An Observation

I have noticed that people are more likely to remove their shoes in public places when they are wearing sandals or flip flops, as opposed to closed shoes worn with socks.

I suppose their are a number of reasons for this. Sandals and flip flops are easier to remove than sneakers with laces or knee-high boots. People's feet are likely to smell less if they have been wearing open shoes. Also, when people are wearing sandals, their feet are half-naked anyway.

Thus, I suppose the trend for people to wear sandals for a greater part of the year is very positive for shoe-free homes. It seems like only a few years ago when British people wore sandals for about one week in August and when they went abroad. These days, a lot of British people, especially women, seem to wear sandals and flip flops throughout the year, even in winter. Maybe it has something to do with the warmer weather (I am not expressing here any opinion on climate change).

Shoes-Off Signs

I was thinking about shoes-off signs yesterday.

I had thought that people who put them up are a bit lazy, as they did not want to ask people to take their shoes off. It occurred to me, however, that some people might consider a sign more polite than a spoken request for shoes-off.

Some people might feel embarassed and patronised by being asked to take their shoes off. Seeing a sign would save the need for such a request. They would know that shoes-off was required and could pretend that they knew they should take their shoes off without being told.

However, I am not convinced. I think most people, at least over here, would prefer a polite request to a written sign. Once people have got into a routine, they should not need to be told any more.


I saw a young woman being arrested in Worcester today, presumably for shoplifting. Naughty girl. She was led out of Debenhams in handcuffs and put into a police van.

Earlier this week, the supermodel, Naomi Campbell was arrested for an alleged assualt. She seems to have this habit of getting into a lot of hot water.

If you are ever arrested in the United Kingdom, you will probably be required to take your shoes off at the police station. Your shoes will either be confiscated at the custody desk or else you will be required to leave them outside the cell.

I suppose the main reason for this is to stop detainees hanging themselves with their shoelaces. But I dare say there are other reasons. After all, in some police stations, they just take your shoe-laces. I suppose they worry about prisonners using their shoes as a weapon (ladies high heels could be lethal) or even just kicking the door of the cell and making a racket. Maybe they also worry about getting their clean cells dirty.

You may not have to take your shoes off when visiting most British homes, but if you are a guest at a police station over here, you are expected to be polite!

An Episode in a Programme I shall never watch

Frequent reference is made in internet discussions of the shoes-off rule to an episode in the sitcom, Sex in the City. I understand that this is a rather immoral programme and I have no intention of ever watching it. According to recent surveys, most young women do not at all approve of the lifestyles of the main characters in Sex in the City.

From internet discussions I have managed to discern a brief synopsis of the sub-plot in this episode. One of the main charcters is invited to a baby shower, at which the hostess requires her to remove her expensive shoes for hygeine reasons. The shoes are stolen during the party and the hostess refuses to pay for the loss, despite receiving some expensive presents from the guest.

This seems a typical attempt to portray those with a shoes-off rule as mean and selfish.

I suppose it does raise the question of whether a host or hostess should be responsible for such a loss in the unlikely event of it happening. It might be a little awkward if the shoes that are stolen, as in that episode, are shoes that cost considerably more than the host would pay for shoes.

Any thoughts?

The Imelda Marcos Mentality

Times Online: Nothing beats a woman's desire to show off a fresh pair of heels

It seems a lot of women have an Imelda Marcos mentality that drives them to buy more shoes than seems feasibly possible. According to a survey, the average woman over forty owns 19 pairs of shoes, but many own far more.

A lot of people, especially Christians, have this idea that consumerism is the great evil of our age. They think that people are driven by advertising to purchase more and more stuff, tearing up the environment and exploiting the Third World in the process. I believe such thinking is naieve and stems from lack of economic knowledge. Spending money, even on lots of pairs of shoes is good. It drives the economy and creates wealth. Even the problem of debt is not the great evil that some people make it out to be. The reason so many people get into debt is not because they are brainwashed by advertising, but because the consequences of debt are not as severe as they used to be. Nobody goes to debtors prison any more.

There is a downside to this shoe obsession for those who prefer shoes-off in their homes. While these ladies probably get the most satisfaction when they buy their fancy heels, they will naturally want to show them off when invited to parties and social occasions. They may not be keen to leave them at the door and spend the evening in bare or stocking feet.

The key to this problem is training and expectation. These ladies with their shoe collections know they cannot always be wearing expensive high-heeled shoes. They cannot wear them on a yacht, they cannot wear them doing yoga, and they will probably not wear them for a casual visit to somebody's home to watch a movie.

If women know in advance that they will need to remove their shoes, then they will not be disappointed about it. They can plan their outfit with slippers or barefeet in mind. If they attend a party or dinner with their Manolo Blahnik's with six inch heels, and have shoe removal sprung on them, they may be a little resentful. If they know that shoes-off is part of the evening, they can regard it as a more relaxed and casual event.

If the ladies with their Marcosite collections want to show off their shoes, they can be assured that the hostess will see them. Plus, their trophy footwear will outdo that of any other guests when left in a line by the door. Otherwise they can always show them off in restaurants or at the races.

Open Home Policy

The pastoral assistant (do they really need to use such offices and titles?)at my church and his wife have an open home policy in their house. This means that they are ready to welcome visitors at any time to their home without notice.

Having an open home policy is a really beautiful way for a Christian family to make their house available for the service of the Lord. They are using their home for evangelism, for fellowship with other believers and for ministering to the lonely. This really is a commendable ministry.

Obviously, a family with an open home policy will need to set clear boundaries for their visitors. One boundary I would very much recommend is to request that visitors remove their shoes. While this might not seem like the hosts are rolling out a red carpet for visitors, visitors must remember that the family with the open home are granting access to their house to far more people than an average family. They naturally want this to make the minimal inconvenience to their lives. What is more they can show far more hospitality if they are not cleaning up all the time. A shoe-free home will also be a more welcoming place for small childen who prefer to make use of the floor, rather than the furniture.

Could it Be?

I thought I saw a handwritten 'shoes off' sign in the porch of a house in Droitwich today.

Of course I could have been mistaken, maybe it said 'Coats Off'. I thought it would have been rude to walk up their drive to have a look.

If it was a 'shoes off' sign, it would be the first I have ever seen. Not a British thing at all.

However, I did visit a home once whose owners had put a new floor in their bathroom. They had not yet varnished the wood and so had a sign outside the bathroom asking visitors to remove their shoes before going in. Silly people; what about the carpet in the rest of the house?

Titanic Shoes

Titanic Shoes

This is the equation. Office is to Titanic as Shoes are to People. An ill wind had been blowing in the office for about 16 months now. We have had lost and hired 27 people and they are still resigning. It seems that someone resigns every week. There are empty shoe boxes were people use to sit all over the place.And within 2 – 3 days of that box being empty, a new pair of shoes walks in and settle in. We are on the Titanic!

Last week it was within hours. A bilingual employee left at 11:30 and at 12:00 the new hire was in his seat. That office chair had not even cooled down yet! Management seems to be blind to all the unhappiness that people are feeling. The long time soles are concerned…like me. We voice our concerns and nothing happens. It is all about work load, money and micro managing. In the big scheme of things, it costs very little to loose and hire employees compared to the billions my company makes in profits each year. The cost of an office going thru a bad time with employees is like a few cents compared to the big picture.

So there is nothing to do but hang on as we go down beneath the sea. The loyalists are the ghost shoes of an office going down. I might have to get off the ship.I am at the top of the ship as it is vertical in the water. I am just about to jump off the bow. Call me Rose because I am heading out to my piece of wood floating in the water.

I wondered about the artifacts left behind by the people who went down with the Titanic and I have seen several specials in years past. I did not see the one about the shoes that were found in the debri field. There were lots and lots of shoes scattered everywhere and of every style of that time.

Dr. Ballard who did a documentary on the Titanic for National Geographic said that he specifically wanted to film shoes as they resist decomposition due to tannic acid in the leather. When the Hercules--an unmanned vessel--was sent down into the debri field it found pairs of shoes and single was a field of shoes. There were high buttoned shoes, work shoes and feminine shoes. The picture above was THE first pair found. After this pair, two work boots were found next to a slicker and then a pair of womens shoes were found next to some hair combs, a mirror and a section of linoleum tile. You can check out the National Geographic story about the Titanic here. Very fascinating!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


Cats In The Spirit of Things!

Cats In The Spirit of Things!

Carnival of Cats!

With Halloween just around the corner I thought cats in the spirit of Halloween might be something good to blog about. Here are some cats truly in the Halloween mode. I have a black cat so this is the time of year to be sure she does not go outside. It has already been all over the local news not to let your black cats out for fear of something terrible happening to them. They are like public service announcements from the local animal shelters. Sad! This is done every year at Halloween time. Where does it all originate from?

Every October similar alerts are published concerning the abuse of black cats (and other animals) at Halloween, but thankfully every year more and more of the good animal protectionists are actually getting it right. Unfortunately, some 'myths' about cats and their association with Witches and Witchcraft still persist.

Cats were -and still are- regarded as magical creatures throughout the ages. The Egyptians revered the cat as an aspect of the goddess, Bast, and they mummified cats with all the ritual, pomp and circumstance that befitted such regal animals. Cats are depicted as drawing the heavenly chariots of various gods and goddesses in other cultural myths as well.

Possibly because of their decidedly nocturnal habits, felines have become associated with the night, stealth and mystery. Who knows where the supposedly domesticated cat wanders in the night, what he/she is up to and why they seem to look so satisfied when they stroll back into the house in the morning? Quite frankly, they have steadfastly refused to answer any questions posed to them on the subject. This code of silence has caused the cat some historical hard knocks.

During the Inquisitions or "Burning Times' of the witchcraft trials and persecutions, cats were often tortured and killed along with the accused "witches." It was thought that witches could change into (shape-shift) cats or that cats could be possessed by evil spirits. The howl of a cat on the prowl has undoubtedly frightened more than one nocturnal traveler on a darkened footpath and the fact that cats seem to delight in sneaking up on folks hasn't helped their public relations image one bit either.

The most prevalent fallacy connecting Witches, cats and Halloween is, of course, the 'animal sacrifice' myth-namely that it is the Witches that use cats for sacrifices or other abusive rituals. The truth lies in the opposite direction.

It was the superstitious clerics and witch-hunters of the past-and present-that would toss a cat into the same fire as the Witch. It was the very real working and affectionate bond between cat and Witch that drew the suspicions of those who sought 'devils' everywhere and so could find them anywhere. Sad to say, that superstitious and paranoid mindset as survived in some religious faiths right up to the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Are there people out there who really do abuse cats and other animals? Yes, there are, but they are not Witches or Wiccans. The 'mysterious cults' that are mentioned (but are never really identified) in news articles about Halloween cat-related horrors are actually following in the footsteps of Christian clerics rather than pagan practitioners if they are using or abusing the innocent cat in some sort of bizarre sacrificial ritual setting. Cat burnings were a regular past time in France until the pre-modern times.

Here is my Halloween black cat!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


Dusty Closet Shoes and Stuff!

Today I spent some of the day trying to clean out my closet. It is a daunting task. I have so much stuff. I have come to point where the items in the closet are taking over areas outside the closet as there is no more room! It is amazing how much stuff we can accumulate over the years. Now I have thought of putting some stuff up for sale on EBAY but it is good stuff. Not worn and in excellent condition, not out of date as I tend to buy classic clothes. I just can't seem to part with any of it as I keep thinking I might need it in the future. In reality there are things in my closet I have not worn in 15 years. Why can't I part with some of it? Some of my clothing is very expensive so that is one thing that is making it hard to part with. I know how much money I paid for them.

We will not EVEN talk about the shoes and boots or the 40 lovely purses on the top shelf. There are about 10 pairs of shoes I have not worn in about 5 years. I may have worn them about 2-3 times before I moved on to the next shoe purchase. I seem to have an over abundance of winter coats. One almost floor length black wool coat with a russian style wool pillbox hat to match , a taupe wool coat the same length, a car length lined brown leather coat, a taupe colored suede jacket, a caramel colored suede jacket, a black leather jacket (bomber style) that is just georgous (I have not worn that jacket since the early 1990's...maybe 1992) that was given to me by my first fiance/true love. It is one I could pull out and wear today. It is not out of style. I also have a lined denim jacket . I almost forgot the ankle length fur lined black leather jacket that has the built in hood/collar and the black artic down fox fur jacket. That is just the regular suede and leather. I have not even touched the fur items yet.

In the fur category (and I mean real fur, not fake fur), I have a floor length black wool cape with 4 long silver fox tails. This I love to wear and I must say it is very elegant. I normally wear this to church in winter when it is not sooo very cold that I do not need the floor length black wool coat. I have a car length mink coat and 3 mink stoles/capes of varying designs. Two of the 3 stoles are classic designed that can be worn for a night at the symphony with an evening gown. The third is like... 4 minks bodies put together so it is like a shawl you can wear around your neck with sweaters or a suit. It hangs down to mid thigh. That one is one I wear all the time in the winter with suits. I also have a full length swing mink coat. Love that one! You put that thing on and you feel no cold. It is so very heavy. Of course I have fox hats and mink hats to match.

These items closely resemble what I have in the way of coats. Who has that many coats?? Do you? I really tried to part with something today. I really did! The thing that I need to do is make the master bedroom the closet and make the closet the bedroom. Then, eveything would fit just right. I was hoping to get quite a few items OUT of the closet, instead most went right back in, just dusted off and rearranged. I will try again next weekend. I think I will take a look at the 40 purses. I know that will be hard. I have all those purses to go with all my shoes. Shoes and purses HAVE to match!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka- Wikipedia

Lonely Planet: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Web Server

Sri Lanka- The Pearl of the Indian Ocean

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Sri Lanka, as it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

Formerly knonw as Ceylon, from where we get the name of a popular variety of tea.

Sri Lanka was badly hit by the Boxing Day Tsunami. Relief efforts have been serioulsy hampered by the long standing conflict between government forces and the rebel Tamil Tigers. This conflict has been going on for years. There were some hopes of peace recently, but these seem to have been dashed.

The conflict stems from the ethnic division between the Sinahalese majority who are dominant in government and the Hindu Tamil minority in the north.

Many people think that Buddhism is a peaceful and tolerant religion, however, Buddhist persecution in Sri Lanka of both Hindus and Christians demonstrates this to be a quite false notion.

In my first year of university, I met a couple of theology students from Sri Lanka. I had long hair at the time, and the first time we met, they were surpised by my name, thinking I was a girl. One of them was Anglican, the other Methodist. They were 'Liberal' in theology and believed that people could be saved through false religions. Some western Evangelicals have a funny idea that all Christians in the Third World are really conservative. Sadly, that is not the case in many denominations.

The Sri Lankan government has tried hard to restrict evangelism and it is very difficult to enter the country as a missionary. Much prayer is needed for an end to such restrictions.

For information on the persecution of Christians worldwide visit:

Barnabas Fund

Open Doors International

Nino Brown Shoes

Wesley, Wesley, Wesley!!! What the hell happened???!!! You mess up. Surely you were more savvy than this. But I guess not. I am disappointed to say the least.

The I.R.S. indicts Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes on criminal tax fraud charges, alleging that he used the services of fraudulent tax scheme businesses “to make it appear as if...Snipes had no liability for federal income taxes, when in fact [he] had” for approximately $12 million. A judge granted prosecutors’ request to issue an arrest warrant for Snipes.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


It is not Selfish to ask Visitors to Remove their Shoes

Some people claim it is selfish to ask visitors to remove their shoes. They think that it shows excessive concern for one's carpet or flooring.

On the contrary it is not selfish at all.

Firstly, there is an health issue involved. Peoples' shoes pick up dust and animal excrement which is not good for one's health and especially bad for the health of one's children. If one has babies or small children that play on the floor it is extremely sensible to keep one's home shoe-free.

There are many worries today about the health risks posed by pollution, toxins and chemicals. Personally, I think many of these health scares are exagerrated. Many of the supposed health risks have not been scientifically verified. However, it is best to keep as much nasty stuff out of the house as possible.

Secondly, the notion of selfishness here is relative. In a country where shoe-removing is the norm, like Finland or Russia, it would hardly be selfish to insist on shoes-off.

In Britain or the USA, where keeping shoes on is the norm, there are many people who would like to insitute a shoes-off policy, but who are afraid of causing offence or being deemed 'selfish.' If a person is brave enough to insist on shoes-off, she makes it easier for those other people who feel that they would like to make their homes shoe-free. In time, the norms of the UK and the USA may change and shoe-removing may become as normal as it is in Thailand or Sweden.

Smelly Feet

Apologies for raising less pleasent aspects of this issue.

The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people must set up their onw priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

My Newest Acquisitions!

Okay, I have not been shopping in a while. I bought my last pair of shoes back in... June?? Well, I did an assessment of my black dress shoes from last year and they have lived out their lives and need to be retired. They are a pair of Nine West that I have loved and worn for the past 2 years. I love them as they are so very comfortable. But the heels are worn down. I could actually have then repaired. The high heel is just a little, little heel that is now worn away to the metal. I tap when I wear them . I wore then to church 2 sundays ago and dirty Fila asked me if that was me tapping. It was.

I found these lovelies and believe it or not they are very high, but very comfortable. I have worn each of them to work and was able to work all day (9 hours) and had no problems. I could have then danced the night away in them. I was shocked they were so comfy. The first pair is a pair of brown Bandolino's. Here they are! I love these.

The next pair of new shoes is a pair by Ann Klein. These are cloth and leather. I love the too!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


2007 Calendars: Shoes!

Wow! I was in Barnes & Nobel today getting a cappuccino and I saw all the calendars and planners for 2007. They were geering up for the Christmas mode. There are even decorations and wrapping paper out and on sale. There was even a large table full of christmas cards at 20% off.

I love the calendars. I usually get a cat calendar every year...the book kind that I can write down appointments in. (Have your people call my people). I always get 2 for the office. A desk calendar and a large phototype for the wall. I love getting a new calendar each year. Here are some great shoe calendars. I think I will get one of my annual three in the "shoe variety" this year.

Shoe calendars for 2007

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


Athlete's Foot

An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.

Thursday Thirteen # 4

Thirteen Shoe Superstitions!

  1. If a woman walks without shoes during the six weeks following childbirth, then her child will have a dangerous fall when it is beginning to walk.
  2. To cure a toothache, burn an old shoe and breathe in the smoke.
  3. If you take a lock of hair from your intended loved one, fold it in a piece of cloth, folding it toward you and put it in your shoe, it will make you loved one follow you anywhere.
  4. Don't buy your man a pair of shoes, or he will walk out of your life forever!
  5. If you are the victim of an occult attack, wear your shoes on the wrong foot and wear your clothes inside out a protection from evil magic.
  6. Never walk around with one shoe on and one shoe off, it will make you loose your mind.
  7. Never accept a gift of old shoes, or you will inherit the previous owners trouble.
  8. To dream of what your next boyfriend will look like, get a sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme. Sprinkle them three times with water and place an herb in each shoe. Then place the shoes at the foot of your bed.
  9. To identify a murderer, you must first obtain a shoe worn by a baby of less than a year old (of the same gender as the murder victim's). After the victim has been buried, dig down as deep as possible, as close to the heart as possible, without touching the coffin or the vault. Take a handful of dirt at the bottom of the hole, and put it in the baby shoe. At midnight burn the shoe and call upon the spirit of the victim to bring the murderer back. Then carry the ashes back to the grave and bury them in another hole in the middle of the ground above the grave. In a matter of days, the murderer will identify himself somehow.
  10. On your birthday, when you go to bed at night, take off your shoe or slipper. Stand with your back to the door and throw the shoe over your head, You must not look at it before morning. If the toe points to the door, you will be a bride before the end of the year. (Man, now I have to wait a while year to become bride!)
  11. Drop an old shoe outside by the front door as you leave the house on a journey and then you will not have any bad luck on the trip.
  12. To keep your man faithful, take his handkerchief, a new one, and stick it in his left shoe all night long while you are having sex with him, then bury the handkerchief under the house in the morning and it will keep him coming home.
  13. Old shoes should be worn on Friday the 13th for good luck!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Boat Show

My sister and her boyfriend visited an exhibition of luxury yachts in Southampton recently. As is normally the case with such exhibitions, they were required to remove their shoes before entering the boats.

If you ever visit a luxury yacht, you may well be asked to remove your shoes. You may have non-marking deck shoes, but the owners may not know where you have been walking in those deck shoes.

Yachts are one of those rare situations when rich and famous ladies have to do without their stilettos. I understand Victoria Beckham wears high heels on her yacht, but I guess she is entitled to wreck her own property. If she needs to wear high heels on a yach, one rather wonders how she manages to cope on her visits to Japan.

Readers, you may not have the money to own a luxury yacht, but if you have a beautiful wood floor, you can easily keep it as shiny and smooth as any the deck of any yacht by always keeping it free from shod feet. Would that not be nice?

Shoes Off Outside the Door: My Sister's Shoe Box

I visited my sister, Heather, in her beautiful apartment in Poole, near Bournemouth this weekend.

I was delighted to find that my dear sister had become something of an Offalist. Most of the people in her block of flats leave their shoes outside the doors of their apartments (like detainees at a police station leaving their shoes outside the cells!) to protect the fine carpets. My sister and her boyfriend adopted this practice when they moved in. However, a letter from the landlords had warned that shoes left in the corridor presented a fire hazard. Hence, my sister and her partner are now storing their shoes in a big box outside their apartment. Sadly, Heather did not see fit to enforce her shoes-off policy and she put her shoes on inside the apartment once or twice. However, it is vry encouraging that young people like Heather and her neighbours are more inclined to keep their homes shoe-free than the previous generation.

During the night, the people in an apartment below were playing loud dance music. I think they might have been having something of a party. While it was a little annoying, it was nice to think that it might at least have been a no-shoes party.

37 Reasons for Having a Shoes-Off Policy in Your Home


37 Reasons for having a shoes-off policy in your home:

1. Carpets are not easy to clean.
2. Carpets absorb dust and become breeding grounds for dust mites, causing the development of asthma and allergies.
3. If you do not have a carpet, the dust will not be absorbed and you are likely to breathe it in.
4. Shoes can leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors.
5. Shoes can scratch wood flooring, especially if they have high heels.
6. Boots and high heeled shoes can cause wear and tear to carpets.
7. That goes for rugs as well.
8. Shoes pick up small particles of grit that cause wear and tear to carpets.
9. Shoes pick up traces of petrol fumes and industrial pollution.
10. Shoes can pick up pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
11. Shoes pick up traces of animal excrement.
12. Ever noticed how much chewing gum there is stuck to the streets?
13. In a square mile, there are more insects than people on the planet. How many do you think you have squashed on your shoes?
14. If you have a crawling baby, do you want him or her to be exposed to the dirt from people's shoes?
15. In rain or snow, you are less likely to get the floor wet.
16. If you live near a beach, you will bring less sand into the house.
17. If you have a crawling baby, you will do less damage if you accidently step on him or her.
18. If you get mad and kick the cat or dog, you will do less damage (apologies to animal lovers).
19. If your children play rough, they will do less damage.
20. It creates a less formal atmosphere.
21. It creates a greater sense of relaxation.
22. Your guests will become more like you by removing their shoes and will feel part of the family.
23. An oriental, Scandinavian or East European visitor will feel more at home.
24. It teaches children the importance of respecting and looking after things.
25. Psychologically, removing your shoes helps you to enter a frame of mind where you keep your everyday troubles outside your home.
26. It is more comfortable.
27. It is healthier for you feet to take your shoes off during the day.
28. Small children with growing feet should wear shoes only to the minimum.
29. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet badly need a break.
30. You can put your feet up on the sofa without taking your shoes off first (Dont tell me you put your feet on the sofa with shoes on?).
31. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without taking your shoes off first.
32. If you ever visit Japan, it will seem less weird.
33. If you are ever arrested and they confiscate your shoes, along with your belt and jewellery, it will seem less weird.
34. Your feet smell less if you do not wear them all day.
35. When you lovingly chastise your children, you will have a slipper to hand.
36. It was a Biblical custom (come on, did they wash their feet with shoes on?)
37. Do you really think the Saints in Glory are going to trample the sparkling, clean New Jerusalem with shoes on?



I am always a little surprised when I see children wearing shoes at home, whether on television or in person. It surprises me because when I was a child, my parents expected me to remove my shoes at the door. When I visited my friends' homes, their parents often expected me to take my shoes off. So it always seems a little strange when I see children keeping their shoes on at home.

The practise of removing shoes was expected until I reached the age of about 12. My parents became less stringent about it as I got older. Occasionally this house rule would be revived in later years. It was restored when I was 21 when my parents and I moved to a house with cream carpets, though they were not consistent in keeping to it.

There are some homes, in the UK, where the hosts will expect the children of guests to remove their shoes, but would not expect it of adult guests. Some guests will insist that their children remove their shoes without removing their own. I can understand why some people may be more concerned about children's shoes; children do tend to be less careful about what they step in and are more likely to run around in long and wet grass. However, adults should never forget that their own shoes pick up an awful lot of less noticeable dirt. There is also the fact that children learn to follow rules better when adults act consistently. There is a certain amount of 'do as I say, not do as I do' in the requirement of shoes-off for children only.

Many childcare experts are of the opinion that children should wear shoes to the minimum necessary and therefore recommend shoes-off indoors for health reasons.

Silly Argument


Some people argue that even if you have a strict no-shoes policy in your home, you could still spill coffee or red wine on your carpet and cause permanent stains.

This is true. You can still spill red wine or coffee in a shoeless home and cause permanent stains (those of you who are teetotal will say 'Don't drink red wine then.' As it happens, I do not drink wine, just beer and spirits. I do drink black coffee, though).

However, do you want a carpet with stains that is full of dust, dirt and bugs or a carpet which has stains, but is a lot cleaner?

Stains do not cause wear and tear to carpets, though they are messy. The tiny grit particles that your shoes pick up do wear your carpet out.

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to....Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan page in Wikipedia

Lonely Planet Guide: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Country Analysis Brief

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Kazakhstan, as it is customary in that country to remove shoes in homes.

Kazakhstan has been in the news recently as a result of the actions of one Sacha Baron Cohen, a Jewish comedian from the UK. He used to pretend to be a Black urban television interviewer called Ali G. This character was terribly funny, but very rude. More recently, he is pretending to be Borat, a spoof television interviewer from Kazakhstan. He has caused incredible offence to the government of Kazakhstan by making a mockery of the country, presenting the Kazakh people as misogynist and anti-semitic. The government of Kazahstan are so offended that they have invested millions in a film entitled Nomad about the history of their nation.

Kazakhstan is a huge country. After Russia, it is the largest country in the former Soviet Union or the Commonwealth of Independant States (CIS). Most of the country is steppes (arid grasslands), with some desert and several mountain ranges. It does have quite a bit of fertile land, where considerable amounts of wheat are grown.

Kazakhstan is becoming quite rich, as a result of its plentiful supplies of gas.

Kazakhstan has quite a bit of ethnic diversity. As well as the Turkic Kazakhs, there are Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Kurds and others. Old Stalin had a nasty habit of taking whole people groups, loading them in trucks (donated by the Yanks during the war) and dumping them in the mroe desolate regions of the Soviet Union. Hence, there are Germans and Koreans in Kazakhstan. The German community has diminshed considerably since the end of Communism. The presence of Koreans in the country has been somethign of a blessing for Kazakhstan (and other Central Asian republics) since most were faithful Christians fleeing persecution by the Japanese.

Kazakhstan is mostly Islamic, but Christians make up a large minority.

Radio broadcasts make up a key part of strategies for evanglizing Kazakhstan. Radio ministries include Trans World Radio and the Far East Broadcasting Company.

MBT Shoes

I have looked into these shoes and I think I want a pair of these for christmas. MBT shoes are supposed to be one of the shoes with the most benefits. I do not want the sandals, just the tennis shoes.

In the early 1990s, Swiss engineer Karl Müller realized that both shoes and backache are unknown to the Masai tribesmen - and that there is a causal connection between these two facts. By walking barefoot on the natural, soft, uneven ground of their East African homeland, the Masai activate also those muscles that atrophy when on walks on hard, even surfaces wearing conventional shoes. MBT, Masai Barefoot Technology, was invented by Swiss engineer Karl Müller. During a visit to Korea he made the startling discovery that walking barefoot over paddy fields alleviated his back pain. Back in Switzerland, Müller began to develop a footwear technology that would make the natural instability of soft ground such as Korean paddy fields or the East African savannah accessible also to those, who have to walk on hard surfaces.
They are a good price on amazon!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


How to survive in Sweden without offending anyone

How to survive in Sweden without offending anyone

Early Inspiration

Before my family moved to Worcester, I spent six months in a secondary school in Somerset.

In this school, some assembly meetings were held in the gymnasium. The pupils were required in these meetings to remove their shoes to protect the shiny floor. The teachers, however, kept their shoes on. That is apart from one senior teacher who always removed her high heeled shoes in the gym and conducted the assemblies in her stocking feet.

I was quite surprised at the time by her removing her shoes. Although it was only in recent years that I have become dogmatic about this subject, the memory of her concern for that delicate wood floor stayed with me.

Blueprint: Off with their Shoes

Blueprint: Off with their Shoes

Apartment Therapy: Hot or Not?

Apartment Therapy: Hot or Not?

A jolly American person made this hilarious comment about me on this discussion thread. I had not even commented on it until today:

"Totally agree with your point. What people think in far off countries like Japan, Norway and Canada is irrelevant to us Americans. As Americans, we choose to exercise our freedom to wear shoes in other peoples' homes. Asking guests to remove shoes is not just rude, but unamerican.

Don't believe me? Look at this link. Some freedom-hating shoe-removal nazi gave an award to the place where removing shoes in peoples' homes is most customary. And guess where that was? AFGHANISTAN! That's right, folks, home to the Taliban, you know who, and taking off your shoes."

I did not realise how famous I am.



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.