Mark Howells-Mead

Photography and programming since 1983. Web developer since 1996. WordPress since 2003 and agency partner since 2019.

I’m a British photographer, designer and web developer and I live in Switzerland. Permanent Tourist is my personal website. I came up with the name because I try to live like an interested visitor, whether at home or elsewhere.

I spend much of my spare time in the mountains near where I live on the shores of Lake Thun: hiking and taking photographs. I’ve been here since 2001; before that, I lived in Hampshire, England and (as a child) in London.

Social media

My day job is as a website developer, primarily building front-ends for CMS-driven websites using WordPress. I joined Swiss web agency Say Hello GmbH as Partner in January 2019.

I speak English and Bernese (Swiss) German fluently, German relatively well, and French passably but with a little hesitation. Through my work on multilingual websites, I also have an understanding of written Italian, and my abilities in German allow me a basic understanding of Dutch.

My wife Jo moved from Scotland to live with me during 2006. We married during 2007 in the splendour of Rosslyn Chapel, and combined our surnames.

Long before all this was a twinkle in my eye, I studied to A-level at Salesian College in Farnborough, Hampshire.

With Jo in Zermatt, 2021
With Jo in Zermatt, 2021

The day job

I’m a developer, designer and partner at Say Hello GmbH: a web agency in central Switzerland with a focus on WordPress, Progressive Web App and CMS-based development.

My daily work involves project management, concept work, cross-media solutions and workshop leadership, front-end, back-end and API development, media production, client consultancy, design and sales.

Previously, I’ve been a development manager, team leader, digital developer, media producer, content management system developer and customer services advisor for small, large and international companies based in the U.K. and Switzerland since the 1990s.


Autobiography

I write long-form entries in alphabetical order about my life from time to time. The first was published here in 2013.


Testimonial

Unbeknown to me, during one of my many visits to Switzerland, one of my fellow tourists somehow fell to the temptation of throwing away his return ticket and remain longer than is usually accepted for trippers. He describes himself, quite accurately I think, as the Permanent Tourist.

He now lives in a spacious flat, forever condemned to waking every morning to the sight of the majestic snow-capped alps and turquoise lakes, travel to his cushy lakeside job on the best, most efficient rail system in the world, and spend his weekends amidst scenery that most of us weep at for the sheer spectacle of beauty. To top it all, he does this in the accompaniment of a particularly gorgeous female.

As if this is not enough, he is able to encapsulate all this wonder in which he dwells through his lens with the efficiency of a keen-eyed sniper. Just look yourself, and you’ll see visions that are both stunning, clever and at times amusing. If he went professional, we may as well all throw away our cameras, for we are not worthy.

Graham McKenzie-Smith, 2006

Latest blog posts

  • Too early for tulips

    We travelled to western Switzerland last weekend, primarily to visit the small British supermarket in Gland and the tulip festival in Morges. Although the festival has been advertised and the tents and visitor facilities were already set up, the tulips were lamentably still a way from flowering, so I made do with photographing the daffodils […]
  • Eigergletscher to Alpiglen

    I was keen to do more winter hiking this year, and although winter seems to have flown by, I did manage to get out into the snow more often than in previous years. Most recently, we got the big cable-car up from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher with the intention of then getting the short train connection […]
  • Urban nature

    Walking by the river in Bern, where the views and scenes are more interesting than beautiful. (At least, at this time of year and under uninspiring weather conditions.)
  • Age catching up

    I had a busy week. Two work projects are due for completion soon and because I felt that I was behind on them both, I decided to go back to the computer after dinner and work on them. I used to work late into the night when I was first establishing my career here, and […]
  • Sunset at the lake

    You can tell that I’ve enjoyed myself when I come home from a walk or a day out with a set of photos. Here are four from a chilly but lovely winter sunset on the shores of Lac Léman last weekend. I’ve loved square-format images since I started taking photos with a medium-format film camera […]
  • Île de Peilz

    I like unusual things and the tiny natural island around 500 metres from the lake shore at Villeneuve, on Lac Léman, certainly fits that bill.
  • Things which draw my eye

    Nail-polish applied to the roots of a tree. Sure. Why not?
  • The Belt of Venus

    Before dawn in autumn and winter on a clear day, where there is moisture or minutely-fine dust in the air, early risers get to see the Belt of Venus. The pink colouration at around 10°-20° above the horizon is caused by the scattered, reflected light of the sun hitting minute dust particles in the west, […]