Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Las Amarillas Calandrias

I drew this self-portrait to give to my friend Daniel the last day I saw him, to remember me by, when I graduated from university. I had drawn myself releasing yellow birds from a cage and flying to him and singing along with his guitar-playing, as he sat inside the moon, above a desert night scene. I was purposely doing the picture of myself in the style of Frida Kahlo's magical realist self-portraits.

Fancy Meeting You!

On a flight from Florida to Heathrow (UK), I told the pleasant stranger seated next to me that I was from the Isle of Wight, whereupon she said that her best friend lived there.

Where's my plane ticket?

Lost my plane ticket in Salzburg, Austria. Two weeks later I was in line at a hostel in Luxembourg and started talking to two guys in front of me, who I never met before. They recognized my name. They had found my plane ticket and tried to sell it.

Housing Chemistry

I attended high school in small-town New Hampshire and graduated in '89. I eventually settled in Boulder, CO. I recently sold my house in Boulder and the purchaser turned out to be my high school chemistry teacher from New Hampshire who I had not seen in 26 years. I recognized him the instant I walked into the closing. It brought back a flood of bad memories...I was a horrible chemistry student.

German Soldier in Virginia

I was working in Virginia many years ago, with a lot of former military guys. One of them was telling a story about how, while stationed in Germany, he would get a lot of strange looks from locals when he went off-base in his uniform. I interjected -- "wouldn't you find a German soldier, fully armed, walking the streets of suburban Virginia, pretty odd as well?" That same day I went across the street to fill up my car. When I got out, there was a military Jeep being filled up on the same pump as mine, but on the other side. I looked at the man at the pump, and he was...

A bit of a darker coincidence

I had an old friend who passed away recently from a drunk driver. When I initially thought about the scenario, I imagined a specific intersection near his house. Yes, since it's near his house the chances are higher than anywhere else, but still it was at that very intersection that he got hit.

grandma hawk

My mother passed away in 1999 when my younger child was one and during the mourning period, while friends and relatives were at my house, I took my son outside on my shoulders. Within two minutes a hawk came over and circled approximately 15 feet over our heads. I'd seen hawks in the neighborhood before, but never so close. I said, out loud, "that's grandma Edie hawk," because as children my brother and I often said our mother watched us like a hawk. Fast forward to exactly one year later at the cemetery.

Social Security Number

I dated a woman for 5 years. About 3 years into our relationship, I was helping her fill out financial aid forms for a university program, and saw her social security number. I immediately noticed that the last four digits were the exact reverse of my own (e.g. EHGD vs DGHE). The coincidence did our relationship no good in the long run, but we both remarked at how improbable that must be.

Sean Connery's Apples

My wife and I went by car to see the movie Robin and Marian. The movie uses an artistic framing device of 3 apples. At the start of the movie 3 ripe apples are shown on a window ledge. At the end of the movie the apples are shown again. 2 - representing the deaths of Robin and Marian are rotted. We drove back from the movie and parked on the street at the first available spot close to our apartment. The car parked behind us had 3 apples on the dashboard.

Vinyl find

So a friend of mine's dad got me into collecting records a couple years back. He listens to all the old stuff - Psychedelic, bluegrass, rock n' roll, folk etc. One day we were both at our local record shop when I found a copy of an album called "Bongos Over Balham" by Thrillin' Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers, a pretty obscure 70's bluegrass band. My friends dad mentioned how good an album it was and that he'd never seen a copy besides the one he owned.