Likes to be seen as a writer and a lover of nonsense, surreilism and whimsy; accidentally a leader (of sorts).

Fidelissimus Semper

Managing Director of Shadowcat Systems a software consultancy in the North West of England.

A community contributor who has organised the London Perl Workshop on 10 occasions along with the FLOSSUK Spring conference, Barcamps, Dynamic Languages Conference and Quality Assurance Hackathon.

A member of the Perl Foundation and a Director of both FLOSSUK and the Enlightened Perl Organsiation.

Contributes to his local Lancaster community via Digital Lancaster, Independent Lancaster and the Ethical Small Traders Association.

A lover of communities and the social mix that is humanity. Blessed with melancholy, feels he is both a champion and a sceptic of the future.

Studies the cliche that is humanity as an amateur with a powerful microscope and a zoological guide to the mating habits of the hermaphroditic annelid.

Identifies as a male, but otherwise refusing to be easily defined. He is an advocate of; change, equality, aspiration, opportunity and education.

Public Bio

Mark Keating

Managing Director: Shadowcat Systems

About me

Mark Keating is an odd male with roughly five decades of chronological competence in his girth. He is married to Leigh a lecturer in Psychology and a person of great patience and unsurpassed kawaii-ness.

They live in Lancaster, UK, conveniently, for the most part, since that’s where their three children, Benjamin, Elliott and Asher, also live.

They are terrorised by a cat called Darwin and a dog called Bonnie.

Mark lives his life by few mottos but likes to think that we should all pay our kindness up front; his only advice is ‘never lick a bee’; his favourite phrase ‘I am responsible for what I say and not what you understand’.

Some Facts
  • Has a degree in Literature, with a minor in Language and Education Studies
  • Has organised over 20 conferences for various communities
  • Has organised several local initiatives, including the Lancaster and Morecambe hackspace (

Can talk, at length, at too much length, about lots of subjects, but never start him on British Science Fiction especially if you don’t like, or want to know about, Doctor Who.

First Loss

We stretch beyond midnight

Lost in the ignorance of desire

Our steam locomotive breath

Tracks escalating rhythm.

Tympanic oceans surge

On cardiovascular estuaries

Until we reach the breach

And shudder in relief.

Together, we lie alone

As time decays the passions

Lost to our reflection

Trace conflicting memories.

Swift feelings bring swift regrets

Dressed in shadows of denial.