My kingdom for a key

29 Nov

I have a little one home sick today and not much time to blog, so I leave you with this question, which has been pestering at me since we moved in:  For the love of sugar, why so many KEYS?

This is a small sample of the keys for this house.  There are keys for side doors — each door has its own key — keys for windows — different keys for each window — keys for the side door to the garage, another set of keys for the several locks on the front door, keys for the gate — again each gate has its own key — keys for the furnace, keys for individual interior doors, probably keys for each toilet.  These are all functional keys.  Is it just my house, or is this an English thing?  Why would you have separate keys for each window, for goodness’ sake?


15 Responses to “My kingdom for a key”

  1. Alice November 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    I was awe-struck when I moved to the US from France and learned that you could make ALL your locks match 1 key!!! So no, it’s not just the UK, France has that silly love of keys too 🙂

    • Monique November 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      heh! I mentioned getting all the locked keyed to one key and the handy-man/locksmith looked at me like I was *insane*. Goodness, so this is a Euro-wide phenom?!

  2. Zazzy November 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Locks with keys for windows? That would drive me nuts. Is it older homes or do they still build that way?

    • Monique November 29, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

      I’m getting the impression it’s a cultural thing. People feel safer with more keys? Or, if you lose one key, you need only replace one lock, instead of all of them? I don’t know, it seems like madness. But yes, locks with keys for windows … *different* locks with *different* keys for *each window*. o.0

      • Sarah November 30, 2011 at 10:44 am #

        I at least have just one key for the windows. Except for the windows in the conservatory. Oh yeah, at least I only have two keys for the windows. haha!

      • Monique November 30, 2011 at 11:03 am #

        See? See? It’s madness!

  3. Cynthia November 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    A plethora of keys, indeed!

    We had the same 2 keys for all the windows, which seemed to be due to their installation/upgrade dates. And apparently fewer doors than you do – only 3 direct to outside, although one was a double door to the garden which had 2 keys, and 1 to the garage, plus another for the garage itself. And some keys were the huge “skeleton” type. We took away the keys to the bedrooms, as we didn’t want the children locking those, and left most keys hung in a cabinet at home so as not to lose them while carrying them about. Because lost keys meant replacing locks!

    Have you encountered the key to the gas meter yet? In order to take your own meter reading, which you have to do sometimes as they rarely read the meters (maybe once or twice per year), you must unlock the meter box… but these at least are standardized & you can purchase a replacement meter-box key on the economy if you need to.

    • Monique November 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

      Oh my gosh, maybe one of these mystery keys is for the meter! At one point I thought we had them all, then I opened a utility cabinet and found a small shoebox marked “keys” – AAAAAAaaaaa! The skeleton keys are so atmospheric, but the kids can’t always turn them in the locks. If there’s a fire in this house, we’re all going down.

  4. Nancy Jones Cyr November 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Gosh, Monique, I am over come with amazement…I have one key tht works for every door. And I can manage to loose it!

    Wish I could sooth the youngest—Let her know that all of us who are still in the US miss her too….

    Love to the oldest

    , middle and youngest…Mama and Daddy too…
    Aunt Nancy

    • Monique November 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      {{hugs}} Aunt Nancy! And I’ll pass out hugs from you to all the kids! ❤

  5. Ruth November 30, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    We moved into one house here in Haiti where the landlady handed us a whole box full of keys. She explained that we needed to lock every cupboard in the kitchen, and each one had a separate key. Otherwise the house help would steal, she said.

  6. Kristy December 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Ha ha!!! That’s so ridiculous!! When I went to pick up the keys for our new house recently, the estate agent handed me a MASSIVE key ring with around 30 keys on it. I thought she was playing a joke on me…. nope! They were all for the new house. I still haven’t figured out what they all do.

    • Monique December 11, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      I KNOW! Every now and then we find yet another key, stuck in a bathroom cabinet or behind an appliance. What do they all DO??!


  1. Things I love and hate about my English house which may or may not be uniquely English but which I perceive as such since we are living here « Crumpets in Camelot - December 27, 2011

    […] already mentioned the keys.  Why?  WHY?  I truly hate that I need a different key to open every separate window and door in […]

  2. Home is where the laundry dries « Crumpets in Camelot - April 15, 2012

    […] Of course, I was fascinated by the keys. […]

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