Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Velvet Of The Night

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.


  1. Masterful - such a joy to see the English language gainfully employed after shuddering through the mishmash on so many other corners of the internet.
    Thankyou sir...

  2. Sounds a lot like tonight in Perth. Now the heat has pulled back to something less than furnace like.

    And if that moggie is anyhting like ours she will now promptly bite you for the temerity of making her happy.

  3. Lyrical... It's nice when things are....nice


  4. Thank you for a lovely start to the day and I am sure your cat will remind you you never own a cat it owns you.Fill up the glass again and enjoy.

  5. PhillipGeorge(c)2012March 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Yes Prof, but can we relax and enjoy anything knowing that there are possum baiting homophobes out there in the hinterlands of our fair city; doing doughnuts in their utes,
    The sooner scientists at CSIRO can develop gene therapies to control these brutes the better. In the mean time I suggest some sort of bravery awards be held for people who tackle homophobia head on. I nominate Andrew Bolt for his brave and pioneering stand.

  6. I suspect that if one were to shake your family tree, a Persian tent-maker might fall out.

  7. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.March 14, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Ah cher Professor, on some nights all things really are for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Not often, but often enough for hope and joy to enter and fly around for a while, as a gentle Melbourne zephyr, maybe a cupid's breath, catches your thoughts. Sydney last night was its soggy, sultry self, oh sinful city on a torpid evening in the Month of Mars. My little co-dependent cat and I sit companionably as I continue tapping at various things electronic in the idle prospect that some electrons will fall favourably into a useful place. Chez Bunyip is always a fruitful excursion to make, so let me take Voltaire's hint and discuss some gardening wisdom. In the dung of the world, flowers can be grown, I always say. Is Melbourne too cold for grapes?

    The vine, Prof, the vine. Wise Omar reflects:

    "I often wonder what the vintners buy
    That's half so precious as the goods they sell".

    1. Too cold for grapes? Good heavens, no! The Yarra Valley, colder than the coastal strip, produces some excellent pinot noirs, and it is even colder to the north of a winter, where Brown Bros started.

      And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
      Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
      Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
      He bid me taste of it; and 'twas--the Grape!

    2. Ah Brown Bros: Orange Muscat and Flora and Spulese Lexia.
      A divine sip to end a white fleshed main meal and a fruity dessert!

  8. Bunyip, on such a night, shouldn't you have been prowling your watery lair, waiting for unsuspecting passers by to come, whereon you rise to the surface roaring to wrap them in your weedy embrace, and drag them to the subterranean regions whereby you might feast upon them? It's well known that's what Bunyips do.

  9. Ah, I see. Someone took this photo last night. Thus perish all evildoers! Good work, Bunyip.

  10. Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
    All hot and sweaty - no, there'd be hell to pay!

  11. Hrrmph! Like peeling the layers of an onion, we now find the real Bunyip!
    No Malleus Malleficarum; no Knight Templar; no Black Knight, nor even the Rambo of the Web. What we see is a velvet fist in an iron glove: A 'soft-side' indeed.
    But enough teasing. Well written Prof.. Civilisation is not built on sport alone, and it takes a Man to show his gentler side.

  12. It is nights like this that make life itself alive, that make one alone but also one with the universe.

    Many in the bush, but few in the city, they are to be cherished, revered, the essence of them absorbed to the core, draining out the pus of disappointment and replacing it with the softness and strength of life.

  13. I thought the Prof's description of a peaceful evening was quite relaxing, except for the mention of spinach.