Just on Australia Day, I was walking down the road yesterday when a car approached and did a U-turn in front of me. It was an old Holden Monaro, just about the quintessential Aussie muscle car. It looked beaut, perfectly kept and with a throaty, masculine rumble coming from under the hood. It was a lovely deep purple, the colour of a ripe eggplant, with an Australian flag somehow wedged into the crack of the boot so that it whipped and fluttered with the passage of the car. The driver himself seemed quietly Oz as well. He was somewhere in his mid-twenties, dark-haired, good looking, square jawed, his face serious, concentrated on the task at hand, his eyes hiddeen behind dark glasses. As so many of us have he drove with one arm resting on the sill of the drivers door, revealing a muscular bicep clad in a plain white t-shirt.

I know I’m against crass displays of nationalism, but there was something in this that made me swell. It was almost too perfectly Australian on the national day, like something put-on, as if someone was filming an ad for Oz, the pure Australiana, bloke version. Good for you mate, I thought. I nearly went and bought a meat pie.