We arrive only to be identified by pilots I have known over so many years, they having travelled from such places as Alderney CI, Northern Ireland to New Zealand leading, of course, to many yarns and tall stories on all matters aviation..

Soon I am chatting to Wing commander Wallis of ‘Little Nellie’ fame, the gyrocopter in the James Bond film, ‘You only live twice’. I had to remind him that it was father that had the first 2 seat gyrocopter in the world, in the early 60’s, designed and built in Newtownards, Northern Ireland by champion motor cyclist, Mr McCandlis. A Royal Navy Lynx helicopter, a Burma Spitfire, a scaled down model of same, from Brisbane, and variously shaped plastic, slippery but slim machines, usually with two stroke engines, all the fashion now in GA, were also scattered about to tempt you. A beautiful ‘Pou de Ciel’ of the 30’s was there, Gen being clearly told never to fly one.

My mission was to get a GPS, charts and find some Insurance. The latter proved as elusive as ever but there are still a few stones yet un turned.

A Captain’s white shirt and epaulettes was next on the shopping list. All I needed now was a hair cut and some lessons in smooth talking, with an air of authority and I was in with a chance. The bureaucratic jungle of Asian Countries, with their notoriously obscure version of logic and the way of doing things, in the minds of the westerner, is a daunting prospect for someone with my particular temperament. At least the Arab and Indian States were behind me! Michael where are you when I need you? I need some of your diplomacy skills for the next sector of this journey.

Well, it was an interesting day and enough for me to forget the Grand National Day as a horse called Nil Desperandum would, no doubt, have lost me a few bob, coming in 6th!

As a staunch Royalist I toast the Royal Couple on their wedding day but still mystified as to how the invitation was lost in the post.