MJCarty.com: Top 5 posts of 2022

I present the five most-read posts of 2022 on MJCarty.com. If you have taken the time to read any words on this wee blog of mine this year, you have my heartfelt gratitude. 

I have been blogging here for more than eight years now, putting out just over 400 posts in that time. I write here for the simple joy of getting words down on virtual paper, often discovering my true thoughts on the topic at hand in the process. But perhaps the biggest delight from my regular writings arrives when a blog post resonates with a reader and kicks off a conversation, often taking me to unexpected places, making unexpected connections, or learning unexpected things.

With this year almost done, I thought I’d take a look back at the words I’ve put out this year and – if readership stats mean anything at all – round up the posts that seem to have resonated the most with the reading public (well, the infinitesimally small proportion of the global reading public that might ever happen upon my words, I mean).

MJCarty.com: The top 5 posts of 2022


(1) Mastodon FAQ: Toot sweet?
With a certain tech billionaire seemingly trying their level best to overturn Twitter’s apple cart, it’s no surprise that a good many folks have been in search of a suitable social media alternative. Mastodon has been the destination of choice for increasing numbers of folks over recent weeks. We are able to watch Mastodon grow and flower in real time. And so far, all the vital signs are looking good. Having (arguably) long been a very good “micro-blogging” platform in search of users, Mastodon is now abundant with people. And those people seem rather lovely. The friendliness of it all – and the willingness to engage in conversation and knowledge sharing for its own sake – reminds me of what I loved most about my earliest days on Twitter. In this post – by some distance the most-read post on my humble blog in 2022 – I attempt to answer some frequently asked questions for new Mastodon users or the Mastodon-curious. If you’re just getting started on Mastodon, please do drop by and say hello. You can find me at @MJCarty@mastodon.social.

(2) The Palin principle
Michael Palin’s diaries from half a century ago paint an oddly familiar picture of a time of energy crisis, “non-government” and an underlying absurdity and silliness (from a certain point of view) to newsworthy events in general. Palin has always taken a healthy perspective on this absurd world of ours – a perspective which he set out perfectly in 2014:  “My view of the world, really, is that if you screw your eyes up and look at the world, it is an absurd and extraordinarily silly place, with everyone taking themselves very seriously.” I was both stunned and delighted when Palin’s Python colleague Eric Idle was so kind as to tweet a response to this post.

(3) Neil Gaiman, Cafe München & the Comedian
Some memories of Cafe München – a long-gone London hostelry… but one whose legend looms large. This London bar was home to so many stories, including Forbidden Planet comic signings by Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alexei Sayle and a host of 1980s comics luminaries. This post was inspired by a 1980s video about the then-contemporary London comic scene that I happened upon a year ago today (Christmas Eve 2021), and featuring the very first on-camera interview by a youthful (and, according to a tweet that Neil Gaiman kindly sent me) rather nervous Neil Gaiman.

(4) Into the infinity of thoughts
In times of heightened stress and anxiety, the mind can become like the turbulent surface of the sea. Anxiety and stress need to be taken seriously, before they become overwhelming. I have been on an unexpected – and not always pleasant – mental health journey this year. I resolved early on to attempt to write as openly and honestly as I could about what I was and am going through. This is the first post in this ongoing series.

(5) No words
Words fail me. Some words on nature, depression, music – and things that we really must try to put into words, no matter how hard it might be.

See you in 2023!


This will be my final post on here for 2022. I will be back here on New Year’s Day (Sunday 1 January 2023) with my first post for the new year.

In the meantime, might I please wish you a rather exceptional end to 2022? What have been your personal highlights for this year that is now so very nearly done? I would love to know – please post a comment below, or @ me on the social medium of your choice!

May you be nothing but kind today, to others and to yourself.

May today be nothing but kind to you and yours.


  • Mental health (NHS) Information and support for your mental health from the NHS.
  • Information and support (Mind) Resources from Mind, the UK mental health charity.
  • NAMI Homefront (NAMI) Online resources from US charity NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • SANE Australia Visit the site of this “national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues”.


* I  have written about my ongoing mental health journey in the following posts: Into the infinity of thoughtsRenewal; and No words?Mental health first responseGlorifyIn our darkest hours; and At the heart of thingsNo feeling is finalRelax harder.; and Anxiety: Your own worst enemyAll these moments; and Mental health: Six things I’ve learnt in 2022; and Coping? ; and The sun will return.


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