Crime writer Kia Abdullah says moving to Yorkshire made her 'lonely'

Author Kia Abdullah has spoke about her struggle to make friends when she and her husband moved from London to Yorkshire for a new life.

Kia Abdullah and Peter Watson moved from London to Richmond in North Yorkshire

Abdullah, 38, moved with travel photographer Peter Watson to Richmond after remortgaging their one-bedroom flat in the capital to buy a listed stone cottage in the Georgian market town.

Yet the writer - whose legal thriller Take It Back was critically acclaimed by both the Guardian and Daily Telegraph - told The Times that she has struggled to make friends and found that lockdown compounded her isolation in an article about 'reverse movers' who had returned to cities after relocating to the country.

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She admitted to being surprised by the lack of younger couples and families in the town and at how difficult it was to forge meaningful connections while working from home.

Although Abdullah took up horse riding, enjoys walking in the Dales and has embraced eating local produce from her home overlooking Richmond Castle, she confesses the couple 'have not made a single friend' since the move almost two years ago.

She and Watson do not have colleagues as they work on a freelance basis, and do not have children so have not been able to make friends at the school gates or through baby groups.

The novelist describes noticing anyone under 40 'like a magpie does shiny things', including a builder working on their house and a BT engineer.

Abdullah, who is of Bangladeshi descent, was also disappointed when the first inter-racial couple she saw in the town turned out to be visiting.

Although retired neighbours do invite them over for dinner, the situation has made Abdullah realise how much she misses London life, including events which she had previously dismissed as vacuous.

She concludes by describing her life in Richmond as 'a kinder but lonelier existence, following a pleasant and familiar pattern, but touched by melancholy'.

Read the full interview here.