September 28, 2015

FSA's Last Post

It was a good run. Six years worth of writings, you know? That counts for something. I hope my posts will continue to help folks like you out. I really do.

But times have changed. Things will have changed in your life too over the past few years. Heck, probably even since the beginning of this year. Time waits for no man, and change rolls in as sure as the tide under the moon’s pull. Excuse the water analogies – I’m sat watching the sea lap at rock’s edge right now. What you gonna do?

A full time job became a major part of my life in May. I started ten days after my last graduate school exam, and spent until the end of August trying to balance moving home, starting over, the new job in advertising, and writing my thesis. It was a fun summer, a hard summer. Like something from a novel where the heroine grows from it all, but not without acquiring a few scratches along the way. Then it hit me.

University College London in the golden summer evening light 
I’ve had FSA in the back of my mind since the start of 2015. I’ve wanted to get back to posting more. I’ve written a few short bits, and I’ve promised a lot more. But it never happened. Time is man’s most precious resource, and you’d best spend it wisely. I’ve found myself wandering around the British Museum, drinking coffee in train stations with beloved friends, and working on my start-up in the free time I’ve had away from school and work. I did not find myself thinking about, or sitting down to write about, skating. It’s as simple as that.

To my earlier point of time being the most important of the things which we feel possession over in our everyday lives, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to draw a line under writing for FSA. Because I’m not skating anymore, I feel like I don’t have anything fresh to bring to the blog, and I don’t feel inspired to write about the sport from the practical standpoint which I have taken since FSA opened in 2009. And that’s okay.

A little of London - the Renaissance Hotel at King's Cross 
I won’t lie, it hurt at first. It still does. It feels like maybe quitting writing here means skating really is over for me. In every single way. But it’s time for me to take the time I would have spent writing here, and go on a new adventure. As you may or may not have picked up over the past months if you follow the blog or indeed the Facebook page, I’m founding a skincare brand. As a biologist, I’m hugely excited about using science to build awesome products. And right now, that needs all of my focus. I’d like to finally learn how to bake great cookies too, and I’d like to learn how to take better photos. I’m taking Pilates, and hopefully I’ll run another 10km circuit before the end of the year. Aspirations change and grow with you. I’m excited for the future.

With my business partner earlier this year winning some nice bits and bobs for the skincare company 
I’m not closing FSA – frankly it gets a good amount of traffic, so I take this as an indication that the content found here is somewhat useful to some folks out there. I hope it is to you.

The low-down is as follows:
  •         There will be no new posts going forwards
  •         The blog will remain at
  •         The Facebook page will remain open for the time being, but I may close it in the future
  •          I will not reply to messages received either through the blog or Facebook page going forwards
  •         The blog will continue to serve Google ads, and the revenue from any clicks made on those ads helps me to pay the domain name and keep the blog at its current URL

Thanks for reading.

Happy skating,


August 2, 2015

3 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Skating (and Life!)

It's that time of year again when you're coming in to the home stretch of the "off" season (yeah, right...) and in September you'll be staring down the barrel of a new season and new competitions, probably at a new level. In all likelihood, there'll be some testing thrown in for good measure. Whether this is your first or tenth season in skating, it's always a good time to start getting more from your sport than just a calendar full of events, deadlines, and new pressures on your mind and body. In the 2015-2016 season, make skating work for you as hard as you work for it. Let's now discuss how.

photo cred benson kua under cc by-sa 2.0

February 2, 2015

*GIVE-AWAY* One Wish by Robyn Carr

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Katie over at Little Bird Publicity, who are handling the release of Robyn's latest novel: One Wish. I was thrilled to read that Katie wanted to send me a book over for review, but knew with a heavy heart that I wouldn't be able to read through and review it in the time frame she
needed before its launch. And that's when the idea for a give-away struck us!


January 31, 2015

10 Things Skaters Should Do Before Testing & Competition

Recently a skater posted a comment on my popular post "5 things skating parents should do before competition", asking if it would be possible to write something similar from a skater's perspective. I thought this was a really great request, because a lot of my readers are skating parents, and sometimes I lose track of writing for the skaters themselves. Hopefully if you're a skating parent reading this today, you'll share this post with the skater in your life, and coupled with the above-mentioned post, the content will provide you with new ways to get organised and tackle that test or competition that's coming up! Let's get started!


January 25, 2015

What To Wear On Your Feet When Figure Skating

We all know the blindingly obvious: that figure skaters wear figure skates on the ice. But have you been wondering what you can wear inside your skates, to maximise comfort and minimise damage to your skin and feet? Whether you're a beginner on the ice, or a seasoned skater looking for some fresh insights into gaining that little bit of extra comfort this season read on for my take on what to wear on your feet during your skating session!


January 16, 2015

Ice Skating at Somerset House Ice Rink

The festive season this year was beautiful, but quite hectic due to the fact that I worked through the entire holiday (on my start-up which I'm launching at the same time as completing my post-graduate degree). I had many items on my "festive to-do list" including listening to some Michael Buble whilst decorating the tree, enjoying the odd cocktail or three, making some home made mince pies (those are British pastries filled with dried, brandy-soaked fruit for my readers across the Pond who might be thinking "a pie with mince? Ewww..."). One other thing I just had my heart set on? Skating at the Somerset House outdoor ice rink!

August 11, 2014

Interview with author Bill Jones

Happy Monday dear readers! I'm just back from a few days away to the French seaside with family, and have been planning on posting this interview since before I left, last week.

Today's post is special, because I got to ask questions of Bill Jones, the author of the newly released "Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry". Bill's book explores the life of an exceptional skater, clocking countless hours with figure skating's most elite who provided the author with rare insights into the life and works of the Olympic champion. He also unearthed private correspondence of John's, which Bill tells me he would have struggled without.

July 30, 2014

Choosing Figure Skating Music

After having reached out to my lovely readers through the Figure Skating Advice Facebook page, it became apparent that an updated article which discusses music choice for figure skating was needed. And thus, this post is born! Back in 2010 (2010?! Where does the time go?!) I wrote this article, which I will now refer to as v.1 of our discussion on choosing your skating music. Go ahead and read that one over first if you'd like, or keep reading here for my updated version - v.2!


July 14, 2014

Fabrics For Figure Skating Costumes

As you will know by now if you are a regular reader of FigureSkatingAdvice, I love to get feedback from my readers and ideas for new posts. Today's post idea came from Lauren, who asked me if I could write about the different fabrics that can be used in the construction of figure skating costumes. I've written quite extensively about skating apparel over the past year, and Lauren drew my attention to the fact that although I've covered things like making soakers for your blades, how to choose and attach rhinestones and sequins, and how to start out making your own skating costumes, I hadn't dedicated any one post to skating fabrics. Let the fun begin!


July 8, 2014

5 Things Skating Parents Should Do Before Competition

Hi there, skate-mom; hello there, skate-dad! Nice of you to drop by today. Although I know many of my wonderful readers are skaters themselves, today I thought it would be fun to turn my attention to the skating parents who are so crucial in a skaters life, in so many different ways. More specifically, I was brainstorming post ideas, and came to the conclusion that a post (or two) regarding parent behaviour in the competition environment would be a fun and (hopefully) useful thing to write about, for both seasoned and newer skating parents. Thus, I give you five things skating parents should do before their child competes! Read on, my lovelies!

July 1, 2014

Knitting for Figure Skating

Even if you're a regular FigureSkatingAdvice reader, you probably don't know that I've been a knitting fan for a long time. Due to the hand injuries I've been suffering these past 3 years, I've not done any knitting (or other crafts, *sniff sniff*) at all, but over the past few months I've been able to pick up the needles and (slowly) enjoy making some little garments and accessories. It's so rewarding! Obviously this being me, the thought eventually crossed my mind... "what could you knit for the skater in your life?" And voilĂ , this post was born!


April 9, 2014

That time of year again... REVISION! *duh duh duhhh*

Hi there, dear reader. I'm at that slump in my blogging year again, where I can't seem to sit down and concentrate on writing a post because I am revising constantly for my end-of-year exams. And yes, these are the last ones!!! *gasp*

March 28, 2014

The 2014 World Figure Skating Championships

Have you guys been tuning in to Saitama, Japan, where the World Figure Skating Championships 2014 are currently being held? I haven't had a chance to catch up on any of the world action yet, for two reasons! First of all, as usual, I have a lot going on. That might sound a bit exaggerated, but I very rarely find the time to sit down for an hour or two to watch an event. The second barrier to my enjoying some skating on the TV is that the BBC is not covering the championship! *rolls eyes*

March 25, 2014

Figure Skating Judging: A Chat With Jeff From L.A Skate Dad

After the Sochi Olympics everyone who watched skating had scorekeeping on their mind, so LA SkateDad and Figure Skating Advice had an email conversation about the subject. Well not specifically about the Olympics' scoring, but more about scorekeeping in general. (Both of us published this on our blogs).

FSA > Did your child ever compete under the 6.0 system, and if so, how did you and your kid adapt to IJS?

March 19, 2014

*VIDEO* How To Tape Your Figure Skates

Today's post is such an exciting one for me because I have finally branched out into the wonderful world of vlogging! I've recorded two videos so far: one teeny tiny introductory video of myself (click here to see it), and this one, describing how to tape your figure skates for protection during training. This will help to keep your boots looking their best for as long as possible.
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