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Mother. Nurse. Teacher. Crafter. Photographer. And now, writer…

Nurse. Teacher. Crafter. Photographer. Canadian; I am a woman who wears many hats but what defines me the most, is being a New Zealander and a mother.

Covid-style selfie

“Why on earth did you leave New Zealand?”

This is often the first question I am asked after the inevitable clarification of where my accent is from — usually confused with being English or Australian; even after 25 years, I cannot shake it.

I came to Montréal with my husband and 5-month-old daughter, Hannah, on a one-year contract for his new job.

Well, that one year has turned into a life sentence. We produced another two kids, have subsequently divorced but this is now home to me, us. …


I could write a novel

Image by eliza28diamonds from Pixabay

To stick to the brevity rules, my biggest peeve is spoon-feeding.

All too often, my teaching colleagues feed students information to be successful in our exams, preventing them from employing their thinking skills to figure answers out for themselves.

They have the mindset that failures look bad on them, the teacher.

If the application of knowledge is not addressed, learning becomes a memory game. Students can’t determine the what, why and how because they don’t understand it.

Nurses require a sound knowledge base to quickly establish normal from abnormal; they also need a solid skill base to resolve presenting issues…

Photogenic butterfly; July 24, 2021. Photo by Author,


My week in photographs; July 19–25, 2021

I have longed for the day that with my usually great, but sometimes not-so-great iPhone camera could capture a butterfly flitting about. Saturday was the day! This beautiful insect allowed me to take dozens of pictures; she was clearly distracted with the yummy nectar from this echinacea flower and didn’t notice the paparazzi — and she still hadn’t flown away when I was done.

It wasn’t until I got home and took a closer look at her that I realized her wing was a bit chewed; someone obviously took a chunk out of her at some point.

In the middle…

Role reversal for me in the writing world

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

My true character has slowly started to proliferate my writings and comments here on Medium. At first, I sat back and observed, cautious of having an opinion in my own work or sharing my perspective on others. Perhaps it could be more akin to stalking — but nicely; not like some of those irritating scammers that are burgeoning the platform like leeches these days.

I read other writers’ stories, took note of their style and subject matter, and admired their work through claps and generic comments.

I’ve always learned best through observation in both my nursing and teaching careers. It’s…

The pandemic isn’t the only crisis we should be concerned about

Image by Julien Tromeur from Pixabay

“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.” Florence Nightengale

Nosocomial infections are commonplace in hospitals. The very place that you go to for help can cause more problems.

I’ve seen it all too often; a patient comes in for elective surgery such as a hip replacement and ends up with an infection, likely due to unsuspecting contamination during surgery. Sure, there are strict protocols in place from sterilizing equipment to aseptic techniques to ensure infections are prevented, but there is always the odd case that slips through those procedural cracks.


Having an ‘accent’ can be a truly wonderful thing.

Image by athree23 from Pixabay

Despite living in Canada for 26 years, I still — apparently — have a New Zealand accent. It’s usually confused with Australian.

How rude!

It’s been my saving grace — especially when working at the hospital. School colleagues are accustomed to my twang — but when I mingle in unknown territory, it becomes a conversation starter.

I open my mouth; people spot I’m not Canadian. They’re intrigued I’m from down under — we’re few and far between here.

I often escape having to speak French because of my accent.


I had to pass a comprehensive French language exam to obtain my Quebec nursing license — and pass an English one to become a teacher.

Go figure!

I should write a long-form on this — I’ve much more to say!

My apologies to my Australian followers — especially Adrienne Beaumont.

Barbara Dalton

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