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Tuesday, 23 December 2014


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How many blog posts does one remember clearly after eight years? *This* one I did!
So damn touching.

If/when I get there, who would you recommend writing to? (Apple seems a bad bet.)

OK,...I'll admit that I loathe Christmas,...but I found this piece thought provoking, and not as unfamiliar as I would have liked.

Ya know, I can't seem to shake this dang allergy, even in winter. *sniff*

Wishing everyone at TOP the happiest of seasonal holidays of their choices.

And a Holga-free New Year.

I just shed a few tears reading your post. Thanks Mike. I hope you have a very happy holiday.

Thank you, Mike, for a touching story for the season.

Nicely done, as usual.....
Merry Christmas

That's up there with your best posts ever Mike - thank you and happy Christmas to you and yours.

Well done Mike,

As another long time reader, I knew as I read this that I had seen it before.

Thanks for reposting it.

Have a merry!


Nice, touching stories. The one of the stump made me laugh to.
Merry Christmas Mike.
Merry Christmas to all readers and posters here.

I missed this one the first time around. You're such a good writer, Mike. Just love your posts.

Lovely post, Mike. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for the blog.

If only you would've printed that stump photo with the caption "Nice capture", Photo Techniques would be remembered as the most visionary publication in the history of photography.

Nice story, lovely in the telling.

Now, could you get the Noyszewskis to straighten up their tree?

I wish you a level Christmas.

And to all, good light.

I had another thought.
This one is o good, you should read it aloud at the T.O.P Employee Christmas Party.
You, by the fire doing a fireside Chat.
One of the employees could record it and release it ar the first TOP video Blog.
Proceeds to the charity of your choice.

Seriously, you do have this ability to keep us grounded and keep things in perspective without being preachy.
That's a rare gift. Very valuable in these polarizing times.

For quite a while I had a proper job working as a registered Mental Health Nurse in a busy acute admissions unit. Many long standing patients would "engineer" their situation so as to be admitted to hospital over the Christmas period. It was hard to see why. Many had lost contact with their families and so the staff in some cases were the closest they had as many of us had known for many many years. It was always fun to serve them Christmas lunch and everyone got a present. I'll never forget one year we had a young bloke brought in and as was the protocol 2 staff went to bring him onto the ward. I went with a colleague who had never met this chap before. So as we walked him back he abusing and threatening the other nurse and in between he was also talking to me asking about my wife, telling me about his dog and asking what I thought would be on the menu for Christmas lunch. It was a very surreal experience.

The season brings out the best in people. And there is a lot of best to be brought out.

Happy Holidays.

For a while I considered myself a photographer. I sold a few prints, was exhibited at a gallery, and had a few students. Now I am not as active photographically, but I still enjoy it as a hobby.

I have to admit I spend more time on this site around the holidays than at other times of the year. I could say it's because that's when I'm looking for new gear, but a lot of it is because I enjoy the community that Mike has created here. It cheers me up during the holidays.

Merry Christmas everyone!

You are a great story teller - Merry Christmas to you and yours and healthy & happy New Year. (Would it be too much to ask for a little prosperity?)

I also wish the same for everyone reading this, or commenting, or thinking about the dialogue. Everyone's comments have often kept me up late, thinking, reading, enjoying. So many topics, so many opinions, so much experience - I just couldn't put the Ipad down.

To all of the thoughtful, well expressed, considerate commentators, (whether we agree or not)- I feel like I know a large bunch of you. Season's greetings - thanks for writing, and keep the flow of commentary going. I believe we're all looking forward to it.


Thank you for these. Merry Christmas.

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta.

Merry Christmas, to all at TOP.

A brilliant story, well told! We have a family tradition of watching "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas. After many years I still get a lump in my throat at the end. The same with this. Merry Christmas Mike and a happy and productive New Year.

this is a very good article, interesting moving stories. And yes, human contact can be sometimes the best gift to give.
Grazie e Buon Natale!

Thank you for this latest post. The last part got me and I felt my eyes begin to water. Have a merry one.

Dear mr Johnston / Mike,

The story of the "Man with complaints" would be a great start for a script for a Christmas movie. Thanks for another great year on T.O.P.!

Merry Cristmas and a Healthy New Year to you and all T.O.P. followers.

It's a heart-warming story, but it saddens me to think there are people who get so lonely that the only way they find to reach other human beings is to write letters to a magazine.
I hope it's not the case of TOP commenters! To all of them, and to Mike, Ctein and all others at TOP headquarters, I wish a merry Christmas - or whatever you celebrate this time of year.

A wonderful post, Mike. The featured comment by Dennis Mook is a very nice remake of one of my favorite O. Henry stories. I do not doubt it is true for a second but is an absolutely incredible coincidence.

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