Tag: John Caleo


Ok, I just need to get this off my chest now.

I have recently become obsessed with a film and the book that inspired it.
‘Holding the Man’

The story of a 15 year relationship.
Timothy Conigrave and John Caleo met during their years at high school in the 70’s.
Timothy was always acutely aware of his sexuality but John wasn’t.
John was a man’s man and it wasn’t until high school, when he met and fell in love with Timothy that he embraced his own sexuality.
The story follows their ups and downs. Their experimentation with other partners during their University years which ultimately led to their HIV status and ultimate deaths in 1992 and 1994 respectively.
How Timothy had to deal with watching John die knowing that he’d probably infected him in the first place.
It’s an absolutely stunning film with amazing performances from Ryan Corr as Timothy and Craig Stott as John.

The memoir is something else!
It is written in a very childlike and naive way. Almost as if Timothy was just writing to get things down before he died. Get his memories in place while he still could as he was battling dementia. This makes it both hilarious because of the verbal diarhoea and heartbreaking becaue of it’s complete honesty.

The book and the film both end with the same line.
Ci vedremo lassu, anjelo….
Which translates to….
I’ll see you up there, angel!!

OMG! even now, as I write those lines, it has me in tears.

It’s an absolutely wonderful film. It’s funny, it’s sad and it sends a message.

As I write this it also occurs to me that the film had an amazing soundtrack.
After all, it takes place predominantly in the 70’s and 80’s
So here is a list of some of the music and songs used in the soundtrack.
Forever and a year by Rufus Wainwright – KILLS ME EVERY TIME –  and if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know why.



So here I am, a bit of a puddle of a mess.

I’ve just finished Tim’s memoir.

The last line of the film is also the last line of the book but as it was in Italian, I never understood what was said although the meaning was very clear.

So after I gathered myself enough to think, I used Google Translate to finally find out what was said.

Ci vedremo lassu, anjelo….

Which translates to….

I’ll see you up there, angel!!

OMG!! Knowing that Tim died just 10 days after writing those words…..
Shit! here I go again. Where’s the tissue.

I can see it now. I’ll be sitting in the Duomo next year in Florence with my Mum and Dad and I’m going to be a complete mess!


So today has been a relaxing between shifts day but it has been a little depressing!!

Continuing a bit of a recent facination for me, I decided to watch a docufilm called ‘Bridegroom’.

IMDB states….
Shane Bitney Crone’s plans to marry Tom Bridegroom in California after the same-sex marriage law is passed takes a tragic turn when his partner of six years accidentally dies and Tom’s family refuses Shane from attending the funeral.



It is an absolutely heartbreaking documentary about the life of Shane and his subsequent relationship with Tom that came to an abrupt end because of a stupid accident.
The film is made up of photo’s and videos of Shane and Tom and interviews with Shane and friends and Shane’s family.
The way Tom’s family reacted was horrendous and I found myself a blubbering wreck when the film finished.

So what do I do when that’s finished?
I carry on reading Tim Conigrave’s memoir ‘Holding the Man’!!

Tim and John

After falling in love with the film recently, I decided to read the memoir and I was struck by how much I actually have in common with Tim!
Apart from the obvious, I’m not a man and I’m not gay, we share the same taste in films and music and politics.

Something in the book but not in the film was the time Tim spent in Italy with John just before John started sucumbing to AIDS related illneses, specifically Florence and Tuscany, a place that I will be seeing for myself next year when I am there for my Brother’s wedding.
I have now reached the point in the book where they are dealing with the effects of AIDS.

I know the outcome of the memoir. I know that Tim died just 10 days after completing it and yet I am finding it compulsive reading and I just know that I will end up a blubbering wreck yet again.

Why do I do this to myself?!