THE REST of Australia is blessed by being, well, the rest of Australia, but tonight the tabernacle of all that is good must surely be in Melbourne, where the night is magic. There is not a cloud or breath of wind, and the temperature since sundown has been ideal for eating in the garden and a long wander by the water to settle chicken, spuds and spinach. Even with the city’s lights to mask the weaker stars, the sky remains ablaze, the night air’s clarity so sharp and free of shimmer an imaginative eye might be tempted to make out the portholes of the day’s last jets as they descend on distant Tulla’. The dregs of a chilled drop are shrinking in their bottle beside the keyboard and upon the study’s roof a merciful silence now prevails. This means possums have spotted cat and melted back into the branches. In the wee hours of a recent midweek morning, on a night almost good as this one, a yellow fox appeared from nowhere in the yard, posed briefly in the penumbra of the study’s glow and then resumed its quest for dinner. The cat isn’t the only predator on the prowl, so she had better watch her step, do as told and come inside when called. In the meantime she has brought the present of small, dead cricket, and is purring with satisfaction at the appreciation a tickle beneath the chin conveys. Even she is happy, which is a seldom thing to say about a cat. But it is that kind of night.