December is when children are born in stables. It’s been going on for centuries. Open the doors of the Nativity scene and there they are, bending forward to reverence the child who needs no sympathy, being equally at home anywhere. (Icons picture them in a cavern, a stone tomb that’s served its purpose.) Shopping malls and freeway medians are stable environments, indeed nowhere is off-limits. Everyone wants The Stable. Outside pony clubs and racecourses, most stables in Melbourne have since been converted into back lane guesthouses for out-of-town visitors and blow-ins. Kataluma, as it says in the Greek, no-strings hospitality.