If the house is a shoe-free house please remember that other people will want to use the entrance without tripping over the shoes you left in the middle of the doorway and breaking their necks!
- If you found the time to rinse it, you could have found the time to wash it!
- Tell your hostess you are available to help her. Then if your hostess needs help she’ll ask for it, and appreciate your not popping into the kitchen eight times in an hour to ask ‘need any help?’ Let’s face it – you hope she’ll say no and she knows it. And your mission was the lavatory anyway.
- While she is busy preparing your dinner your hostess does not need to hear the story of how your Aunt Jemima got stuck in a toilet bowl.
- If you have children, please advise your hostess in advance of their weird culinary peculiarities. You might be used to churning out six different unplanned dinners a day for the little wretches – your hostess is most probably not.
- Suss the joint. Is this a tidy house or is it not? If it is tidy, it is obvious that dumping your possessions on the dining room table, the buffet, the coffee table, the side tables, the kitchen counters, and vacant floor spaces will not be appreciated.
- Understand what ‘peace and quiet’ means. Grant your hostess a little very valuable quiet time now and then. A half hour with a book a couple of times a day will suffice. She’s worked hardbefore your visit – and will work hard during your visit and when you have gone – so give her a break. Sit down occasionally and shut up!
- Leave the house. Your hostess has her everyday chores to attend to in addition to caring for your needs. So go for a drive, or go for a walk, or visit a local attraction or the shops, and give her some space. After all, she might need to use her Veet.
- If you use something – browse through the book-shelves – make a cup of tea – read a magazine – put it back where you found it!
- Please leave the bathroom, bedroom, and recreation areas as you found them. Example: if you blew up the Lilo, let the air out and fold it up as you found it.
- If you have to smoke, kindly do it in the garden and up-wind of the house. If you are one of those 10% who actually think to empty the ashtray of butts, please do so in the big lined bin outside the kitchen door; not inside in that little bin for the garden scraps. If you are one of the 5% who, rather than place it in the sink, might actually think of washing the ashtray, please do so while your hostess is sitting comfortably – so she won’t hurt herself when she faints.
- You are not going to have to pay the power bill. Whether or not you are in the habit of leaving lights, fans, and sundry other electric appliances on in your own home, please remember to ‘turn it off’ in someone else’s.
- If there is something wrong with your bedroom or en-suite don’t suffer in silence. If the door to the garden won’t lock properly, or the faucet springs a leak – tell your hosts. You are not being a nuisance. It’s their house and they need to know what is wrong and correct it.
- Remember – as Benjamin Franklin said…Fish and house guests smell after three days.