The Story of the Red Bowl …

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Today I thought I’d take a break from recipes, organising, cleaning and decluttering tips, and instead share a little story that happened just a couple of weeks ago.


I recently visited my eldest daughter, Miss 25, who now works for a mining company a long way from home. She’s loving the experience, is really happy and I loved being able to visit and do some cooking while she was at work to stock the freezer for her. You can read more about that here. We had a great time having dinner at one of the only two restaurants in town on the first night, I watched her play Netball on the second night and on the third night we drove to Mackay for an overnight stay so she could shop and stock up on supplies before driving back to camp. On my final night and the following day, we cooked some more, just hung out and enjoyed simply being together.


However, on the morning I was due to come home I received a call from Miss 22 who sounded a little upset. She assured me everything was okay but I wasn’t convinced. As we chatted, I was still on alert (call it a mother’s instinct), before I finally heard the words that strike fear into our hearts, “Mum, I have something to tell you”.


Thinking something serious had happened, I braced myself for bad news. She went on to apologise and admit that she had broken my favourite red bowl. Imagine my relief that it was nothing serious. I was feeling elated and thinking to myself “Is that all!” but she was dreadfully upset. She’s such a gentle soul, very sensitive and so, so compassionate. She’s always thinking of others and I knew instantly how badly she would have felt because her only concern was for me and that she may have hurt my feelings.


Through her tears and apologies, I tried to reassure her it was okay … that it was only a bowl, that it could easily be replaced and that it didn’t matter one bit … but she wasn’t listening. She was more concerned that I would feel sad at the loss of a treasured piece. I think too, the fact that it was Mother’s Day and I was a long way away was making her feel a little fragile, as was the fact this was the second item she’d broken in as many weeks. I’d bought a lovely new Jamie Oliver Casserole dish which co-incidentally was also red (maybe she has a thing about red)! When we got to the car, I was passing her bags from the trolley, this particular bag fell to the ground and the casserole dish smashed into a million pieces. I simply said “Oops” and started to laugh but she broke into tears, no doubt feeling responsible. I tried to make light of the moment by saying I still had the docket and maybe I could return it saying it was chipped. That didn’t help, she was having none of it and continued to feel miserable. I was pretty confident she was okay, that nothing else was brewing under the surface and she eventually came round. I will also mention that she’s not typically clumsy. She just seems to have had a little bit of bad luck or maybe she just doesn’t like the colour red!


Any way, back to the current tragedy, honestly, it didn’t bother me because I’m not overly sentimental … IT WAS JUST A BOWL!!!


“But Mum, you loved that bowl and now I’ve broken it!”


“It might be broken, sweetheart, but you didn’t do it on purpose, it was just an accident”


“But Mum you were so excited when you found that bowl because it was just what you’d been looking for, was just the right price and you loved it”


“But it’s just sand and water”


“What do you mean, it was just sand and water?”


“Well, it’s made from glass, so it’s just sand, water and a bit of red paint. I did like the bowl but I love you more!”


And in that moment, all was right with the world again. I could hear her breath a sigh of relief.


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What followed was hysterical! Thanks to modern technology and mobile phones, joking texts flew back and forward as did a couple of hilarious videos as Miss 16 tried to work some magic with a glue gun (may I present Exhibit A above). They laughed until they cried as my two girls glued the bowl back together like a jigsaw puzzle, trying desperately to figure out which piece fitted where. Miss 25 and I were in stitches, wishing we could have joined in the fun. The end result is … I have my bowl back … well sort of!


And really, when you think about it, nothing much has changed. Yes the bowl was broken but, now that it’s repaired (if you can call it that), it still serves its purpose as a decorator item. It’s still red, so it still “goes” with everything but I actually like the newly reinvented version of its former self and feel that it’s so much better than it was. Where before it was just a bowl, it now has a personality and a history. It’s become quite the conversation piece with loads of character that’s as rich as the story behind it and for that alone, it’s worth far more than the $40 it cost me. To me it’s priceless and worth as much as any artifact discovered on any archaeological dig (having said that it looks like it would be right at home with those same artifacts in any museum). It still remains one of my favourite decorator pieces. In spite of it’s cracks, its very dodgy repair job and, despite the fact it now leans slightly to one side, it still stands proudly on the coffee table as a symbol of a shared moment of joy and fun rather than a moment of anger and angst.


Every time I look at that bowl now I smile, actually it cracks me up (sorry for the bad joke … I couldn’t resist). In fact, I do more than smile … I break into a huge grin … one of those grins that stretches from ear to ear and that’s at risk of exploding into hysterical laughter without warning. I’m as careful of that bowl as I always was when dusting and cleaning because for me it’s symbolic of the fact that love is the glue that will always bind us together. It will forever remind me of that single, glorious moment shared between myself, and my three girls even though we were hundreds of miles apart.


And the funniest thing about this story, I never actually found out how the bowl got broken in the first place … I really must ask!



  1. What a shame but it doesn’t look too bad all patched up by a hot glue gun. I think it looks rather rustic. I actually looks like a 2000-year old piece of pottery from ancient Rome or Greece. It is a lovely bowl and it’s a shame it’s smashed but if that’s the only damage done after leaving a 22-year old in charge of your home, I’d say you’ve come off lightly! xx

    • Yes, I agree, Charlie … I think it now has loads of character. Hubby actually stayed at home when I went away but he was out when the bowl met it’s rather untimely demise! All good though, all glued back together and back on the coffee table … I still love it! x

  2. Oh you gorgeous mum you and the best bit is, I love how you have kept it as a reminder for always. What a beautiful girl you have for feeling so bad about it too xx

    • Thanks, Sonia … that’s so sweet. She’s such a sweetheart and so thoughtful … she worries about everyone! x

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