With large crowds about to descend on Body & Soul, which is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend, Pat Fitzpatrick introduces five Boho types who come out of the woodwork every summer.
Fiona would have been called a hippy chick back in the day when you could use the word chick without breaking Twitter.
Aged 34 and single, she lives at home in her parents’ attic, which she describes as a converted loft, because that is so Boho right now in Ireland.
She can’t wait for the Co Westmeath Body & Soul festival, having had an amazing time there last year. It was, in her own words, “an incredible journey”, mainly because of the massive tailbacks on the M3.
She won’t be using the environmentally friendly car-pool service this time out.
It’s not that she has anything against strangers (peace and love), it’s just the ageing hippy stranger she shared with last year was also a stranger to soap and deodorant.
(If you were to pick one difference between Old Hippy and New Boho it would be personal hygiene.)
Body & Soul isn’t just about an amazing array of live acts, it’s also about holistic rituals facilitated by people who never have names like Anne or Gary.
Fiona really enjoyed the Laughter Yoga sessions last year — the last time she laughed that much was when she saw what they were charging for boutique camping at Electric Picnic.
(Boutique is the Boho word for more expensive.)
Know that Netflix documentary, Wild Wild Country?
Some people watched the hit show about a free-love commune that looked a lot like a cult and thought to themselves, now might be a bad time to go into the alternative religion business.
She realised that her previous career (social media influencer, full-time) was an empty and soulless existence, mainly because she found it hard to live on free lip balm and protein bars.
So this summer she has decided to offer Shamanic Wedding Ceremonies in West Cork. (That is one crowded market, man.)
Sadhbh went all-in and got her training at a six-month ashram retreat with a guru in Goa.
This is one of two methods open to anyone who wants to become a spirit-guide — the other is where you introduce yourself to someone and say “I am a Shaman”.
Her key accessories are a hemp kimono, along with a shamanic rattle, which is actually a modified Peppa Pig toy owned by her daughter Moonsugar, who was better known as Ava until last week.
The Shamanic wedding ceremonies have taken off like wildfire for Sadhbh, even though her English clients call her Sad-h.
She puts this boom in business down to her naturally tranquil manner, and the fact that she has undercut the local parish priest by 100 quid in terms of a fee.
There is one snag with her ceremonies — it’s not unusual for her happy couples to forget their vows. She reckons this could be nerves or, given the client base, the likelihood that at least one of them is completely stoned.
(It can be hard to tell the difference.)
“But I’m polyamorous!” exclaims Paul, in his victim-voice to the latest woman in Schull who didn’t read the small print on his Tinder profile, explaining how he was into having numerous partners because he didn’t like to be tied down by just one woman.
Pete’s reputation around West Cork means he is restricted to two or three girlfriends outside the tourist season.
But the long evenings bring in truckloads of women who don’t realise he’s known by everyone west of Innishannon.
His latest victim liked that he advertised himself on Tinder as a free spirit interested in zero waste, making his own straw hats, homoeopathy and meditating on an ancient ley line just outside Skibbereen.
He liked the fact she was free on a Tuesday night, because none of his other girlfriends was available at that time.
Pete is the only person to be banned from a cuddle puddle in West Cork. In case you haven’t heard the term, a cuddle puddle is where a group of strangers come together for Boho intimate cuddling in a manner that is entirely nonsexual.
Pete loves every word in that definition, except the last one — so he ignored it.
You should have heard the roar out of Mrs M from Ballydehob when he slid his hand down her back. (You probably did if you were within a 10-mile radius of Schull on the night in question.)
Better known by her friends as ExtrEmer, she doesn’t like to do things by halves.
She likes to hibernate all winter, because it’s not a great time for wearing flowing floral dresses, pre-distressed Birkenstocks and three rows of beads.
But then summer comes and she goes complete and absolute Boho! (ExtrEmer likes an exclamation mark almost as much as taking tips from Gwyneth Paltrow).
Emer is a fan of Bikram yoga, which takes place in a room heated to 40 degrees. Even if someone does fart, you can’t hear it because your ear is so full of sweat.
ExtrEmer is appalled there are fake Bohos out there who buy their deodorant online at thestinkyhippy.com.
So commercial, just think of the air miles she says out loud, as she makes her own deodorant using the lavender and sage she wild foraged in the Wicklow Hills and SuperValu.
And then there’s sex. While Paul the Polyamorous is into having sex with as many people as possible, ExtrEmer is into tantric and enjoys doing it with her boyfriend Declan for as long as possible.
Their most recent tantric session went on for four hours until poor Declan had a panic attack because he had never gone that long without looking at his phone.
That’s probably the end of poor Declan.
Simon is the guy with a surfboard on the roof-rack of his vintage VW Beetle. (It’s all about admiring glances from Boho women when you’re driving around West Cork this summer.)
What you mightn’t know is that he also has a bodyboard in the boot. Simon would like to keep it that way, because bodyboards are for children under 12 and 40-year-old accountants who don’t have the balance to stay up on a surfboard.
It’s not unusual to hear him roaring “Yo duude, you should have checked the rad barrels down in Inchydoney last night” to the 24-year-old Spanish intern who wishes now she had never left Madrid.
What Simon doesn’t tell her is he only went in up to his waist for a bit of beginners body-boarding and the other person in that area was a five-year-old girl, who was actually on a surfboard.
Simon is a ferocious advocate for rural broadband. It’s a disgrace the way he can’t go on a 8pm Skype from a beach in West Cork and tell his colleagues in California that he’s just come out of ‘one bitchin’ swell’.
(They let him curse because he’s Irish.)
Simon will hang up his boards come late September to focus on his drumming circle.
If you want to know how that goes, just ask the 24-year-old Spanish intern in his office. Trust me, she’ll know all about it.