Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Dr D Walker

We are on the top of Table mountain. Someone behind us says "Ann" my wife's name. For obvious reasons we ignore it. But "Ann" is repeated and we turn to see it is being uttered by our NEXT DOOR Neighbour from Pinner. Neither of us had the slightest idea that the other was going to South Africa. Beat that!! Dennis Walker

Coincidence that may have saved my life

My name is Geoff. In 1981 I was working in Nigeria. One weekend I went with a group of friends to a beach about 40 miles west of Lagos. It was in the middle of nowhere and totally deserted apart from our group. There were no buildings of any sort there. We were having fun standing in the water and letting the waves - up to ten feet high - break over us. One wave didn't break over me. It lifted me off my feet and carried me up the beach before depositing me on my feet again - but the force of the water had lifted my arm out of its socket and my shoulder was dislocated.

Am I psychic?

I was deleting unnecessary phone numbers from our phone's memory and informed my wife that I was deleting the number of our local Indian takeaway as she already had it on her mobile. About thirty minutes later as we watched the local news on Granada Reports, it was announced that there had been a bad fire at the flat above the takeaway, The Village Tandouri, and that unfortunately someone had died. This happened only last week!!!

Australian connection

About 30 years ago I did a 6-week locum in Brisbane, Australia (during a year's amalgamated annual leave from my normal job). As I was the locum I of course had to do the Saturday morning sessions in a clinic on the outskirts of the city. On the first Saturday I arrived fairly early as I did not know how long it would take me to drive there. The clinic was in a small shopping precinct which included an estate agency, so to kill time I was looking in its window comparing prices and properties with what I might find in the UK. A man rushed out and suggested I came inside.

Felicity S

I was travelling with my husband in Ecuador some years ago and we decided to visit the market town of Otavalo, Stupidly we managed to lose the keys to our hire car. We had earlier visited a bar where the owner spoke good English so we went back to ask if he could help us which he did and because of his kindness we stayed for lunch at the bar and started chatting. We then discovered that his daughter's best friend was also a friend of mine in England.

Three Continents....

My sister lived in South Africa for many years, but re-married and came to live in Wales. She had many visitors and often would take them to a tiny, interesting church at Patricio, in the hills behind Abergavenny. When Suzy and her family came from South Africa, they went on such a visit: photographs were taken. Now move on 6 months: My sister is on holiday near Cape Town, staying with a friend who also does Bed and Breakfast. There are two ladies from London staying. Everyone is enjoying a glass of wine on the terrace when Suzy (now home) calls in to see my sister.

Memories of Claremont in Clermont

While studying abroad in France, emailing my mum about plans for my return, I suggested we should perhaps have a family picnic. She answered that she was thinking the same thing. Not so strange, granted. For some reason, I recalled a photo of myself as a little boy wearing my granddad’s shoes at a picnic and casually asked where it was taken. It was at this point that things took a turn for the truly surreal. Claremont lake, she replied, as I sat in a university residence in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Somewhat shocked, I looked up pictures of Claremont lake in Surrey.

Student Next Door

In 1962 we moved from Kingston, Surrey, to Mountnessing, Essex. Our daughter Ella was 5 at the time. One family who looked at our Kingston house turned it down, but bought the house next door. Fourteen years later Ella went to Swansea University. She shared seesions with the English tutor with another student. He said he came from Surrey. He was the son of the man who bought the house next door. We had had no contact with them since then. Ella's husband has the same birthdate as my wife. Brian

Meeting American tourist

Many years ago my father took our children to the Isle of Wight for the day. While there, on a Sunday, he was asked the way to somewhere in Cowes by an American tourist. The following day, Monday, the same American tourist asked my father for directions in Victoria Street, London. My father asked him if he found his way in Cowes, the previous day, before directing him again.

same name by marriage

Both my sister and I married men with the initials RG and surname Williams who are not related. So my mother has two daughters with the married name Mrs RG Williams.