Monday, December 22, 2008

Are you Helen Chapman?

I have been aware for some years that I had another sister born in the mid 1960's in the Wimbledon area.

By chance in 2006 I came across this ad which had been posted on the website The ad had been posted in 2003 and the name and date of birth matches my mother, as does all the other info, so it seems possible this is my sister.

Text of the ad:
Board Name: England (Adoption Related)
ANGELA CHAPMAN SW19 Sep 07, 2003
Searching for my birth mother - ANGELA CHAPMAN. (DOB 6/5/41). I was born as HELEN CHAPMAN on 24/10/65 in NELSON HOSPITAL, KINGSTON ROAD, MERTON, SW20. Any information please, about Angela or any other member of the family. Thanks.

I discovered the ad in 2006 and replied but by that time it was three years after it had been posted and the persons email address may have changed or my reply may have been spam filtered. Either way, I got no reply.

Unfortunately the woman who posted the ad did not give her current name, which would have been changed at adoption. This makes it impossible to trace her. I did contact the owner of the web site but he had no further information, so it reached a dead end.

Its possible she has tried tracing us through our grandmother Doris Chapman (nee Minnis), but Doris died a few years ago. It is unlikely that Helen knows she has a brother so she may have given up looking.

Request for help
  • Do you know anyone in their 40's who was looking for their birth mother in 2003?
  • Are you the person who posted that ad?

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Helen Chapman, please email me - click here.
If you do not receive a reply within 24 hours then you should assume I have not received your email.

There is further information about Angela Chapman here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Keeping New Year Resolutions

Normally I am very bad at making new year resolutions, but last new year I decided that I needed to make more friends and this would be a good subject for a new years resolution.

In order to get there I have:

  • Made a point of making small talk with people during my normal everyday activities.
  • Accepted almost every invitation to a social event I have received this year.
  • Tried to get to know some of my acquaintances better.
  • Looked up some old friends and renewed the relationship.

Has it worked?

To some extent.
I have extended my social circle and met new people and from those I am gradually making more friends.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A simple way to make use of the YouTube widscreen and high quality functions

The native resolution for Youtube widescreen is 480x360.

It is also possible to upload HD videos which are 720x1280 but these only show in HD when &fmt=22 to the end of the page URL

I discovered that if I put my digital still camera on movie mode and set it to high quality it give a 640x480 image. If I change the settings to 16:9 mode it gives me 848x640 and if I upload the .mov quicktime file straight to youtube it fills the full wide screen area and gives the option to view in high quality.

Click Here to see the example video (the embedded player is not widescreen so I can't embed it in this page).

I have not tried editing any of the 16:9 files and then uploading them. I suspect that this might cause me to lose the view in high quality option depending on what format I save the edited file as. I need to experiment more with this.

The camera I am using is a Leica C-Lux 2 which is similar to the small Panasonic Lumix compact with image stabilisation. The high quality movie setting gives me about 10 minutes on a 1GB SD card with sound. The quality is sufficient to put onto a DVD using DVD Flick and even on my 40 inch TV its not as badly pixelated as I would have expected. On a smaller TV its fine and the camera is so small its easy to take places. It also has a carrier on the strap for additional SD cards so its gradually getting used more and more for video.

I suspect that my small Nikon compact would give the same results although I have not tried it.