This web page is about Chris Harris, a training specialist who lives near Bristol in the UK.

Read Chris's blog.

Last update: November 2015

 

Age: 55
Profession: Training consultant / e-learning specialist
Habitat: Small village near Bristol, England
Highest qualification: MSc. in Advanced Learning Technology from Lancaster University
Hobbies: Graphics, Photography, Reading, Movies, Music, Writing, Computing
Sports: Skiing, cycling (infrequently)
Sense of humour: Very left field (i.e. frequently described as "weird")
Favourite writers: William Gibson, Terry Pratchett, Larry Niven, Jack Womack and Ed Regis to name just a few.
Favourite TV shows: Horizon, Cowboy Bebop, Father Ted, Futurama, Buffy, Dr Who, The IT Crowd, Black Books, original & next gen Star Trek and Babylon 5.
Favourite films: Buckaroo Banzai, Forbidden Planet, Blade Runner, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Inception and M. Hulot's Holiday.
Favourite drink: Pint of real ale or a glass of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
Would spend sudden fortune on: A larger house with more bookcases and a better home cinema set-up. And a recording studio.

As you may have realised (especially if you Google me) there are quite a few folks called Chris Harris about. So here are a few details to help you see if you've found who you're looking for.

No, I'm not the speedway rider. I've never been a Texas State Senator. The guy with the domain name is a Canadian wildlife photographer. Furthermore, I would like to state for the record that I have never, at any time, had anything to do with Chris Moyles. And of course there's a New Zealand cricketer who isn't me either. And I wasn't Bristol's famous pantomime dame.

Chances are, if you're still here and you're looking for a Chris Harris who likes skiing, draws cartoons, and is a bit of a film and music nut, you've come to the right place.

I was born in 1960 in the town of Lytham St. Annes, in Lancashire. Being born on 11th August meant that I got a total solar eclipse for my birthday in 1999, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in all senses of the word.

During childhood my family moved about a lot. If you were at school in the 1970s and you went to Burton Manor County Primary school or King Edward VI Grammar school in Stafford, or John Newnham High School in Croydon, you can find me on the Friends Reunited site. I'm also on Facebook, Last FM, Livejournal, MySpace & MSN Spaces.

I moved to Milton Keynes in 1986, working in BT's training department. For a while I was based at Bletchley Park, famous for its role during the war in breaking German military codes. I really enjoyed my time there. I met some great people while I worked at BT, and ended up marrying one of them. Sadly, life in the 90's wasn't as good and we split up a few years later.

I moved down here to Gloucestershire in 1995, and apart from a brief stint in Florida (it's a hard life) I've been here ever since. I live in a small village on the edge of the Cotswolds, a little bit north of Bristol. The Cotswolds are a range of hills which run across southern England from the Severn Estuary to just west of Oxford. That's how I explain it, anyway - everyone has their own ideas where the Cotswolds start and end. What everyone does agree on is that they contain some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The local stone is a warm, honey colour, and many of the local buildings are built from it. It has a warm, luminous feel to it, quite unlike anywhere else I've lived. I wish I'd moved here years ago. If you click here you can see the sort of view I've got within a few minutes bike ride from the house.

Motorhead - from the vaults

If I was to try and sum myself up in a single word, I like to think it would be "creative."

I used to draw quite a lot - cartoons, portraits and a little graphic design. I really enjoyed it; I even did some work for a few bands, including the heavy metal group Motorhead. For some reason people don't believe this, muttering things like "and he looks so normal..." but it's all true!

These days, I hardly ever seem to have time to dust off my Rotring pens, but I now have a dedicated room for my drawing board and I have plans to start sketching again. I've put together a graphics page about some of the stuff I've produced.

Photography is a big part of my life these days. You'll find lots of stuff about that elsewhere.

I also enjoy birdwatching. It's handy living where I do, because the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge is a few minutes drive from here. I joined the WWT in 1997, and I've been in the RSPB for more than 30 years. My father lives in north Norfolk, which is also prime birdwatching country. When I visit I try whenever I can to go walking on the beach at Cley or Salthouse. There, you can see all sorts of birds - even the occasional Flamingo. After living inland for so long I'm still terrible at identifying waders and the like, but I'm getting better. My mum is no longer with us, but she was a great birdwatcher; she was the sort of person who could say"what's wrong with that blackbird on the drive?" and when you looked, it turned out to be a perfectly healthy ring ouzel.

Then there's reading: in normal circumstances I can't go into a bookshop without buying a book, and my house is full of paperbacks and hardbacks. I read a tremendous amount of books. On the books page I go on and on about the fact, but I do also get round to recommending one or two books that I've quite enjoyed, and I hope you will too.

Some friends of mine once suggested that I'd had the Internet Movie Database surgically implanted. I've loved films since I was little, but these days that love has become a bit of an obsession. You can find out more - so much more - on my films page.

My greatest obsession has, and always will be music. I love listening to all styles from classical to heavy rock, from pop to electronica. I record my own music, too, and have done since back in the days when all I had was an acoustic guitar, a cassette recorder and some pots and pans for drums. These days my gear has become rather more sophisticated; I play a variety of musical instruments and - inevitably - computers are involved in the creative process as well. On my music page you can find out a bit more about what I enjoy listening to and how I make music of my own. There are even some examples of my work for you to listen to. I'm a regular participant in the madness that is February Album Writing Month (where the target is to write 14 songs in 28 days) and its sister site 50/90 (where the target is to write 50 songs in the 90 days between July 4th and October 1st). Doing this has had a huge impact on my songwriting skills. It's also helped me boost my musical output to around 100 songs a year. It's even helped me to devlop a singing voice that I'm comfortable with inflicting on other people.

Finally, as if you hadn't already realised, I spend more time than is good for me in front of my computer. The blog has been a part of my monthly routine since 2003 and it's proved a useful sink for the piles of trivia and other rubbish I come across on the Internet every day and the results are archived for you to browse through, should you wish to do so. The discipline of coming up with something every month for more than eight years also led me to discover that I really enjoy writing as a pastime in its own right. As a result I've written a few novels (as part of November's National Novel Writing Month event, commonly referred to as Nanowrimo) and I permanently have a bunch of short stories in various stages of development. You never know; one day I might even start trying to get some of them published. If I do, you'll hear about it on the blog.

Chris