A day of blessings and cursings. Went to the Langstone Cutters' Boat Blessing service, and as we waited a huge GRP boat thing across the harbour was smitten by fire. A huge plume of smoke rose into the sky as firefighters pumped water over it from a rib, standing well away in case the fuel tank or gas canisters went up. I don't know whether the boat was cursed or not, but I suspect there will be mighty cursings when the owner's insurance company is informed.
The Langstone Cutters had polished their boats till they shone. Ribbons and flags fluttered in the breeze. The service started, appropriately enough, with that lugubrious hymn Those in Peril on the Sea. The vicar sprinkled the boats with holy water and we all got in and paddled round the harbour.
It is good to start the season by getting together for a ceremony, whether you are religious or not.