As useful as…

Here in Geneva, we have a wonderful celebration every December. It is a commemoration of the Genevois victory over the Duke of Savoy’s soldiers. The Duke of Savoy organized a night attack on the walled city that was repelled. The story goes that Catherine Cheynel (known in history as Mère Royaume) was up making soup and heard the clank of the soldiers’ ladders against the city walls. She shoved her marmite (big, iron soup pot) out the window and was able to alert the militia in time to fend off the attack. Every year, the city celebrates this. There is always vegetable soup and mulled wine. Since the 1880s or so, there have also been marmites (soup pots) made of chocolate with vegetables made of marzipan.

In English, there is an expression, “useful as a chocolate teapot” which is to say something that isn’t very useful at all. And that’s how this blog might be. But I’ve been in Geneva since 2003, I’m going through the process of Swiss naturalization and I’ve just bought a house to renovate, so my experiences might be useful to others, if only as a cautionary tale.



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