Do you live in a bohemian household?

(214 Posts)
mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:29:53

What are its characteristics if so?

what a strange question?!!

misdee Wed 08-Nov-06 18:32:30


i love i na mad house. honestky its crazy here lol.

JoolsToo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:33:17

Twiglett is a Bohemian

southeastastra Wed 08-Nov-06 18:33:26

no boho's so last year

schneebly Wed 08-Nov-06 18:36:35

I am vaguely bohemian and married to someone who is vaguely chav!

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 18:36:42

we are shabby chic........

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 18:37:20

I would say so.

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:38:45

Come on Blu, you are the first to admit...can you put your finger on the elements of a bohemian h/hold?

SherlockLGJ Wed 08-Nov-06 18:39:56

It's a very tidy household, my cleaner is back. YaY

poppynboo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:40:02

Why - has someone said your is?

The dictionary says

1. Native of Bohemia
2. Same as CZECH
3. one who lives in an unconventional way


Not sure if I qualify

TheHighwayCod Wed 08-Nov-06 18:40:24

twiglett ha a bohemian attitude to molluscum

poppynboo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:41:32

your is?

Can't spell, apologies

Sobernow Wed 08-Nov-06 18:42:27

There's area of Hastings called Bohemia - is that what you mean?

noddyholder Wed 08-Nov-06 18:44:09

We are def not average in our ways but who is?We are seen as a bit loony by some of our friends which surprised us as we thought they were nuts!My mum says we are but she is new money social climber so most people are to her

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:44:49

I think one of the qualifications is that the fly lady is anathema and cleaning is pretty unimportant. This appeals to me.

Sobernow Wed 08-Nov-06 18:45:38

Oh, well in that case, yes I do.

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 18:45:39

think there is a difference between a bohemian and a dirty household!

FrannyonFire Wed 08-Nov-06 18:46:05

Do you think

"Do you live in a dirty household?" might have been more to the point then mousie?

FrannyonFire Wed 08-Nov-06 18:46:24

LOL cross posts lulu

Miaou Wed 08-Nov-06 18:47:15

ooooooooh yes remember the molluscum palaver!

I guess we might be bohemian. Or maybe just opt-outers!

poppynboo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:48:16

need to ask Collins - its there dictionary.

Wouldn't have imagined Hastings as bohemian?

Like the idea of shabby chic though.

From the outside my place looks like a very respectably 3 bed detached - inside beautiful but mismatched furniture and very visual. Pictures and artwork everywhere, cats louging around, unusal light fittings and interesting objet d'art.


noddyholder Wed 08-Nov-06 18:48:43

Didn't realise it implied dirty!In that case NO

poppynboo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:49:03

done it again - their, not there

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:49:08

From Wiki:
The term carries a connotation of arcane enlightenment (the opposite of 'Philistines'), and also carries a less frequently intended, pejorative connotation of carelessness about personal hygiene and marital orthodoxy. Bohemians were often associated with drug use, alcoholism, and simple living.

“ The term 'bohemian' has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gypsy, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits .... A bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art. „
—Westminster Review, 1862[1]

The term has become associated with various artistic or academic communities and is used as a generalized adjective describing such people, environs, or situations: bohemian' (boho - informal) is defined in The American College Dictionary as "a person with artistic or intellectual tendencies, who lives and acts with no regard for conventional rules of behavior."

Many prominent European and American literary figures of the last 150 years belonged to the bohemian counterculture, and any comprehensive 'list of bohemians' would be tediously long. Bohemianism has been approved of by some bourgeois writers such as Honoré de Balzac, but most conservative cultural critics do not condone bohemian lifestyles. Ironically enough, bohemianism by definition can only exist within a framework of conservative values.

Noted New York Times columnist David Brooks (journalist) contends that much of the cultural ethos of upper-class Americans is Bohemian-derived, coining the paradoxical term "Bourgeois Bohemians" or "Bobos."[2]

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:51:47

Regarding molluscum, that may possibly be cavalier rather than bohemian

Whilst a bohemian h/hold is unlikely to be sparkly clean, that is not the only characteristic, I am not meaning to have a discussion simply about whether you keep your house sparkling or not

ggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:52:29

Message withdrawn

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:54:12


ggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:54:56

Message withdrawn

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:55:58

or ggglimbobo?

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 18:57:02

Agree re purple, good point

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 18:57:40

my house sounds a bit like Poppynboo.....!

bit ecelctic..mish mash of styles...lots of 'things'.

lots of candles, open fires, pictures . looks lived in and enjoyed ...homely.....but not dirty!!!

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Wed 08-Nov-06 18:58:24

Don't forget there's a difference between Bohemian and being a Guardian reader in an ethnic skirt with a compost bin. I would theorise that marriage isn't very Bohemian, and nor is a mortgage.

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 18:58:28

shabby chic...not bohemian!! bohemian always sounds so .....not arsed! and fey......

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 18:59:31

Fey is a damn good word, Lulumama.

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 19:02:06

I may have to rethink, then - no purple currently in my wardrobe!

But DS has designed a rather flambouyant purple school uniform which he thinks his head teacher should adopt.

Arty, educated, not rich, have some rather 'anything goes' views - but try to keep them slightly under control - which is a bit un-boho....believe in things for the idea or concept rather than orthodoxy.

House a bit grubby (but I think that's optional)- and I did potty train DS in much the same boho approach that earned Twig her reputation - so it mmust be true1

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 19:02:40

shabby chic is contrived compared to bohemian
bohemian is much more intellectual I reckon

all of you with dirt hang ups are clearly not bohemian however not everyone with a dirty house is bohemian so the dirt thing isn't really the pivotal point of it all

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:03:20

i'm not contrived...i can;t afford matching furniture!!

<<raspberry emoticon>>

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 19:04:34

lulumama I bet the non-matching is highly tasteful and artful though

southeastastra Wed 08-Nov-06 19:04:35

boho makes me think of the film withnail and i, or the programme the effing fulfords.

i have a friend who i would consider to be bohemian. she has lots of things like hand thrown pots about ther house, and lots of unusual pictures, and cats, and musical instruments that are actually played- and as a result lots of sheet music stacked up.
they eat lots of organic foods that they buy from a cooperative, and she wears lots of sludgey colours.
she has lots of beardy friends in tie dye.

her house is never very clean.
i don't know whether this is actually bohemian or just a bit hippyish.

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 19:04:58

Bohemian is not a class construct - it can be very class-transcendant.

Think of the Bloomsbury Group:

Intellectual, in a part of town which in it's day was very much not posh - they specifically moved away from fashionable West End and Belgravia - sexual shenanigans left right and centre....

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 19:05:30

Can we take the cats out of the equation? Am aspiring here.....

oh and yes- i agree she and her dh are well educated and have tons of good books.

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:06:40

hmmm....not sure about artful!

i don;t it possible to be just one thing?

most households are a mix of styles

bit hippy, bit boho, bit shabby chic, bit antique, bit modern...does it need a name......?

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 19:06:46

No that's just organic hippyish cat-loving! Ugh!
Horrible animals!

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:07:26

Janitor's frined is on the right track.

Wuld also argue that copious amounts of velvet de rigeur for boho household.

Hmm,I think ours is a right wing and excessively orderly boho household...if such a thing exists...

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 19:07:49

you can feed otehr people's cats, that counts fine

you need to read a lot of books to qualify and find stuff beautiful that other people don't

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:08:02

is velvet boho? how so?

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:08:10

(Blu,you must deal with that errant apostrophe...)

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:09:46

Oooh,Lulu,velvet very boho.
Esp if purple

Red wine stains....

Artefacts from places like Morocco and Iran

Large dusty pots of spices of indeterminate origin

Complicate recycling systems cluttering up the kitchen

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 19:10:02

bohemian is more a way of being than something to mix up with shabby chic decorating influences though

agree velvet helps a lot. esp purple velvet

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 19:10:29

I have boho friends - house is just right, they waft , kids wear layered clothes, books, music, candles, revamped furniture - all perfect till you find out that he is banker. Can a banker be bohemian or is that a no go construct?

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:11:23

not boho....have a purple dining room...but no that clears that up!! will continue to be contrived shabby chic!!

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:12:49

I think a banker can only pretend to be Boho.

My sister epitomises boho.
Lived in a tumbledown Mediaeval alpine wreck of a castle with loads of kids,oodles of wine,trillions of books,all going gently to seed about her as she lay in bed reading and sipping tea.

She has now moved to the Caribbean which i don't think is Boho at all....

mousiemousie Wed 08-Nov-06 19:12:50

off to read Just William for a bit of light relief now

Will lie dirty and naked on purple velvet drinking wine holding an indoor sparkler whilst I read

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:13:36


Cappuccino Wed 08-Nov-06 19:14:44

we both work in the arts; we like world cinema

we have lots of books

but I do flylady and we watch CSI

where does that leave us?

Twiglett Wed 08-Nov-06 19:15:31

no, no cod .. I think if you recall I have a bohemian attitude to potty training because I allowed DS to wee in the garden .. I don't have a bohemian attitude to molluscum.. I am an irresponsible evil cow with regards to molluscum <arf>

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:16:00

CSI doesn't sound very Boho..whatever it is.
TV programme??

TV not boho at all.

To be fully authenicated as boho household,must have no tv (or a small b/w one)

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:17:12

DEFINITELY not Boho then.....ooooh.learning a lot today!!

Cappuccino Wed 08-Nov-06 19:17:36

oh bugger boho then

if it means no telly

Mercy Wed 08-Nov-06 19:17:56

Moondog, I've always thought of you as rather boho tbh (had no idea about the right wing leanings though ).

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:18:51

Oh I am Boho (only house is clean and read Telegraph not Grauniad)

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:19:53

Hmm,maybe I'm not.
Doubt that one can be Boho living in a <whispers> new house.

Oh,the shame!
Exposed as the shallow fraud I am!

Tinker Wed 08-Nov-06 19:20:14

I think we need a Venn diagram here = lots of cross-over between hippy, overgrown students, shabby chic (which may or may not be contrived), dirty and Graun readers.

Agree that cats not essential. Can you have lots of books but not have got round to actually reading them?

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:22:01

you are right Tinker.
We need a working model

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:22:40

Boho women often fairly plump with generous breasts and slightly grubbby bra straps...

lulumama Wed 08-Nov-06 19:25:02

clean bra straps....yep! definitely definitely not boho...Venn diagram a good idea...!

LadyMacbeth Wed 08-Nov-06 19:26:37

'Boho women often fairly plump with generous breasts and slightly grubbby bra straps...'

Apart from Sienna Miller eh Moondog

(Because she really is the real deal)

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 19:27:12

My french dss has just defined bohemian as "living day to day following your passions".

Sounds good to me.

Mercy Wed 08-Nov-06 19:28:05

Moondog, you are boho definitely!

You can be the role model imo.

Tinker Wed 08-Nov-06 19:30:40

Oh, I like that definition. Rules me out though

But I do have grubby bra straps...[hopeful emoticon]

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Wed 08-Nov-06 19:41:00

There's got to be a literary/arty connection - you can't be Bohemian if you are a systems analyst. Probably not even if you are arty but your dp is a systems analyst (the geekiness seeps in and strangles the creativity.)
Bohemians are not allowed to do any sport, just lots of sex (or none at all.) No jocks, no nerds, no princesses.

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Wed 08-Nov-06 19:41:28

Unless you are the exiled Princess Brunhilde of Bohemia.

beckybrastraps Wed 08-Nov-06 19:41:37

My house is a mess
We have lots of books
We are fairly academic, but NOT in the Arts
I am a bit on the plump side

But my bra straps are PRISTINE.

FioFio Wed 08-Nov-06 19:42:30

i wear underpants until they stick to the wall, does that count?

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 19:43:52

Ah yes,stcky gussets help

Would agree strongly with no sport proviso.

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 19:48:16

No dust. No cats bottoms all over the velvet. Definitely no grubby bra straps. But I still want to be bohemian.

fullmoonfiend Wed 08-Nov-06 20:07:28

No no no, Siena Miller is not boho - she is just very good at wearing clothes....

Those of us who are over 35 were wearing those clothes when we were eighteen and were bohemian (lots of crumpled velvet, and candles, and big unfinsihsed artwork canvases dotted all around, and peacock feathrs and lots of sex outdoors and wild parties and neo-pagan celebrations while someone called Julius filmed us with a £100 Arts Council grant before we all retired to a coffee shop to smoke gauloises and talk arty bollocks...)

God i miss those days....
Now I'm a respectable, mortgaged, married ol' lentil weaver who aspires to being rich enough to be Bohemian again...

boboggglimpopo Wed 08-Nov-06 20:10:03


Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 20:26:40

Yup - burningDinosaurs has it. You do have to be steeped in the arts - or perhaps philosphy. Art for arts sake, or thought for thoughts sake.

It's not about sofas,, you load of systems ananlysts!

And you may well have an 'unconventional' relationship with apostrophes. Moondog.

Am still LOLing about Mousie's indoor sparkler!

3andnomore Wed 08-Nov-06 20:33:43

What is a bohemian household...just got a few bits of a thread, and if it isn't being the norm...I suppose in this area (council/excouncil) we are, but wihtin the army/married quarter area we were pretty much within the norm, lol!

We are just poor, so often vaguely bohemian by accident I fear.. and not in a boho chic way either!

foxinsocks Wed 08-Nov-06 20:38:00

people often comment on our lifestyle as being bohemian (I suppose I do wear a lot of purple now that I think about it) but I don't think they've ever really meant it as a compliment - more as a comment on our v untidy, unrenovated house and the fact that dh and I seem incapable of remembering anything important at all.

motherinferior Wed 08-Nov-06 20:43:50

I yearn for bohemianism, and worry frightfully that I don't make it. Certainly don't make it on the artiness front. I am actually trying to write a feature pitch on needing a kick up the arts.

I am writing (as in this moment skiving off from writing) a history of the drugs charity Release, does that count?

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 21:02:35

Ooooh, I think you are definitely bohemian, MI. You are a woman of letters. You have had unconventional relationships. You have sofas which don't match each other.

But how do you feel about insisting that Father Christmas really is real?

puddle Wed 08-Nov-06 21:03:51

My house is not dirty or cold (or stencilled) enough to be bohemian.

controlfreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaky2 Wed 08-Nov-06 21:05:49

no, not bohemian household here.... but ds's go to mega boho school!

motherinferior Wed 08-Nov-06 21:07:59

Oh, and I have kids' drawings on my walls, that makes me bohemian, innit.

Hmm, am undecided about Father Christmas because my father told us virtually from birth FC was a myth. I think DD1 suspects he is, but enjoys deliciously borderlining with the idea...

controlfreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaky2 Wed 08-Nov-06 21:08:40

mmmm... thinking more do have certain aquaintances who THINK they are boho chic... but are in fact plain unkempt. can identify common theme amongst them too, "too clever / intellectual to condescend to trivia like clean clothes for my kids..." [sceptical]

motherinferior Wed 08-Nov-06 21:08:58

Also I have plates that don't match at all. And towels. And pillow cases.

My daughters match, though, almost identically

controlfreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaky2 Wed 08-Nov-06 21:09:42

or even.

Blu Wed 08-Nov-06 21:15:25

MI - your FC philosophy defines bohemian.

Especially the 'deliciously borderlining'.

Tutter Wed 08-Nov-06 21:19:49

i'm afraid i am probably MNer Least Likely To Be Called Bohemian

nearest i get is some noncey french poetry bought by an ex bf

the rest is pure unadulterated poncedom

puddle Wed 08-Nov-06 21:22:24

If your central heating is on you're definitely not bohemian.

Ditto if you kids are in bed.

Issymum Wed 08-Nov-06 21:27:54

Sorry to rain on your parade MI but you are not bohemian; you go swimming. And not just in a floating aimlessly around a natural sun-dappled pool communing with nature kind of a way, but serious, energetic thrashing up and down a chlorine-infested 30m pool in the local leisure centre. Sorry. But I would be the first to admit that swimming is very good for one, physically and mentally, and shouldn't be sacrificed to Bohemian aspirations.

moondog Wed 08-Nov-06 21:55:11

3andmore,one could never be Bohemian in military married quarters.
Although conceivable if one's dh a captain or summat high ranking...very Emma Bovary.

chonky Wed 08-Nov-06 22:11:08

My parents are definitely boho - Grauniad readers, mountains of books, delipidated townhouses, old crappy cars...Growing up involved lots of homemade yoghurt and wholemeal bread, and being the only person in the school whose mother wore an afghan coat <oh the shame>.

Where is MrsJohnCusack, who will vouch for me on such matters (having met my hippy parents)?

chonky Wed 08-Nov-06 22:11:09

My parents are definitely boho - Grauniad readers, mountains of books, delipidated townhouses, old crappy cars...Growing up involved lots of homemade yoghurt and wholemeal bread, and being the only person in the school whose mother wore an afghan coat <oh the shame>.

Where is MrsJohnCusack, who will vouch for me on such matters (having met my hippy parents)?

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Thu 09-Nov-06 09:46:16

You are not Bohemian if you have even 1"squ of BEIGE in your home or wardrobe.
I think you do need a big table to sit around drinking wine and talking arty nonsense until the wee small hours. I have this but my lounge walls are ivory which look distinctly beige half the time .

fennel Thu 09-Nov-06 09:54:51

I'm ticking most of these boxes, except for grubby bra straps which i do not have. but we aren't smart enough to be boho. cluttered eco-wannabes rather than arty really.

lionheart Thu 09-Nov-06 10:03:32

This is a good way to tell:

You should not have locks on any of the doors in your house, especially the toilets/bathrooms,

if you really aspire to Bohemianism because privacy and shame are bourgeois concepts.

LadyMacbeth Thu 09-Nov-06 10:07:50

We smoke roll ups and drinks lots of red wine.

We have a big dining table made of railway sleepers.

We live in a half delapidated house with render falling all over the flagstones.

We rarely use the ch prefering instead to light log fires.

We don't have double glazing.

My children wee in the garden.

My hair is long with half grown out highlights and split ends.

We grow our own vegetables and keep chickens.

However... we're not terribly intellectual. I'm a bit of a tidy freak. And we have beige carpets. And we buy the Sunday Times. Damnit I was doing so well there!

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 10:19:10

hmmm interesting. what's most interesting is that the very word conjures up visual images. (see We all Join In and Cocatoos by Quentin Crisp) and yet its a concept where values and attitudes are surely key. For me a Bohemian -as well asthe pther stuff people have mentioned - actually has some taste - so the arrangement and choise of nick nacks and art, plus the lax attititude to cleaning, plus the happy accident of the only paint left being Farrow and Ball Dragon's Blood Red which goes beautifully with the Moroccan wall hangings actually ends up looking good.

What I'm warming up to is that DH and I are failed Bohemians. we don't like shopping - we spend as little time as possible choosing stuff for the house - the easiest route to buying furniture or other stuff for the house is John Lewis - 5 mins walk from our house - so if we need something that's what we get. the result is probably reasonably awful and very boring - but spending all our weekend trawling antique shops or art galleries for something that looks good is not really very boho is it? We have tonnes of books on a huge range of subjects and we do like drinking wine and chewing the philosophical-political phat. But we have no style or taste and can't be bothered to cultivate it.

Interesting point someone made about bankers - dh (banker) is much better at our quasi-failed qusi-boho than I am - cares much less about the trivia and trappings of life. I don;t care much about them, but he defintely cares less. and reads more.

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 10:21:07

oooh lion herat - we have locks but we never use them. in fact rarely shut the door.

lionheart Thu 09-Nov-06 10:32:42

That's promising hatwoman. Now, do you give big parties and extend your 'open door' policy to all comers?

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 10:46:22

I've just been thinking about this some more - thinking about the relationship of things in your house to your values etc. we have 2 tables - kitchen and dining. Both are very important to us. dds eat all their meals at the kitchen table and at weekends we all est together at the kitchen table (lunch and dinner). the dining table gets used at reasonably regular dinner parties - which general involve a respectable level of wine and other stimulants and a large amount of talking bollocks. both tables were given to us - one by ageing friends of fil and one by dh's great aunt. we don;t like them but they do their job and we really can't be bothered to spend a staurday browsing round JL for new ones. so far so boho? BUT the people who generously gave these tables to us didn't have the good grace to give us battered chunky wooden victorian type tables. the dining table is 1950s teak g-plan (one careful owner) and the kitchen table is the most hideous 1980s white-tiled thing with blue flowers on. how come bohos get to inherit/happen upon tables that look good?

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 10:52:08

Bohemian defines way of life not lifestyle. Am fairly sure that you can't be in a monogamous relationship and be Bohemian...and I have a feeling that financially things have to be pretty wobbly - so that's a 25 yr mortgage out then.

We have a cheerfully messy household with loads of books, rather tatty furniture (not through choice but thanks to kids) and a somewhat casual approach to routines and timetables. But that's not Bohemian just lazy I think.

I always think of the Bloomsbury group as being Bohemian in a somewhat uptight English way.

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 10:55:56

I think my sil might be bohemian. she lives on a boat. she would fill it with books if there was space, so she just hoards them at my fils when she'd read them. she's in her 30s. divorced. has just spent 2 years working in Ethiopia. teaches - at the moment on an ad hoc basis. is a qualified counsellor. but she likes Ghost clothes and I think she has a pension.

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 10:56:34

and she's not really much of a leftie. she's a bit tired of that...

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 11:04:53

Been thinking about this, the answer is yes. Live in a little terraced white cottage, veg box things, unkempt hair and second hand clothes mixed with violin lessons and lectures on correct grammar..... absolutely us, really. rather like it that way too.

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 11:06:10

Joelalie, course you can be mongomaous and BoHo LOL! Well, the fake anglicised version anyhow. Of course it is preferable also to call call at least one of your kids Fennel or something herby too.

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Thu 09-Nov-06 11:07:11

Ah Hatwoman, I think you've put your finger on it there re furniture quality/age. Let's add the rule then that to be Bohemian you must have upper class / wealthy ancestors who have palmed off their 'junk' to the poorer hopeless arty members of the family. I think you also need an elderly spinister aunt to leave you her Victoriana.
My kitchen table is made of reclaimed floorboards ala Ladymacbeth's sleepers.

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 11:15:34

peachy - that's just hippydom! Sorry, but to be Bohemian you need to be in an open marriage at least, be an actor/singer/musician/struggling artist and preferably die of TB ..Ok scratch that last bit... I don't think modern life allows true bohemianism I'm afraid. We're all too sensible. And I can't help thinking that true Bohemianism is urban not rural.

NomDePlume Thu 09-Nov-06 11:17:00

Nope, not remotely bohemian in any sense.

Gem13 Thu 09-Nov-06 11:21:49

My mother often says that where we moved to when I was 10 was 'very bohemian'. Now if she thinks something is bohemian she says it's 'very name-of-town'.

Compared to our family, our new friends had children who called other people's parents by their first names, the women worked or studied (and didn't necessarily get the children's tea - the dads did ), didn't go to church or have sunday lunch, drove old dilapidated cars, always had various friends and/or children in the house, the women might swear, had haphazard arrangements to picking up children, allowing sleepovers, were members of political/peace organisations, had a lack of knowledge about tv but great knowledge of fiction, politics, history, etc.

As a teenager I thought it was great. Some of them I've managed to incorporate into my life! I do like CSI though...

Gem13 Thu 09-Nov-06 11:24:26

Oh, forgot to add - the parents had all gone to private/boarding school and there was (or had been) money lurking. All the children were in state school though sometimes in hand-me-down clothes or trendy new clothes bought by grandparents.

Do you have to wear patchouli? Or is that just scummy hippies?

It makes me puke, the smell of patchouli

Well I am a raving alkie and have been know to indulge in the odd recreational narcotic. However my personal hygeine is good and my house is not a shit hole.

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 11:31:21

but bucket (in the voice of annoyed child) IT'S NOT FAIR. our house looks half-arsed trendy (just had new bathroom) half-arsed eclectic (can't even do eclectic right); half-arsed tidy (constant battle between not really liking untidiness, knowing it's not important and finding more interesting things to do) and not remotely boho. I know this thread isn't meant to be about how your house looks but it's very often the basis on which people categorise you.

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Thu 09-Nov-06 11:32:48

Gem13 was it Glasto or Totnes?

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 11:57:50

Reading some of these descriptions I think I know one truly Bohemian household. On the monogamy front, they are married but 4th marriage on both sides. It's a lovely house to spend time in but also quite nice to come home to a bit more calm and order

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 12:12:24

Patchouli is dirty hippies, and no, Joelalie I am NOT one of them LOL (but going to Glastonbury carnival on Saturday, so can gen up a bit LOL)

I think the key cut off between boho and dirty hippy is dog on a string, or did I spend too long working in Street?

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 12:18:10

peachy !! Dog on string is crusty not hippy!!

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 12:24:18

'Tis dirty Ippy.

That, stinking of patchouli and insisting on sitting nect to me on buses <<<consternated emoticon>>>

Now Crusty- that's an old person, that is LOL!

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 12:27:46

No that's a wrinklie - crusty's are the bottle of cider, sticky hair, dog on a string types.

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 12:29:02

Nah, that's a gert dirty Ippy.

Glasto tyopes are Chelsea Hippies.

Wrinklies are older people, crusties are dirty older people who use string to keep their trousers up

Gem13 Thu 09-Nov-06 12:55:59

Buckets - how did you guess it was in the south west?

Not Glastonbury but close. Close enough to call the local festival 'Pilton'.

Tinker Thu 09-Nov-06 12:59:43

I suspect having a pension rules out bohemia.

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 13:04:40

Go on tell Gem! I live near(ish) Glasto and I could take a few guesses but I'd love to know...

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 13:15:00

<<<Peachya nd joelalie sit watching the screen with interest>>>

Nobody here knows what I mean by Pilton Festival

I'm getting homesick for a bunch of Ippies LOL!

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 13:23:25

Is that dirty ippies Peachy? Or crusties......

Did you say you were doing Carnival at the weekend? We went on Friday (of course) and it was very good but too cold!! DS#2 told me he wanted to go home about 9.30 so of course I had to......

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Thu 09-Nov-06 13:57:02

Is a Chelsea hippy a yippie? (yuppy hippie)

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 14:22:49

No it's a chippy....mind you my DH's is a carpenter but he'd kill me if I ever called him a (c)hippy! Never trust a hippie and all that

Tortington Thu 09-Nov-06 14:27:11

with muchio embarassment i said such a thing to a fellow mumsnetter - i meant it as high compliment - this was around 4 years ago - i think she was seriously mortally offended. she still loves me. but ever since i shiver at the term. i thought it was a nice thing to say - refering to off beat trendy ness - a hippy chic - which i think is lovely

i think she thought i was saying she was scruffy! i was not her home is lovely

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 14:35:33

We went friday too kids were in it Saturday and this Saturday is just 'for fun'.

Actually I rather like Glastonbury, and it's nice once the competitive bit is over for us.

FIL is a carpenter who calls himself a chippy, others just call him Cowboy

LadyMacbeth Thu 09-Nov-06 14:35:51

I live near Glastonbury too, have always referred to the festival as Pilton. Would love to know the village/town in question Gem! It does sound a wee bit familiar !

Gem13 Thu 09-Nov-06 15:23:03

<<Am off sorting the children out now... quietly leaving this thread...>>

mousiemousie Thu 09-Nov-06 16:44:50

Right, I have compiled a boho-ometer. How bohemian are you?

Have you ever posed naked as an artist’s model? 10 points for yes, bonus 10 points if you also had sex with him/her afterwards

Are you bisexual? 10 points for yes

Do you define yourself as an artist (even if your boss defines you as a systems analyst)? 10 points for yes

Do you have a car less than 10 years old? Deduct 10 points for yes unless it is borrowed from a rich pal

Can you remember if your friends’ houses are clean? 10 points if you’re not sure/ have never really thought about it

Do you despise neat box houses and conventional lifestyles? 10 points for yes

Do you ever deliberately exercise? 10 points for no

Is it more important to have read a novel during the week or to have cleaned the toilet? 10 points for the novel

Was your first home a garret? 10 points for yes

Do your kids have airy fairy boho names? Add 2 points for each name, 5 more if you have changed your own name along these lines, even if only unofficially

Is your primary relationship what you would call “unusual”? 5 points. Bonus 5 points for each other sexual relationship you are currently invovled in

Do you consider yourself an intellectual? 10 points for yes

Do you drink more than the government recommended amount? 10 points for yes, bonus 5 if you don’t know the govt recommended amount

Are you musical? 5 points for yes

Are you financially irresponsible? 10 points for yes

Do you love one-off creations and despise anything mass produced? 10 points for yes

Do you and your kids like to wee outdoors? 5 points for each of you who do

Is your house somewhat run down? 10 points for yes

Do you live in a cheap area? 10 points for yes

Do you have locks on the bathroom door(s) – deduct 5 points for each

Do you like velvet in your home? 5 points for yes

Do you love the colour purple? 5 points for yes

Do you have an open fire? 10 points for yes

Do you have brightly coloured silk underwear? 10 points for yes

Have you ever had an STD? 5 points for each time

Finally, add 5 points for each different cat you have fed in the last year

Ilovemyboy Thu 09-Nov-06 16:47:25


Sobernow Thu 09-Nov-06 16:50:36

I scored 130 points on your test there! Very perceptive!

lulumama Thu 09-Nov-06 16:53:08

a very poor 92 - see...contrived shabby chic , definitely not BOHO......!!!!

PeachyClair Thu 09-Nov-06 17:11:18

130.... until you get to the cats

that's around 20 I guess, can't be bothered to add it up (and no I don't have STDs and I'm neither busexual nor in a novel relationship)

Sobernow Thu 09-Nov-06 17:27:02

I'm not bisexual but I am rather partial to purple. I wonder whether I might be Catholic?

joelallie Thu 09-Nov-06 17:31:18

130 - might be more but I'm not sure how you would define my kids's names - boho or not - I think it depends on your viewpoint (compare to all the Tylers and Kylies in school they probably are)

holidaymum Thu 09-Nov-06 17:36:49

150 I am Bohemian but I hate labels, too conventional

Blu Thu 09-Nov-06 18:24:29

LOL at your test, Mousie!

NotAnOtter Thu 09-Nov-06 18:34:36

FABULOUS mousie!
I am like a demi boho mum.
Old school friend recently described me as a frustrated hippy. Arty but anal me!

lou33 Thu 09-Nov-06 18:41:04

130 my house is always a mess, i think it is changing soon though

moondog Thu 09-Nov-06 18:51:18

psml at Mousie's quiz (I daren't take it-would disappear in a puff of sandalwood) and Hatwoman's G plan table.

I definitely think Boho involves extra marital shagging.

The most Boho family I know (father presently artist in residence at Isle of Sheppey prison) have lots of long haired nymphette daughters,who were wont to drift around the house in flimsy batiked sarongs or swing languidly in the hanging basket chairs in their living room.

There were always plenty of young men with wispy beards paying court,invariably rolling joints.

Mere and Pere did a lot of wife swapping.

Funnily enough, the only son cleared off to Sweden and became a successful banker.

mousiemousie Thu 09-Nov-06 18:59:45

Demi boho mum - like it
So there are a few sub cultures out there...the bobo and the demi boho

am fascinated by the posts on this thread

I am a bit of a wannabe, maybe a demi-boho

motherinferior Thu 09-Nov-06 19:01:59

I'm just a wannabe. Oh god I hate my nuclear family life, the one I swore I'd never, ever have...

noddyholder Thu 09-Nov-06 19:05:24


mousiemousie Thu 09-Nov-06 19:15:26

noddy that is skyscraper high - did you get all the points on teh cat question or the STDs

Issymum Thu 09-Nov-06 19:30:29

Oh God, I am so not BoHo I'm in negative figures. And that's before deducting 20 zillion points for being a corporate lawyer married to an engineer in a monogamous relationship since we were 17. My parents leaned towards boho though and my theory is that a level of bohoality in early childhood is prejudicial to the later adoption of a bohemian lifestyle.
Great quiz though!

FioFio Thu 09-Nov-06 19:38:27

well i got 140 so I am boho defo, at last I am in a clique

mousiemousie Thu 09-Nov-06 19:42:19

FioFio - it's the best clique too

noddyholder Thu 09-Nov-06 19:51:53

loads of cats no stds but I wouldn't say I was partic boho maybe I counted wrong!We have lots of books paintings etc but am quite clean I promise!!

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 19:57:01

I;ve been thinking and thinking about this thread and realised that I am so not even remotely anything like boho. not just a little bit failed boho as I tried to make out earlier. a fraud. a bad one. a boho in my othre life. right. having covered my back I'm off to do the quiz. will reoprt back

hatwoman Thu 09-Nov-06 20:03:35

I'm leaving this thread. my score is too embarassing for words.

moondog Thu 09-Nov-06 21:41:38

C'mahn Hatwoman (said in manner of hard nailed Nu Yawk PI) what was it???

Mercy Thu 09-Nov-06 22:00:01

Well, I just did this on behalf of my bro who I consider to be boho (he's my bohobro!). He scored 130 but he has no children and smokes weed and drinks alcohol once a week or so, so I substituted one or two scores

Our 2 aunts are eccentric though. I hate it when dh says I'm like then, I'm not at all!

twinsetandpearls Thu 09-Nov-06 22:11:20

scored 170! Dp says I am not bohemian just odd and spend too much time feeding cats and reading wierd books rather than having tea on the table like a decent woman!

3andnomore Thu 09-Nov-06 22:20:56

70 points on the, suppose not very bohemian, lol

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Thu 09-Nov-06 23:01:40

I could cry! Only 95 and most of that was STDs My dd is named after a fantasy heroine but I'm just too darned good with those ISAs I don't think I'm even shabby chic TBH, I am in my head but apart from the crunchiness of my floors I'm just a big old Grauniad phoney.

twinsetandpearls Thu 09-Nov-06 23:10:53

just want to make it clear that my score had nothing to do with STDs

Sobernow Fri 10-Nov-06 07:51:13

My score was bumped up by alcohol, nudity and being rubbish with money.

moondog Fri 10-Nov-06 08:57:22

lol at buckets and tsap.

Am confused now-are we to be proud or ashamed of STDS??????

hatwoman Fri 10-Nov-06 09:05:05

more thoughts about this. I think bucket really put her finger on something in her response to my table post - the idea that to be bohemian you have to have rich connections to inherit good quality but tatty at the edges "junk". the more I think about it the more I think there's somtheing to this. It also applies to the financial irresponsibility - basically I don't think most people can afford to be bohemian. unless you have some sort of back up being a total div with money is a no-no, as is rejecting the cheap mass produced stuff that surrounds us. and I think the rich background often encourages financial irresponsibility. the idea that somehow it will all be alright. (Aunt Penelope's going to chuff it soon and she's bound to have got a stash...)

joelallie Fri 10-Nov-06 10:58:36

hatwoman - I agree....No-one can afford to be that cavalier about money these days on a permanent basis.

mousiemousie Fri 10-Nov-06 13:13:33

Who are the curent famous bohemians then?

Do any of these qualify?
Tracey Emin
Jade Jagger
Sienna Miller


..presumably a lot of actors qualify?

joelallie Fri 10-Nov-06 13:23:16

Tracey Emin definitely I would say - going by her column in the Independent. Don't know about the other 2.

Greensleeves Fri 10-Nov-06 13:24:14

I got 154

curlew Fri 10-Nov-06 13:28:37

Everyone else on this thread can give up the quest to be the uberboho - I live on a boat!

Mercy Fri 10-Nov-06 13:36:08

Wow, curlew!

A friend of mine used to live on a converted barge, it was certainly as interesting experience staying with her!

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Fri 10-Nov-06 14:19:11

Helena Bonham Carter has the blue blood, fashion sense and marital arrangements. Just need to see a Hello pic of her house.

"Her natural quirkiness might explain Helena's infamously outrageous sense of style and her recent taste in boyfriends. In October 2003, the pair announced the birth of her first child with director Tim Burton, a boy. "I find it romantic bearing his illegitimate child and living next door," Helena said just prior to the birth. "I don't know if we'll marry."

mousiemousie Fri 10-Nov-06 14:26:44

Definitely Helena BC

boboggglimpopo Fri 10-Nov-06 14:29:54

Johnny and Vanessa
Princess Margaret
Quentin Crisp
Stephanie of Monaco
Rupert Everett
Mia Farrow

Sobernow Fri 10-Nov-06 14:36:12

Has anyone else noticed that i.e Bonham is an anagram of bohemian?

poppynic Fri 10-Nov-06 14:53:55

Love your quiz mousiemousie. I think I'm repressed boho . Lacking in essential style - but appreciate it greatly. Maybe poppyn.. Do you think someone really boho would have a computer?

poppynic Fri 10-Nov-06 14:55:12

oooops, messed that up, was going to suggest that poppyn get into a bit of interior decorating and sort out my house - but then realised that having someone in to do that would be essnetially unboho .

ParanoidAndroid Fri 10-Nov-06 14:58:47

160 - blimey. But I suspect that taking part in this quiz is definitely un-bohemian so I'm not sure what to do about that!

Bucketsofburntdinosaurs Fri 10-Nov-06 18:19:56

Johnny Vaughan and Vanessa Feltz are an item?
No seriously, who are they?

fullmoonfiend Fri 10-Nov-06 20:06:39

185 - though I'm not as bohemian as I'd like to be ...

hatwoman Sat 11-Nov-06 12:37:23

well it's gone midday and dds are wondering round with very tousled unbrushed hair wearing only pants and "jewellery" made from multi-coloured hair bands looped together - hanging loosely round their necks, round their ankles, looped round their feet and toes like (apparently) flip flops, round their knees, wrists, and fore-arms. I am in a bright pink dressing gown with red lace trim. and dh has a sore head from a night that involved the nearest we're likely to get to being able to declare our relationship interesting. do I get extra points? or are we just slobs?

moondog Sat 11-Nov-06 16:29:25

He he Hatwoman
Interesting point.
When does Boho segue into slobbery??

Tis a fine line....

FillyjonkTheFireEater Sat 11-Nov-06 16:33:02

seriously curlew!


JanH Sat 11-Nov-06 16:33:05

Depp and Paradis, not Vaughn & Feltz (ugh)

mousiemousie Sat 11-Nov-06 17:52:31

hatwoman - brilliantly boho. Slob is for tabloid readers. If you are an intellectual you are never really a slob, you just have your mind on higher things

fullmoonfiend what a score...and still not as bohemian as you'd like...maybe the quiz needs more questions! What else is in your mind?

ParanoidAndroid Sat 11-Nov-06 20:30:31

I think we ought to add a few more things to the quiz....

Add 20 points if your TV has only 4 channels

Add a further 50 points if it's still black and white

Deduct 10 points for every TV more than one

Deduct 20 points for Sky etc

Deduct 30 points for a widescreen TV and/or flat screen and/or high definition

(IME, bohemians don't DO technology)

Deduct 10 points if your car is less than 10 years old

Add 10 points if your car is more than 20 years old

Add 20 points if you travel by bicycle regardless of the weather

Any other suggestions?

JanH Sat 11-Nov-06 21:05:05

Another 20 points for keeping hens?

(On mousie's quiz I scored about 30; after PA's my points have gone negative )

hatwoman Sat 11-Nov-06 22:31:56

10 points for owning any antique night wear.

LadyOfTheFlowersIs1Baby1Bump Sat 11-Nov-06 22:41:50

my old man and his wife do the following:
bake their own bread
only eat organic
my dad now wears leather bracelets
he hardly gets his hair cut
they never wear jeans or anything named, everything is sand or olive coloured
she wants to have a go at breastfeeding ds2
they go to 'african drumming' nights
dad grows all the veg
they have reared chickens in the past
she washes all clothes by hand
they dont want a fridge, they have a slate shelf and damp teatowels instead....

actually, i think they are hippies...

hatwoman Sat 11-Nov-06 22:47:58

run that breast-feeding bit by me again? Your ds yes? his granny/step-granny?

FillyjonkTheFireEater Sun 12-Nov-06 08:19:29


I think I am on about 150, which is not bad seeing as how I am in the middle of a physics degree

how about if I want chicken and crap? And if we do have a telly but I can't even turn it on? And I have no frigging idea what sort it is?

FillyjonkTheFireEater Sun 12-Nov-06 08:20:39

(am also rofl btw at all you boho types lining up to take a quiz on the computer

NotAnOtter Sun 12-Nov-06 12:43:42

20 points for each secondary school age child without a mobile phone
10 points for each vegetarian in household
10 points for owning books on spirituality or philosophy
10 points for buddhist artefacts in home
10 points for 'living in sin'

hatwoman Sun 12-Nov-06 13:08:40

surely spirituality's for hippies not bohos? I'd say 2 points for every book by the Bloomsbury set and 2 points for every non-English novel in the original foreign language. Minus two points for every children's book based on a tv character.

HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas Sun 12-Nov-06 18:41:56

well am on way over 200 now

FrannyandZooey Sun 12-Nov-06 18:42:49

Oh I am actually getting some points now

I think I was on minus 50 before, I am too anal to be bohemian that's for sure

moondog Sun 12-Nov-06 18:44:41

Lady,yes,clarify the breastfeeding.

'African drumming'

Truly one of the most frightening phrases of our time.

Beaten only by 'African drumming workshop'.

HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas Sun 12-Nov-06 18:46:35


I am very anal

and am doing a physics dregree ffs

I have still got a lot of points

nannyme Sun 12-Nov-06 18:52:22

Just reading the latest here and now looks like we could be in the running after all:

Keep ducks
Dabble in Home Ed
Have some velvet articles

moondog Sun 12-Nov-06 18:53:12

Oh yes,Nanny,you are firmly established!

HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas Sun 12-Nov-06 18:53:48

oy nannyme, I see you!

How are you?

There's a thread with your name on it in HE...

nannyme Sun 12-Nov-06 18:56:22

Hello camper ladeee!

Been looking out for you since HESFES (how boho does it get?)

I shall scamper off to check out HE threads...being pestered for a cheese sandwich by Felix though.

How are you all? Still recovering from your major camp-fest?

We are trialling French education atm. Very impressed so far, but I still hav emy HE kit!

FrannyandZooey Sun 12-Nov-06 19:10:36

Heh, I must have missed the African drumming workshop bit

I am semi boho after all

HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas Sun 12-Nov-06 19:11:01

there was one at hesfes, frank

nannyme Sun 12-Nov-06 19:16:17

God that fecking drumming did my head IN! Lovely it was, but the same beat for 3 days?????

am I losing Boho points here?

have replied in HE filly.

HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas Sun 12-Nov-06 19:19:18

remember the bloody "concert"?

Jesus, every kid on the campsite and their greyhound on their electric guitar playing Sounds of the Eighties.

Frank, I would imagine you heard that, surely?

NM is that why you are in france?

nannyme Sun 12-Nov-06 19:40:47

Who's Frank?

ScummyMummy Sun 12-Nov-06 19:42:46

frank = frannyand zooey, nannyme

nannyme Sun 12-Nov-06 19:47:22

Okay, thanks!

I thought that and then thought noooo!

Damselion Sat 13-Apr-13 17:59:15

Thread resurrection! I was wondering what mumsnet considered bohemian, I just scored 75 in the quiz so I guess I am !

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