Posted in Writing

High Speed Hawkesbury

Photo of Debbie Young and Steve Webb
Me with Steve Webb, our high-speed LibDem MP, at last year’s HU5K Run. He’s everything a local MP ought to be. (Photo credit: Steve Hammond)

With my diary madly busy in April, the arrival of superfast broadband in our household was perfectly timed.

I work from home and spend a large part of every day online, and can assure you that the difference between a screen loading instantly and slowly, many times each day, can make a significant difference to one’s productivity, and not just because of the extra seconds required for every transaction.

I reckon that working with a slow connection also makes your brain slow down. It’s similar, but opposite to the effect of playing quickfire computer games, which affect at your reaction times like a double espresso. In the same way, going on the dodgems makes you drive more recklessly the next time you get into your car. (Or is that just me?)

I crowed about the arrival of our new superfast service to city-living friends to whom high speed broadband is old hat.

“No more sitting around waiting for files to download! No more giving up on videoconference meetings because the connection cuts out! My productivity is going to soar!”

One urban American Facebook remarked on his astonishment at the difference between our countries’ cultures, as if I’d announced that Britain had just discovered the steam engine. Cynical replies trickled back. “So, no more waiting around for those cat videos to download.” “Yep, all-you-can-watch iPlayer TV. I’ve never known anyone to get more done as the result of installing superfast broadband connection.”

Ah, but at least I can be less productive at higher speeds now.

Big thanks to Steve Webb, Sue Hope and all who campaigned to bring this aspect of Hawkesbury Life into the 21st century.

(This post was originally written for the May edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News.)


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

8 thoughts on “High Speed Hawkesbury

  1. So, so envious Debbie – it’s taken 3 attempts and 5 minutes to get this page to load so I know exactly how you have been working. We are promised super-fast later this year, the box is in and they keep teasing us by opening it up and adding boards and cables and so we wait with bated breath…

  2. Hi Debbie,

    What a nice picture!

    Hope life is good for you…..

    Best regards,


    1. Thanks, Keith! Yep, all well here, busy as ever – and in what feels like a bit of time travel, I’m just about to start work typesetting this year’s Westonbirt Association News magazine! (We’re doing it print-on-demand now.) Which proves my theory that no-one ever really leaves Westonbirt School! Hope all is fine with you and your family. Can you believe Laura will be 12 this month, by the way?! Best wishes, Debbie

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