Charles Harries

Hi! My name's

I'm a software developer working on the web in the North East of England.

I write software at NHS Digital. Previously I worked at Komodo Digital in Newcastle and Creator in Castle Eden. After hours I write a bit of Go, watch more movies than I ought to, and read less than I should.

Posts Stream Books Walks




October 2022

That's October done and dusted. A bit of general upheaval but we all made it through in one piece. I went to a conference!

Next.js 13 Bon Iver 2015 Gokibiru 30K trail run Destroyer The web is good now A few more words on writing Notes on "26 things"


September 2022

The weather's finally turned, so I've got to choose my days out strategically or spend the next 5 months soaked through.

August 2022

A month of slow meandering back towards a sense of normalcy, with plenty of two-wheeled conveyance and first steps out in the wide world.

Looking back Old solutions, new tricks Effective design Global variables Page weight matters JS1024 New speakers LiebeHeide


July 2022

July was exhausting and overwhelming—from weather to life events to sheer lack of sleep—and I’m glad that it’s over.

Bad coffee Blurry gradient blobs pt. 2 Replacements for social media Converging on peak gradient Polyphasic sleep Hard problems in the browser Hot weather Fun w/ hsl pt. 2 Blog v4 Microsoft Fluent Emoji Meta's in-app browser tracking Cache busting with GitHub Actions Blogging on JS frameworks Fun with hsl() WebDriver Broken luxury goods


June 2022

A full month: catching COVID, going to Riga, getting back out on my bike, & thinking long & hard about what I want to do next.

Writing about writing


Durham to Bournmoor

Easily the least attractive stretch of Way thus far, the walk north of Durham has yet a couple of attractions to keep you just barely interested enough.

May 2022

Busy month: lots of long weekends, lots of driving, sun's back out, bring on the summer already.

Front-end web development Almost no CSS GPT-3 greentexts jdan's hashart React in 2022 Strava privacy controls Remix first impressions Back to the server


Willington to Durham

A long walk past viaducts, farms, and country mansions takes us finally to the bells and bustle of the city of Durham.

April 2022

April 2022 was a busy one: plenty done online and plenty done outdoors. Now if they could all be quite this way, I'd be well pleased.

Conference cost Shared Element Transitions Censorship Men I Trust Manchester Constraint Validation API Form input inconsistencies Tyler Angert's Stream Killing usbd Every Noise at Once 103 bits of advice :target navigation SpaceX docking simulator


Bishop Auckland to Willington

Another short one, done of a spring evening after work, made for a lovely stroll amid the dogwalkers and kids of the Durham pit villages.

Escomb to Bishop Auckland

A short jaunt over a couple of fields between Escomb and Bishop Auckland makes for a quick walk after work.

March 2022

March was a difficult month, and I'm glad to put it behind me.

Witton-le-Wear to Escomb

The Way meanders through forests and fields along here, with the rumble of A roads in the background always present, but not without a couple of peaceful wooded stretches, and finishing at the Saxon church in Escomb.

Linear Libraries over browser features GraphQL & HTTP responses IFTTT Speedlify 90s web Go, Laravel, Rails


Yorkshire 3 Peaks Walk

A nearly 40-kilometer walk across some of the best country in the Yorkshire Dales. If you've got the nerve and the knees for it, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better walk within like 50 miles.

OTR messaging Cavalcovers Hybrid online/offline transactions iPhone SE JS types as comments Big trux MDN redesign


Southern Coniston Fells

The tour around Goat's Water in the southern Coniston Fells, climbing over Dow Crags and Brim Fell, and with a detour to explore Cove Quarry.


by J. G. Ballard

Published 1973 224 pages

Web development baseline macOS button in Figma



A relatively short walk overall, stretched out by an easy scramble at either end of the huge boat-hull of Yewbarrow.


A look back at everything that I did (and didn't do) in 2021.

No JS Wordle RSS feed updates Translate in Safari The Lakes in winter Lynx browser indicator-multiload My first impressions of web3




Make Ubuntu more like macOS

There are plenty of Linux distributions that look like macOS, but most offer skin-deep changes and don't adhere to the ethos of macOS. These settings do, while allowing you to continue using the Gnome environment.


PGP encryption

I can never remember quite how PGP encrpytion works (mostly because I never use it), so I'm writing it down here to refer back to when someone starts talking wonky crypto stuff at me.


A cohesive unified theory on the purpose of art rendered incoherent by being like really tired of a lot of things.


Innovation in tech

I'm extremely tired of the powerful in tech holding the rest of us hostage in the name of innovation.



On effectiveness

Some meandering thoughts on what it means to be an effective person in a tech career.


A bit of meta-commentary on Tailwind CSS' description: "Tailwind, like most CSS frameworks, solves a problem really well. Its supporters, on the other hand, are a pain.



Practical Go


Recently: January

What I want for the blog; thoughts on template builders; Cassie Evans on SVG animations; Supabase.

Ad Astra

A tonally weird movie, with 1-dimensional characters, no plot development, and a truly awful script: 2/5.


Everything they've said is true: Pixar is back in form. Beautiful and meaningful.

Metropolis (2001)

As a romp through a visually-spectacular world, it's a fine film, but don't expect any poignant messages at the end.




A quick overview of everything significant that happened in 2020.

WordPress in 2020

In 2020, WordPress remains relevant and dynamic as ever. But it's still got a few pain points.




Cross Fell

Walking up to the source of the Tees and Cross Fell.




On good code

Some thoughts on how to determine whether code is good.







Week of 22 July

Algebraic effects, memoisation, and running a mile because GQ told me to.


Week of 15 July

A bunch of musing on the screen and the job as defining us as people.

Week of 8 July

Canadian brand guidelines, error-resistant React apps, and a model of the Roman world.






Use SQLite with PHP

They say you learn best when you try to teach someone else. So here I am, trying to teach... myself.





Sharp Edge

Climbing Sharp Edge on Blencathra in the northern Lake District.


On wind



System fonts

A short bit about using the fonts that your users' computers come with.








Week 48

Driving north from Asahikawa with the windows down.

Week 47

A brief interlude at the top of the Nissho Pass, driving with Tony down to some event in the southwest.


Week 45

Returning to Shari after the abortive attempt the previous fall, a trio of Kiwis and I summit in glory.

Week 43

The first day of summer, coming surprisingly late to northeastern Hokkaido.


Week 40

Oliver let me tag along on an excursion to see what was left of the rail line that used to run through Yubetsu.

Week 39

I drove Penelope the AZ-Wagon around the whole perimeter of Hokkaido to see what else was out there.


Week 36

Tooling around Maruseppu in Penelope the AZ-Wagon.

Week 35

Much ado about melting snow; the gang comes across a pair of abandoned cars.

Week 34

The first days of spring are coming to Hokkaido.


Week 31

Coming back from Pippu, I am struck by the first blue sky I've seen in what feels like months.


Week 29

Skiing at Kurodake and my first visit to the Sounkyo Ice Festival.

Week 28

A trip on the icebreaking ship Aurora to see the sea ice on the Sea of Okhotsk.

Week 27

Back to Yamabiko-no-taki in wintertime to see the frozen waterfall.

Week 26

In Iwamizawa, I experience my first (and thus far only) earthquake, and we drive home through thick snow.


Week 25

A bit about Hokkaido in the dark on a quiet evening.

Week 24

Going out skiing at Piyashiri, trying to leave anxiety behind me.

Week 23

A brief layover in Osaka on the way back from the States leads to some real soul-searching on trains.



Week 19

Much ado about a bunch of snow. I guess I'm not used to quite this much snow.

Week 18

The night of the rented Higashikawa cabin, and the emotional aftermath.

Week 17

The days are approaching their shortest; winter is well & truly here & boy is it dark.


Week 16

The winter is starting to settle in. I celebrate American Thanksgiving with friends in Monbetsu.

Week 15

In which the author rambles a little bit.

Week 14

A belated Halloween party, home from which we took the low roads over the mountain passes.

Week 13

More urbex at the Kampo-no-yado Sounkyo, a semi-destroyed hotel by the side of the road just outside of Kamikawa.


Week 12

Konomai, the first time I explored some abandoned infrastructure that marks so much of the face of Hokkaido.

Week 11

The first abortive trip up Shari-dake, accompanied by a quartet of Kiwis, ending in a mad rush down the mountainside after hours of beating through the wilderness.

Week 10

Yamabiko-no-taki, my first encounter with a higuma, a drive on a forest road, and karaoke with the Monbetsu folks.

Week 9

A trip to Nitori, a night in Asahikawa, and a trip to Tenninkyo

Week 8

Hauling Renyu on a mikoshi through Kamiyubetsu.


Week 7

The Sapporo Welcome Party: the Bier Garten, Susukino, A-Life.

Week 6

On the relationship between Japaneseness and my foreignness, and remotely about a house party.

Week 5

A dairy farm, climbing Meakan-dake, the Eastern Welcome Party.

Week 4

The Northern Welcome Party in Kembuchi.


Week 3

Arriving in Japan, Tokyo Orientation, the train up to Yubetsu, and my first days at work.