Lessons Learned…

A Year of Lessons Learned – some at great cost – in no particular order:

  1. Doubts not dealt with at inception are unlikely to go away of their own accord, they are more likely to fester and then lead to a cataclysmic event;
  2. It is almost never ever about you alone, people can (and probably will) get hurt by the fallout of your (in)decisions;
  3. The health, quality and colour of the grass across the fence are notoriously difficult to predict, one is perhaps best minded to live by the dictum ‘a bird in hand is worth two in the bush’ ;
  4. Mutuality – another notoriously difficult thing to predict – is everything;
  5. There is nothing to be gained from overthinking things;
  6. Time is perhaps the greatest contributor to clarity and healing;
  7. God does still come through, only He does have a peculiar sense of timing.

For 2016?

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote; To run wild, love strong, live free… And keep enough pipes rusting to fund all that 

Hans Christian Anderson | For King and Country | TheRustGeek

2015 in Three (Money) Charts

01 FYSpend 02 FYSpend - Plan v Actual03 Networth


  • 3% reduction in overall networth vs YE 2014; driven mainly by the impact of the crash in the value of the Nigerian Naira on my Nigeria domicilled bits and bobs
  • Full Year (FY) spend was 96% of net earnings (v. 104% for FY 2014); non-charity spend at 71% of net earnings (v.74% for FY 2014). Unsustainable in the long run but headed in the right direction I believe.
  • FY spend ~12% above plan, main driver being expenditures related to my decision to live alone from May (and outfit my house)
  • Main exposure is ~£4k in outstanding loans; not including the £1.5k I wrote off at YE 2014.

Key 2016 Actions

  • Retrieve outstanding loans; minimise exposures going forward by instituting strong controls around loaning friends and family money;
  • Identify options to reclaim stranded EM (Nigeria) pension funds
  • Explore more aggressive investment options (funds, forex trading)
  • Deliver on 2016 stretch targets (equivalent to a 19% reduction in FY spend) focus areas will be purchases and loans.

Recapping that ‘perfect’ year

That perfect year?

  1. In Work: Did finally get offered a staff position somewhere that ticked all the boxes I deeply desired at the beginning of the year (O&G operator, strong technical focus and scope to evolve my role). As a bonus, the official job title is now half a sentence 🙂
  2. In Women: The G ‘problem’ ended being resolved in dissolution. Sucked but we were clearly headed no where. I suspect it was me tearing things up instead of dealing with them, again. 😦
  3. In Faith and Worldview: Not a lot of progress, very easily my worst year faith wise.
  4. In Weight: 1 kg net loss, give or take, I do have the excuse of a broken foot in Q3 to blame here though 🙂
  5. In (Net) Worth:  Stalled again, slight decrease from 2014 actually – not helped by the Naira tanking and wiping out a shed load of my Nigerian savings and investments.:(

F0r 2016? Wash, Rinse, Repeat I guess – but with a lot more fight.

The Year in Reading 2015

Trying to get a lot more structured with reading – 25 books in total spread across 5 categories – Christian Classics, Literary Classics, Popular Fiction, Modern Christian Writing and Productivity, Personal Development & Non-fiction.


  1. Moonwalking with Einstein – Joshua Foer
  2. The Pioneer Detectives -Konstantin Kakaes
  3. The Best American Essays 2014 – JJ Sullivan (ed)
  4. The Land of Steady Habits – Ted Thompson
  5. Sexual Detox – Tim Challies
  6. NW – Zadie Smith
  7. Crafting the Personal Essay – Dinty W Moore
  8. What’s so Amazing About Grace – Phillip Yancey
  9. How To Be Alone – Jonathan Franzen
  10. The Best American Essays 2013 – Cheryl Strayed (ed)
  11. The Seven Good Years – Etgar Keret
  12. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez – Richard Rodriguez
  13. The Children Act – Ian McEwan
  14. The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
  15. Something to Answer For – P.H. Newby