Do we ever really appreciate the wonders on our doorstep? I've lived by the Ackie for nearly half my life, but it wasn't until a walk from my doorstep was to be my only walk for near enough a year, that the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct became something far more important.
I remember how, maybe two years ago, a hire car full of Chinese tourists arrived on my estate. I was mowing my lawn, if I remember rightly, and the car stopped by me. A young lass, perhaps the most confident of the group got out, all smiles. Bless, the name of the Aqueduct is beyond most, including those that live here (and certainly me), but she had a right go at it, and I was impressed. But could I understand her? No. So, she looked it up on her phone and showed it to me...that's where they were going. From China to the Ackie.
They were after directions, but I couldn't make myself understood, so as it happened, I gestured for them to follow me in my car and they followed me down to the car park. I watched them as they parked up and fell out of the car. They waved at me in thanks, and I tell you now, they were so excited, I genuinely thought I was missing something. The Aqueduct is that famous. That important.
I walked down to Pont Hill, and stood on the Cysyllte Bridge ('Gratifyingly unwidened', says Hubbard) and looked at the Aqueduct - really looked at it.
It's awe inspiring. It quite took my breath away.