Friday, May 17, 2024

For Daddy, at 61

My dad's smile lit up rooms and was one of his most attractive features.

“As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.” - r/gsnow

During the deepest depths of the waves of grief that followed my dad’s death, I sometimes caught myself wishing he hadn’t been such a good father.

You might ask why I would think such a foolish thing. Well, my grief-addled reasoning was that I wouldn’t be in so much pain or be taking such a dim view of life without him if he hadn’t been such an important part of my life to begin with.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Been long you saw me

This post was originally posted to my Substack as part of a series to ease back into writing. The episodes described below are available at my Substack and I've added links below.

Hello hello!

Long time no see. When I sent my last email in April 2022, I didn’t think it would be nearly two years before the next one.

If you know me IRL or follow me on social media, you may know I lost my dad last year and had a daughter early this year. We lost the Koye Ladele and gained a Koye-Ladele. More than a year has now passed since my dad died, but I still miss him intensely. And when I’m being honest, despite my best efforts, there are still many ways in which I am only now re-engaging with life.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Happy-ish Birthday, Koye

Earlier today, in introvert paradise. Photo credit: Mosimiloluwa Koye-Ladele.

If you’ve read one of these before, you know about my practice of writing a birthday pager: a document outlining my hopes and desires for my next birthday. Last year’s pager included a father section. I knew we were going to have a baby and I was looking forward to becoming a father.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

For Daddy, at 60

With daddy on the day we moved to the UK

The last time I saw my dad in person, we both cried as I left. Me crying on leaving home was not new. I had cried on leaving most times since I first left for university in December 2006. But tears in my dad’s eyes? That was a first. He had just recovered from an illness that had felt like certain death while it lasted. He had been surprised to wake up, halfway between life and death, to find that Simi and I had flown home to be with him. He was bashfully grateful. But now he had recovered. He had care from family and the church. I needed to return to my own home with Busola.

We prayed together. I hugged and clung to him. Then I hugged my mum. And then I hugged him again. I was crying by then – filled with gratitude for his recovery and sadness that I had to leave again. Simi took pictures of us, capturing those precious moments. At the time, I didn’t realise I had held him alive for the last time.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Happy Birthday, Koye

Slowing down, in Berlin

I have both dreaded and anticipated this day for several weeks. By “this day”, I don’t mean Sunday the 11th – my birthday. I mean Friday the 9th, when I have finally begun writing this post. Except for journal entries and reams of business writing, I have not written much else since April.

Writing again after a long pause always feels daunting. But I’m here now and I’m doing it. One word after the next.


A friend recently asked what my biggest lesson from the last three years was. There was no contest in my mind what the biggest lesson was. My biggest lesson from the last three years is one I only learnt properly since my last birthday: slowing down.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Life Lately: The slap that was felt around the world

I mentioned The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles’s brilliant new novel, two weeks ago. When I woke up to the news this week that Will Smith had hit Chris Rock at the Oscars, I began thinking about the book again.

We are introduced to Emmet on the book’s first page. He has just been released from a correctional facility and is being driven home by the warden. Before dropping Emmet off, the warden says to him:

“…from my time with you, I can tell that that boy’s death weighs heavily on your conscience. No one imagines what happened that night reflects either the spirit of malice or an expression of your character. It was the ugly side of chance”.

We find out later in the book that Emmet punched someone, one Jimmy, on the nose after he said mean things about Emmet’s father. Not unlike Chris Rock, Jimmy mocked someone who was important to Emmet – his dad. Like Will Smith, Emmet got upset and hit Jimmy on the face. And that’s where the stories diverge. Because in The Lincoln Highway, Jimmy falls back after a single punch, hits his head, and dies.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Life Lately: Becoming Koye

Show me a better Saturday morning routine

One of my new favourite habits is reading the FT Weekend on Saturdays. It’s really nice to make a coffee and sit down to the crackle of the newspaper and the smell of ink. Every week, the FT magazine interviews a celebrity using a similar set of questions. I’ve been wanting to answer those questions for a while, so I thought I’d do so in this post. If you don’t know me personally, think of this as an introduction of sorts. (You’re welcome 😁). 

Here goes:


What was your childhood or earliest ambition?

I wanted to be an astronaut. I loved reading about the universe and the other planets in our solar system. I remember sitting outside our house as an eight-year-old lost in thought – reflecting on Pluto’s lonely journey around the sun.


Obviously, I did not become an astronaut. After I stopped wanting that, I thought I’d be a pilot. Then I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer but I could not study that in Nigeria, so I thought I’d study the next best thing – mechanical engineering. There was also a brief period where I wanted to be a neurosurgeon after reading Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Life Lately: On Restarting

Reflecting on beauty last week, instead of writing 🥲

It’s so long since my last post that I don’t even know where to start. What began as a one-week break while I figured out how to incorporate writing into my post-lockdown schedule became a six-week hiatus. I must say it’s good to be writing again, and I have missed the opportunity for reflection that these weekly posts afforded me.

I also thank everyone who got in touch to ask why I stopped posting to the blog. Given my style and that the topics I cover generally don’t invite a lot of commentary, it was nice to have people reach out saying they found the content useful.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Life Lately: On Wordle - Why purple cows matter

Today’s puzzle. Sorry for the spoiler!

I did the daily Wordle a few moments ago, just before I started writing this. I often start with ‘AEROS’ and ‘TULIP’ because these two words cover the ten letters that appear most frequently in English. After guessing today’s word, I copied the grid using the Share button and posted it to Twitter.

Several people have said Wordle was an easy game to build. Many versions have popped up, proving the IP was not complicated. I found at least fifteen, including Wordle Unlimited (unlimited words per day), Nerdle (numbers instead of words), and Absurdle (designed to be absurdly difficult). You can now even make your own ‘Wordle’ using code publicly available on GitHub.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Life Lately: On riding out market downturns

Picture of the BT tower from a walk today. Can’t get over how beautiful it was outside today.

Last time I bought a new phone, I noticed I could either pay at once or split payments over two years at 0% interest. For clarity, the 0% interest option meant the sticker price of the phone would be divided by 24. No interest, no hidden payments.

The second option was better mathematically. Taking a 0% interest plan meant I could keep my lump sum and do something else with it. If I stuck it in the safest investment at ~ 1% per annum, I would still end up a few pounds better after two years compared to if I paid it all upfront.

But there was no way I was taking that option. In fact, I would rather buy a cheaper phone with cash than a nicer phone on a 0% payment plan. Why? Because I know myself. I knew the angst of watching the money drip out over 24 months would outweigh the few pounds I would gain or the utility of having a nicer phone.