About Mark Howells-Mead

Photography and programming since 1983. Web developer since 1996. WordPress since 2003, TYPO3 since 2011 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 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.

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.

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.


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.

You can see my complete c.v. here.


Autobiography

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


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

  • Grand Canal, Venice, photographed from the Ponte dell'Accademia

    Surprised by Venice

    We took advantage of a much-reduced number of tourists in July to visit Venice. I came away with an unexpected number of good and unique photographs.
  • First signs of autumn on Spiezberg

    A lunchtime walk by the vineyards in the sunshine, ten years after moving away from nearby.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

    Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

  • Swallows on a telephone wire

    Last of the swallows

    Last of the swallows for this year, I suspect. I haven’t seen them around much this year at home, but there were dozens out yesterday, feeding their young before their long journey. (We have a perfectly-positioned telephone wire near our balcony, so it’s a great spot to watch and to photograph them.)
  • Bluebells in Switzerland

    Until I moved to Switzerland, my interest in photography was mainly confined to recording what I was up to; from time with friends and family, to documentary photography on the streets of London and capturing scenes when I was on holiday. I had begun getting interested in landscape photography after a few visits to the […]
  • Great Asby Scar

    Leaving the familiar fells and valleys of the Lake District to visit a less familiar part of northern England.
  • The wilds of Scotland

    Even after the many miles of road travel to the populated north of Scotland, the next stage out into the northern Highlands, delineated by the huge Great Glen between Oban and Inverness, is something else entirely. Leaving dual carriageways behind on the Black Isle and heading west, especially during inclement weather, both the roads and the landscape become increasingly […]
  • A nerve-wracking trip to Birg cable-car station

    My only cable-car trip into the high Alps this past winter season was in February. Webcam confirmation of a fabulous cloud inversion encouraged me to get into the mountains after a long abstinence. I expected the visit to be be a nerve-wracking experience thanks to so many people wearing their coronavirus face-masks around their chins, […]