I didn't get to see Scotland beat Italy this afternoon (though on all accounts, it wasn't worth watching), as friends came over from Birmingham and we went out for a leisurely pub lunch at the Strines Inn. Although there hasn't been any fresh snow for two days now, the fields rising above the Rivelin and Loxley valleys looked fantastic - broken patches of dark brown and white - as did the moors when we got further out - wide, bleak, much more inviting than without the snow. And in close-up, fantastic contrasts of bright orangey-brown leaves against the white, as we drove past woods. The best views were from the road, where we couldn't stop; but I took a few pictures from the pub car-park.
At the pub, Noah adopted (imposed himself upon) the family at the table next to ours (but they were fine with it). They arrived after we had eaten our main course, and while we were thinking about ordering a pudding, and Noah went over and sat with them. Of course, we'd never met them before, but their three kids were all lightly ginger, and both families observed that, sharing their colouring, Noah fitted right in. I offered a swap, for a quiet, sensible child; but they were only prepared to accept a straight-swap for their loopy one, so it wasn't worth it.
We did get to see Wales beat France later in the afternoon, and what a truly exciting match it was. (Having had a Welsh grandpa,) I'm delighted for the boys from the valleys. And we had a lovely day with Clifford and Charis, who we don't get to see often enough. Thanks for coming over, guys.