about


Hi! I'm Dylan Harris, an Englishman with Welsh seasoning, proud to be a technogeek, born a month before Sputnik flew. You've found my trumpet gloat.

I wrote this page to answer those people who occasionally emailed me with questions such as "Are you the Dylan who buggered me and some goats during heady days of spring '24 in Ulaanbaator?", or "I once met a preacher called Dylan who convinced me of the transcendental joy of darning socks - are you he?". I don't want to disappoint anyone by having to say no, and, anyway, I've got such an flappy ego that I'll happily use excuses as weak as these to write self-mocking crap. So if you're searching for a "Dylan", and wonder if I'm him, check this blurb first.

Anyway, dull details first: I was born in 1957, wear socks with holes, and tend to have strong coffee and Marmite sandwiches for breakfast.

I'm an arts explorer, as you will discover if you take a look at my poetry, photography or music. My poetry does rather give away some of the more (and less) subtle aspects of my personality, which is why I've quoted it here.

image: Self-Portrait

Professionally, I'm a nerd, building computer software for whoever waves the biggest cheques in my face. I'm also fascinated by the sciences:

I remember
           as a child
standing on a pebble shore
watching ships
                      at sea
sailing
uncaring
over
     the edge
             of the world.
(from Expanding Horizons)

Indeed, I would happily join the crew of a Starship Enterprise so long as I didn't have to work in Security (they're the ones who wear red shirts and get killed in the first ten minutes of an Original Series episode).

You have reached the obligatory list paragraph. Likes: real ale, wine, pubs, good food especially in Michelin-starred restaurants, science-fiction, Citroëns, current affairs, and self-conducted travel. Preferred composers and performers: Birtwhistle, Stockhausen, the Percussionists of the Hague, Xenakis (RIP), Reich, happy hardcore, Schnittke, Pãrt, Adams, and many many more besides. Ironically, despite enjoying hardcore, I detest clubs. You want another list? Alright, novelists: Iain (M) Banks, Samuel R Delany, Vernor Vinge, William Shakespeare (ok, so he's not a novelist, but his plots weren't exactly lacking!), oh God, I could go, on and on. Poets? That should be obvious.

I was born within sniffing distance of six breweries and the Marmite factory, which may explain something about my subsequent taste in cuisine.

image: prose

prose

site
copyright

The Fox Inn

I remember peeking through the crack
of a half-closed door, looking down the hall,
when mother came back, crying.

Father, why did you die?
                 
(from Angst Cycle)

Both my parents are now dead.

I was bought up in the happy emptiness of a small village in Bedfordshire; I prefer to live in open space. Like most village kids, I wanted to try the big city, so I went to college at Greenwich University (née Thames Polytechnic) in Woolwich. After three weeks I realised the hype of London was utterly unmet by reality, but it took me eleven trapped years of college and work to escape - completing my Computing Science course, failing to complete a postgrad, and - a small improvement - spending a few years in working and living by Runnymede under the brow of the ache called the M25.

I used to adore politics, having got very active in the Young Liberals, doing international things as International ViceChair amongst other things, and ending up being the Returning Officer. This required me to organise internal elections, be serious, and tell all the excited hothead candidates exactly what they could do, literally and metaphorically.

Come to think of it, I also lead the Young Liberal side of the merger discussions with the Young Social Democrats. 'tis a long time ago.

After silent years
the dissettled aparachiks
agitate words
conhiding true motives.
                 
(from Scenes from a Blackpool Conference)

I ended up becoming Electoral Returning Officer for the Green Party too. However, the Green Party's personality-based infighting destroyed my enthusiasm for politics (not that the Young Liberals were any different), and I've never gone back, despite a deep hatred of the destructive nationalism of the loonies controlling the Tories. My only recent political activity was being an official speaker of the Electoral Reform Society.

My name is little Willie and I lead the Tory mob,
I face the future backwards, which I do not think is odd.
To see where I am going my genetics were recast,
and now my facial features have migrated to my arse.
                 
(from Little Willie)

I helped fund a travel business ("The Air Line"). Unfortunately, the chap who ran it day-to-day believed his own pitches, turning out to be the prospective patron saint of incompetence. I've put it down to experience - I was too trusting; next time, and I'll check someone out first to see if he's an idiot rather than find it out afterwards, if I bother with a next time.

image: Before Lavazza

Still, my main business activities are in the software industry through my company Cyberspace Services Ltd.. If you really want to know the details, consult my CV.

I've been vegetarian since college days, sometime around 1980. I don't believe in causing unnecessary suffering. I will not eat meat, fish, etc., whilst alternatives are available.

Clichés have it that all vegetarians are so thin that dogs mistake them for lamp-posts, which amuses me no end since, at 17 stone, I'm actually so fat that Norwegian whalers mistake me for a commercial opportunity. Anyway, I also exhibit curly hair, brown eyes, and such a dreadful clothing sense that my mother used to alternate between being in despair and being in stitches.

Fate has cursed me with a pretty nasty heterosexuality, quite opposite to the roots of my vegetarianism. Yet this darkness is at the heart of evolution's humanity dance.

My lust, a violating fire of force,
can burn from silent calm in dark forlorn
to whims of torment striking out. A course
to deepest guilt, perhaps, but I was born
this way, and love this way, I must. That rare
courageous one, I seek, a phoenix from
the gulls, who gains her smaller death in fear
and suffered flames: we'll share our burning wrong.
                 
(from Her Catching Eyes)

As I'm sure a cliché somewhere goes: you're born the way you're born; you either accept it or go loopy.

Mind you, I'm single because I'm completely hopeless at relationships. But: Shakespeare: "All's fair in love and war". Mae West: "Life's a bitch, and then you die". Mix and match to individual requirement. Sod it. And to the person who read this and emailed: "it's 'cos you're a nerd" - grow up!

image: Apple Tree

You'll find me inhabiting an olden house in gentle and ancient Suffolk

with no boxes alongside imprisoning streets,
no brick wall bigotry from some chattering suburb;
no metropolitan clutter, no town crowds, just distance.
                  (from Fenland Sketch 2)

Well, that's that, then. I hope you're suitably impressed? Oh.

Well, in the unlikely event you want to contact me after this little one-sided chat, you should visit my feedback page.





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