A Topless Double-Decker and Cream Tea

by Jill Nielsen

Chances are we’re related if the unusual name of POUT is on your family tree. As far back as 1410, Pout families lived in and around Canterbury, Kent, England, relying on land and sea for their living. By the 1840s some Pouts had emigrated to Australia and North America, where their descendants live today. Correspondence with an English cousin who had researched the family tree resulted in plans for a reunion in Canterbury.

More than 100 people attended the week-long flurry of activities, including a bus outing to visit farmlands once owned or worked by Pout families. But the evening before someone stole the engine out of the bus. Fortunately, the owner’s had another bus – a topless double-decker.

Many of us wanted to sit up top. But as we traveled it became quite windy. On the way to our last stop the driver was driving at a fast clip and we were really bouncing around in our seats. The curvy country road was now lined with trees and as we flew past, overhanging branches brushed the top deck. The wind was working up to a gale and we were laughing hysterically as we constantly ducked to avoid getting smacked on the head by branches.

When we tumbled out of the bus at the vineyard it looked like we had bird nests on top of our heads. Our cream tea – scones with strawberry preserves and clotted cream, served with tea, was delicious. Later we sampled the wine and discovered a family trait: everyone shared a taste for sweet wine. We agreed that the entire reunion week was a fantastic success which we would always remember – especially the wild bus ride to our cream tea.