Side Effects

Being Bridget Jones


When writing a song called “Home” with Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Semmens, the lyrics that came out of that magical place we seldom visit, but know is there, was meant to be about Hong Kong- my home. It probably is, but around three years ago, I started listening to it differently.


“Home” became a metaphor for “her”. It was probably three “hers”, but as “players they would come and go” came the realisation that it was always and only about the one her, because there’s always only been one her.

The song was about decisions and indecisions and truth and guilt and questions and answers. For such a simple song on the surface, there were many layers to it.

These layers kept changing watching those around me and how many were sidestepping real life. Others were leading secret separate lives which I actually didn’t realise one could have.

While I was shamelessly out there flirting and bedding women- single, married and divorced- and never thinking I would be found out, and how, even if I was, I would cry, promise never to cheat again and be forgiven, male acquaintances were keeping things in check. They were underground. I was over the top.

Did I feel guilty cheating on the perfect woman? I do now. But during those days, there was no time to feel guilty. There would be plenty of time for that. Like the past five years, though if truly honest with myself, there was always guilt even after our divorce.

Did I at any time ever think of getting remarried?

Crikey, no. I think there was always a huge part of me that thought she and I would get back together again.

A couple of the women I was with knew that she was always in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand. I didn’t hide it.

I might have lied to myself, but at least, I never lied to them that there was a wedding ring hidden in my hip pocket.

I never knew what Bernie Taupin meant when he wrote those lines for Elton John about being “always in me” etc for Tiny Dancer. Maybe I do now.

Maybe it’s knowing where home is and being comfortable there because she is in me, she is with me.

Re-reading this, I realise that I sound like Bridget Jones’ diary.

Could be worse.




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