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  • After reheating last night's sago pudding and serving it in a wide bowl, I sprinkled a pinch of brown sugar on the surface of the warm dessert. As I watched the crystals dissolve, I remembered my childhood ritual: the breakfast meditation – as pensive as the after bath-time meditation of kneeling, in what I know today as 'child's pose' in yoga, before our small gas heater – which often involved a solemn contemplation of brown sugar melting on my semolina porridge.

    In the little house on Keith Street my mother would serve semolina on the mornings I didn't have weet-bix with fruit medley; despite the objections some might have to its plain colour, fine texture and bland flavour, it was one of my favourite breakfast foods – a morning treat. In particular, I loved the firm clumps that clung to the rim of the bowl after the porridge had sat, unattended, for a few minutes before I made my appearance at the breakfast table.

    I recalled this memory to my mother several years ago: she laughed, and told me that the only reason the semolina porridge had lumps was because she'd been careless as she stirred the pot.
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