"A few months ago I read a book called A Year Of Living Danishly, which talks about why Danes are the happiest people on earth. One chapter explains that the average Dane is a member of 2.8 clubs, and how this helps people feel happier with their lives.
"When I read this I realised I hadn't done anything remotely hobbylike since school, or learned how to do anything new that wasn't directly related to my career. I always loved Design Technology , so I found a very cheap woodworking class at my local college, and managed to persuade my girlfriend to join me.
"At first I wasn't very good, the tools were unfamiliar and heavy and I felt like I couldn't remember how to do anything. But that was ok. Over the next few sessions I got better, I started remembering which chisel was for which task and my little projects began to take shape. It really did make me happy, and every week we looked forward to going to class together, and talked excitedly about what we were working on. I really enjoyed the feeling of spending a couple of hours totally absorbed in solving problems, not looking at a screen or thinking about the other stresses of life. After 10 weeks I am now the proud owner of a spice rack and an (almost finished) little box which I made myself. Next term I think we're going to try pottery!" – Sophie Gadd