I love the smell of unburnt fuel in the morning

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And now, in the immortal words of Monty Python, for something completely different.

Think of this (depending on your age) as 10 days in Magaluf, two weeks’ all-inclusive at Euro-Disney, or four days touring the Highlands on a bus with your courier/driver Dave.

A complete break from the norm. And from me prattling on about chickens and suchlike.

I have just spent a gloriously sunny three days enjoying the smell of overheating clutch and the heady perfume of unburnt fuel in the air. No, I didn’t get trapped in Dom Buckley’s garage, I was out enjoying the Jim Clark Rally.

Yes, as I do every year at this time, your chicken-loving eco warrior turned petrol head for 72 hours.

As a big fan of Jim Clark (who managed to combine animals with cars, very successfully), I love to see rally cars on the road, zipping purposefully (but always within the speed limit – honest, officer) between stages. Or, rather, hear rally cars. The seeing bit comes later, after you hear the sound of a swarm of angry bees approaching.

And is that back-firing, or competitors taking advantage of the abundance of game in the Borders, bagging a brace as they drive along?

I think it must be the only time on Borders roads you can see a Talbot Sunbeam, Volvo S70 and an Opel Kadett within a few seconds of each other.

Makes a change from Discos and pick-ups (and I say this without prejudice as a former Discovery owner and current pick-up driver).

If you’re thinking about buying a Subaru Impreza, this will reassure you that they don’t only come in one colour – blue with yellow stars.

In fact, so inspiring has it been this year, myself and a pal (who makes the annual pilgrimage from Englandshire to dash about from stage to stage) had a couple of rosehip wines too many last Saturday night and decided that buying a car and rallying it has to be one of those bucket list ‘things to do’.

Anyhoo, there seemed to be more folk oot and aboot at the JCR this year. Perhaps that was because Chris Evans mentioned it on air. Perhaps Chris knew that there would be rally cars doing a ceremonial start in Kelso Square on the Saturday morning, because (note to the rally PR) most of the good folk of Kelso didn’t.

It was a bizarre couple of hours. Myself, the Young Master and the Young Mistress sat on a bench next to the flower tubs at 8.15am, munching on bacon rolls from Rothbury’s (the best in Kelso, IMHO) as car after car rumbled by at arm’s length.

Not home-produced pork I suspect, but with an exhaust-fume garnish, just as delish. Jim Clark Rally, we love you. Almost as much as chickens.