottage and rides to a parish church of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship on her bicycle. She is very active in village life and is member of the local branch of the Women's Institute.

Dorothy has never been married. She had never cared much for any of the men she has met in her life. She had been engaged once to a Frenchman, but she was jilted before reaching the altar.

She admits that she is of the old school of English spinsterhood and takes on the role with much panache.

Dorothy has a shoes-off policy in her home.

She decided to make her cottage a shoe-free zone sixteen years ago. She found too many of her friends were calling on her after walking in the fields nearby. Far be it for Dorothy to live in a house without spotless carpets. Not all of her friends were enthused, but the vicar's wife was very impressed at the efficency created by the policy and introduced it at the vicarage; a home that received far more visitors.

Dorothy has two sister and two brothers, all of whom are married and so frequent visits from nephews and nieces, some of whom have had their own children. Her siblings and in-laws sometimes sneer under their breath about her being a 'fussy old maid', but she takes this as a compliment.

The nieces and nephews are perfectly happy removing their shoes when visiting Dorothy. She is their favorite aunt; rather stern, but always passionate and fun.