Kitchen Conversations No.2…

… with Project Architect Claire Cockburn. This is the second of a series of kitchen conversations with team members to catch up and find out what life is like under lockdown. Whilst working remotely has proven to have its advantages, we are all looking forward to getting back to working together in the office soon!

How are you finding lockdown?

In many ways I’m really enjoying it. My boys are 2 and 5 and it has been great spending more time with them, and I definitely don’t miss the rushed nursery drop off and commute into work! I’m lucky in that my husband and I have been able to share our childcare responsibilities between us, and we’ve found everyone – employers, colleagues and clients – to be very understanding about this which has been great. We’re lucky to live on the edge of the city, so have country walks, forest and a golf course on our doorstep which I’m very grateful for.

Tell us something you have discovered about yourself during lockdown that has surprised you?

Being at home most of the time isn’t as boring as I thought it would be! As a family we usually don’t spend much time at home – we’re busy with work, nursery, sports classes for the boys, and days out and about, so the idea of being stuck at home was fairly terrifying at first! But we’re having lots of fun. My eldest will be starting school in August so I’m enjoying this extra time with him.

What have you found most challenging about lockdown and how are you overcoming it?

Working as a team whilst all being in different locations is challenging! MS Teams is great for communication but nothing beats being able to sit round a table together and discuss design ideas and share sketches.

Not seeing extended family is also very hard – I’ve got family in Manchester and Spain and we had trips planned to visit both that have had to be cancelled. But we’ve been having weekly Zoom catchups and quizzes to stay in touch. When it all feels a bit overwhelming an evening walk usually clears my head!

What is keeping you busy?

I’m working on my first Passivhaus projects, which are incredibly interesting, along with a social housing scheme in Alloa and several projects for improving housing for older people. One advantage of lockdown is there are so many webinars and information sharing opportunities, so I’m making the most of the extra learning available. I’m a member of the Women In Property committee and the team have been working hard to provide different presentations and social events for members.

With the boys we’re doing lots of craft activities, growing sunflowers and many vegetables, and making the most of the sunshine.

Where is one of the first places you will go once lockdown restrictions ease?

Down the road to our favourite café for brunch, then off to the beach for the day – which was also the last place we went before lockdown began.