Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Random connection in small Oregon town

Holiday last year. Visiting Portland, Oregon, from Glasgow, Scotland. Hosted by local PR people. One of whom tells me that my accent reminds her of a guy she knows in a small town call Bend. Four days later, I'm in Bend, walking down street with PR girl who spots this other Scottish guy, shouts him over. We get talking. He has lived in Oregon for 20 years. He comes from the small village in Scotland right next tothe small village I grew up in. My mother was his school dinner lady in a school in Scotland of just 200 kids. And my sister was in his class.

Leap Years

A close member of my family seems to die in leap years. My maternal grandfather died in 1988, my maternal grandmother died in 1992, my paternal grandfather died in 1996, my paternal grandmother died in 2000 and my father died in 2004. Luckily only a pet hamster died in 2008 but we are all a bit wary about 2012........!!

Birthday coincidence

My mother had four children: my eldest sister born on 13 April 1949; my second sister born on 13 April 1951; my brother born on 13 April 1953; and I was born two years later but two days "late" on 15 April 1955. My sister gave birth to my mother's only grandchild on 14 April 1983. There are many other continguous dates coincidenes in my family including my father and mother's death dates, 25 hours (and 51 years) apart on 27 March and 25 March respectively.

Holiday friendship

My husband and I were on holiday (from the Midlands) with our young son in Spain, one February. At the hotel was a family from the North of England, with children the same age as our son. In the evening, after the children were asleep, we would sit and chat togeher in the bar. We left without exchanging addresses. Later the same year, in the summer, we were camping in the New Forest, and visited Bucklers Hard. As we were going in, the same family were just coming out - they were on a sailing holiday, and had moored in the harbour.

Car break-in (x2)

One day near my then-workplace in Hillingdon my car had a side window broken in by a thief. I called the glass repair company who said someone would come to replace it from their Watford base, as they had no-one nearer that day.The next night, asleep at home in a different area of NW London, my car parked outside had yet another side window broken into, by yet another opportunistic thief. I called the glass replacement company..a repairman apparently was passing nearby, so was sent to me. We were both a bit confused when he arrived!

Mother's friend

After my mother died, my father left the Midlands and went to live in a small village in Cornwall. He did not normally drink, but felt that the local pub would be a good place to make new friends. He had been there some months before he discovered that the pub landlady had been in the same class as my mother at school, in the Midlands.

Horsing Around

Our daughter was born in Kentucky on 27th February. The horse we eventually bought for her was born in Kentucky on 27th February.

Lost and Found

It was a very busy summers day. I was walking through a park area and noticed a lost mobile phone down in the grass. As I picked it up I noticed a large group of teenagers sitting in the sun nearby. I was about to say has anyone lost a phone, then thought better of it as there was a chance it would be claimed by the wrong owner. I decided to try and phone an obvious close contact such as Mum or Dad to ensure the phone was returned to the rightful owner. I was able to access contacts and dialled 'Home' and was surprised to hear my good friends answer machine message.

London to Ibiza

When younger I temped for a while in an office in NW London. While there I got a job as a holiday rep and our receptionist, I forget her name but also young, wished me well etc. I didn't know where in Europe I would be posted, and I lost touch, so she never knew where I went. A few months later I was bringing a coachload of holidaymakers back to the airport in Ibiza after their holiday, and I popped down to see which desk they would be checking in at. As I was going into the airport who should be coming out but the receptionist, who was just starting her holiday...we were amazed.

Telephone coincidences

I phoned a Bob Sherwood, almost a colleague, at the Castlewellan Forest office during working hours. Someone else answered the phone and it took some time for Bob to answer. We talked for a while about forestry business and then, when I was about to hang up he asked how I knew to find him at this number. I laughed and said "But that's your office number." There was a bit of a silence before he admitted he was in a pub in Dundrum. From memory I knew a friend's number in Belfast. I phoned him. His wife answered the phone.