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Richard Glover: The definitive Australian male's guide to packing a car boot

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Is there any pleasure greater – especially for an Australian man – than packing a car boot for the summer holidays? I love it. It's the highlight of every January.

Of course, for the pleasure to be complete, a nay-sayer must be recruited. Around here: Jocasta. She might offer some advice: "You'll have to leave the boogie boards behind, they'll never fit." Or: "Take the small Esky, that big one will fill out the whole boot."

They didn't start early enough to miss the traffic, but those car boots are packed to perfection.Credit:Adam McLean AMZ

At this point, the Australian male says nothing. He may permit a small knowing twinkle to emanate from his eyes. Other than that, it's just a feeling of quiet, manly confidence as he goes about his work.

I start with the beach towels. Therein lies my brilliance. When packing a station wagon, the back-seat slopes into the area of the boot. A thoughtless person might slide in an Esky or a bulky suitcase, leaving a section of free space in the lee of that slope. By rolling the towels into a series of long sausages, the swimming costumes nestled within, that space is brilliantly occupied.

Next the boogie boards, not flat, but upright, perched on their long side, locking the towelling sausage into position. Oh, my God, I'm good.

Jocasta stands on the........

© The Age