From my desk and armchair this week I've been able to experience the working lives of a boatbuilder, blacksmith, lorry driver, fisherman, tailor, printer and farmer. And it's been hugely inspiring. So much so, that I've been ready to don some overalls and join each one of them. 

You can read about the three women who have turned their passions into fulfilling careers in my article for Woman's Weekly here. And the husband-and-wife who have built a printing business from a tiny studio near Orford, are featured in my article for Pressing Matters magazine here. And if you scroll down you'll be able to read my review of the book by fisherman and skipper Ashley Mullenger, recalling how she left her office job for life on the sea.

The value and fulfilment to be had from practising traditional crafts and industry was evident, and this was cemented in my reading of two books, both newly published. 

'Where are the fellows who cut the hay?' by Robert Ashton revisits the farming communities in mid Suffolk which were first interrogated by George Ewart Evans in the 1950s and explores how much has changed, for better and worse. And 'Less' is the new book by tailor and tv presenter (Great British Sewing Bee) Patrick Grant which draws a distinction between the creativity in the clothing industry and the commercialism of fashion. He highlights the value of craft and skill, and urges us all to pursue a simpler life with fewer 'things'.

I'll be reviewing both these titles more fully in the coming weeks but there was a message throughout regarding the value of work.

'The politics of much of the past half century has failed to see work in anything more than purely economic terms,' writes Grant. 'Work is more than money, it is a vital part of our happiness and wellbeing...Technology has deprived us of the work we enjoy most, the useful work with hands and brains.' 

More of that another time, then, but before I sign off for this week, don't forget that there is a visit from the nature writer Matt Gaw on Wednesday in Framlingham. It's sure to be inspiring and uplifting so I hope you'll come along - the details are listed below. Thank you for reading.