Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

wedding day

My father married, in 1945, a Miss Brown. In 1974 I married a Miss Brown In 2011 my son married a Miss Brown I know that Brown is a very common name, but I think this is worthy of being recorded on your website.

in memoriam

When living in San Francisco some years ago I had visited my mother in England for her 80th birthday celebrations. Whilst I was away a close friend in SF died from AIDS. I was devastated and by the time I was able to return home, he had been cremated and his ashes scattered over the Pacific. It was in the days leading up to the annual San Francisco AIDS Walk, to raise funds for AIDS related charities. I was feeling very weak but was debating whether or not I should do the walk in my friend's memory.

Mrs Barbara P

September 11th Memorial Concert Last September I took part in a memorial concert in The Lincoln Centre, New York to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. When I booked into my Manhattan hotel, I was given the key card to my room which happened to be Room 911. On the same occasion, my son and my husband bought a ticket to the concert, completely independantly, about 4 months apart. The concert hall holds about 4,500 people and my husband ended up sitting just 2 seats in front of my son.

Mr C

1971 I worked on a construction project in Algeria, near the small coastal town of Arzew. My accomadation (one room) was in the redundent ( ) used long ago by the French navy. 1979 I was employed on the construction of a muli story office block in Bahrain. I shared my company apartment with a fellow foreman, who I had never met before and who, in the mid seventies had also worked in Algeria, in Arzew, his office was my old room. Totaly different companies, different continents, eight years apart.


My sister recently died just before Christmas suffering from cancer for a year, I spent most of the last 5 months with her - she died in the early morning the day after my birthday when I was not with her as I was taking a much needed break while she was in a hospice having respite care - she was due to come back home but in the end went very very quickly much to everyone surprise. She lived in my mothers house and I had taken a sabbatical and moved in to nurse her,we were incredibly close. In the living room were some lights in the display cupboard all along one wall.

The death of my cat

I was living abroad in New Zealand (I am from the United States), and working in vineyards there. I was renting a room in a flat with a few other seasonal workers, and I had no internet or telephone. I would go once or twice a week to contact my mom back in the US, to see how she was doing, and catch up on events back in my hometown. One Saturday morning when I was off of work, I was sitting alone at the breakfast table playing guitar. I suddenly had the overwhelming sensation - a sense of knowing and absolute assuredness - that my cat had died.

message in a bottle

At the age of about 10, a couple of friends and I threw bottles with messages into the river. One was found a couple of years later by a kid further downstream, another 5 years later. My friends wrote to their bottles' finders for quite a while. I forgot about mine as time passed and I left home for university. My father, a teacher at the local high school, was confounded when one of his students bought into class the note I'd written, 'Is this your daughter?'.

10 min after my PC monitor died, I found another in a lift

About 6 years ago my computer monitor died which was disasterous because I was utterly broke after being laid off. Even a secondhand monitor was outside my budget. Utterly depressed I grabbed my coat to go outside. When the doors of a lift opened there sittiing on the floor was a computer moniter. I couldn't believe my eyes. I jumped in grabbed it and took it back to my flat to see if it worked and it did. Having lived in this building for 18 years, this was the only time I have ever seen anything left in any of the three lifts. C.C.


In early April 1997 my Father died in UK. In France six weeks later my son, who was going to the International School in Bordeaux and taking his 'A' levels that summer got off the train with a paper. We live normally in HK but I had gone back for three months to our house in France so that he could come home every weekend. This Friday when I went to meet him at the train station in Perigueux he arrived with the Daily Telegraph which was in those days from the day before.

Train to London

I was going to London from Birmingham for my birthday. There was a fire at Milton Keynes, so instead of taking the first class express straight through we had to go via the Cotswolds and hope for a seat. I sat facing backwards. One table down facing me was a man I'd never met before but who I was able to see throughout the journey. The following day, after a trip to the Tower Of London, we met with friends in Covent Garden for a pub lunch.