“Try to keep your hands stilf,” said my Instructor. “Moving them about makes me nervous.” At sixty- two years of age I was in the cockpit of a Robinson-22 helicopter for the first time, enjoying the pleasures, and disciplines, of a trial lesson. Afterwards, asked what it was like, I’d said, “Intense, beautiful, amazing, challenging.” Two months later, having just flown my first solos, I’m not inclined to change my mind about that first impression. Some bits have been ecstatic. Some days I thought of giving up. Too difficult. Pretension and vanity at my time of life to even think that 1 might be able to fly a helicopter, let alone actually do it. Yet I have done it. Four days after my initial solo, on a bright, clear, still December day, I had two of the happiest hours of my life flying circuits around Gloucester airfield.