Zen Mischief

Keith Marshall
Noreen Marshall
Noreen Marshall

About Keith Marshall

Please also see my Online CV.


I was born in January 1951 in Bloomsbury, London, England Technically I am a Cockney as University College Hospital where I was born is within the sound of Bow Bells – on a good day!

I married Noreen in September 1979 in Chiswick, London. We have no children (from choice) but two cats and lots of fish.

Currently we're living in west London, just a couple of miles from Harrow School and slightly further from Heathrow Airport.

Academic & Professional

BA in Chemistry from University of York (1969-1972).
MSc and PhD in Chemical Spectroscopy from University of East Anglia (1972-1976).


I worked for IBM in the United Kingdom from December 1976 until January 2010, when I took early retirement. I ended my career as a Project and Programme Manager with responsbility for the delivery of a suite of IT infrastructure projects, mainly for the IBM internal account, and for task managing the project managers running them. Before this I was one of the Project Managers running the same IT infrastructure projects!

Prior to this my job was project managing PC workstation deployment in the UK, building it into a day-to-day service starting with deployment as part of corporate re-engineering initiatives.

Before that I did jobs in technical sales, technical education and most aspects of IT support. In consequence I've a wide range of IT skills including computer security, ISO9000 and IBM mainframe systems programming as well as education and user support; I'm also a trained facilitator. However I'm not (and never have been) an expert on networks or PC hardware, so I'm prone to ask stupid questions about what goes on inside the grey (or beige, or black) boxes. I am tho' experienced in user support and in consequence can often do problem analysis on applications (even applications I've never seen before) very quickly.


Cats; fish; books; Anthony Powell; naturism; early music; family history; mysticism & comparative religion; science; the English language; churches … and a passing interest in many other things, which means I have to artificially restrict the number of webpages, weblogs and RSS feeds I read.

My interest in Anthony Powell stems from reading Dance when I had Glandular Fever back in 1983. Powell quickly became one of my heroes – those people in whom one has an irrational interest.

I also seem to be one of those people who acts as a catalyst and faclitator for the personal development of others.

In my time I've also been a club cricket captain, league cricket umpire and a school governor … but my spare time is now mostly taken up with the Anthony Powell Society.


Politics; censorship; puritan attitudes; prudery; clothes; closed & blinkered minds; the lack of logical thinking; wilful stupidity; darts; Africa (especially elephants); soap operas; the performing arts.

Beware …

I have a well developed sense of cynicism and the ridiculous, and I'm frequently to be found playing "Devil's advocate" with people – just to make them think! The challenge is to work out when I'm playing Devil's advocate, when I'm being cynical and when I'm being straight – even I don't always know! If in doubt take my words at face value and don't try reading hidden messages into them – they're probably not there!