Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Isolated place visit, then on TV

On Friday 13.1.12 with 6 other mountain bikers I did a route around the Calder Valley. After lunch in Todmorden we climbed north towards Keelham Heights stopping for a rest at SD937261, a crossroads for several routes. As far as I know I'd never been there before and on this junction is a stone carving of a head 9 or 10 feet high which I photographed. On Sunday 15. 1. 12 I switched on the TV at just after 5pm, rare in my case, I usually put it on much later but I wanted to watch the end of a recording I had made.

Birthday coincidence

Neighbours both had visitors with toddler twins (one girl, one boy). I invited them to a twin tea party. It turned out that the two sets of twins were born on the same day of the same year - May 10th - and that happens to be the birthday of my son (aged 43)!

The other side of the world

Many years ago I backpacked around the world. Before I left I would regularly discuss some my plans, as much as they were, with friends including a girl who told me her boss was interested in doing the same and would I mind if she shared some tips with him. I duly agreed and for a while, through her, we swapped a few ideas, but never met him before I left. Some five months later I'm staying in an out-of-the-way hostel on the edge of Sydney, Australia when another backpacker arrives.


In 1976, at home in the U.K. on leave from Thailand, my wife and I visited a friend in Southampton, who was working in a restaurant. He suggested he leave work immediately and that we all go on a journey to Stratford-on-Avon. This we did - and decided to leave for Scotland the next morning, where another friend was on leave. We found him in Glasgow that evening. The next morning we all left for Oban, and in Fort William decided to have a meal.

Birthday coincidence.

My first husband's birthday was the 6th December, and mine is the 3rd January. He made a friend whose birthday turned out to be same as his own, and we were amazed to find that his wife's birthday was the same as mine.

A message from the grave?

After my mother died I was sorting through her papers and came across the rough copy of an amusing poem that she had written and sent to me about five years previously. One of the lines said that she loved me, not a statement that she often made. Where I'd put the copy she'd sent to me I'd no idea. I returned home to Turkey and took the poem with me. A few days later I went upstairs thinking about mum and picked up the poem and sat down and re read it. A little later I went downstairs and into the living room where I saw a piece of paper on the floor.

Holiday waiter coincidence

In 1990, I went on holiday to Majorca with friends. Whilst there we went on a night out (cabaret, dinner etc) and they had a waiter who would pour wine from a traditional bottle directly in your mouth and you could have a photo taken. I did this, and bought the photo. On returning home I showed the photo to my parents who laughed and said they had done that as well, back in the 1960s, on holiday with friends, also in Majorca. Mum went to see if she could find the photo they had had taken which she did. The waiter was the same man!

Tim Wilbraham

Some years ago I used to pick up/drop off, on my drive to work, two colleagues. One evening Sue was a little late coming to my car. Val and I chatted for a few minutes, and when Sue eventually arrived she apologised saying that she was late as it was Phil's birthday that day (a person working in her department).

Old Friends From London

My wife and I were expats in London for almost five years from 2001 to 2005. We leased a home in Gerrards Cross. It was a small community with several other expat families. We were both in our in our early fifties and our children save one were in universities in the US. Our youngest was attending the local American high school. Our next door neighbors were young expats with 2 young sons. We became close friends, especially my wife as I travelled extensively. He worked for a French bottled water company and was the UK rep.

Money lost, money found!

I once stayed with friends in the Black Mountains and went out by myself to climb to a hill fort on the opposite hill. It was a hot day and I took my coat off at the top. Unfortunately, I forgot it and when I went back to look for it, my coat had gone. The coat had £25 in and my return rail ticket home. I was a university student at the time so losing £25 meant a lot to me. That same year I spent Christmas witrh parents in Cardiff and one day walking into the city centre I noticed some currency notes blowing around just in front of me. I picked them up and they totalled £25.