About 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.

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

Curriculum vitæ (Lebenslauf)

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

  • Blair Castle

    After a twelve year wait, I finally get a decent photograph of Blair Castle, near Pitlochry in Scotland.
  • Wall of sound

    Wall of sound

    I remember seeing Oasis early in their career when they played a Sunday afternoon slot on the subsidiary NME stage at Glastonbury Festival in 1994. The indelible memory is the sheer wall of sound coming from the stage, even then, before they released Definitely Maybe. Two years later, they played two legendary sets at Knebworth. […]
  • Cannibals in autumn

    In which I tell a short tale about cannibals.
  • Bern band Choo Choo in 2010

    New Choo Choo portfolio page

    Long-time visitors to the site may vaguely remember that I used to collaborate photographically with Bern pop band Choo Choo.
  • I was sent to erase a man from existence and became haunted by him

    A text posted as a Twitter thread yesterday by user Tin Doom. I felt that it deserved a blog post, as this kind of thing is what blogs are for.
  • Axalp in the snow

    Axalp in the snow

    Walking in the snowy landscape of Axalp, high above Lake Brienz in the Swiss Bernese Oberland.
  • Drone photograph of Loch Glascarnoch in summer

    The Lost World of Glascarnoch

    Aerial views of a flooded glen in the wilds of northern Scotland, with low water levels exposing the old road.
  • WordPress expert Mark Howells-Mead

    Gutenberg keyboard shortcut for headings

    Improving the addition of specific WordPress core heading blocks using just the keyboard.