Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Sibling Birthdays

I'm the eldest daughter of six children (5 girls, 1 boy). My dob is 1/11/57 (natural birth). One of my sister's dob is 1/11/58 (no2 in family - natural birth) and another sister's dob is 2/11/68 (no5 in family - Caesarian Section).

Airport Meeting

In March 2007 I went on my first skiing holiday with my husband and son. We stayed in a catered chalet in Meribel. Amongst the guests was an airline pilot in his late 50's who was holidaying on his own. We chatted over dinner a few times and said goodbye at the end of the week. Two years later, in December 2009, my husband, son and myself were with friends on a skiing holiday in Valmorel in France. We had flown into Chambery and enjoyed a week's holiday on the slopes.

Coincidences related to my sister (half-sister actually)

My name is Maggie. Several years ago, I spoke to my sister (well, technically half-sister) on the phone and said I was retiring from my job. She said she was too. Next time we talked on the phone, I told her I retired on June 2, 2006 -- she said, you are kidding! I retired on that very same day! This with no discussion between us about plans or dates we were thinking about, or anything. I found that very coincidental. Another strange chain of events related to my half sister occurred when we met (we didn't meet until we were adults).


My maternal grandparents names were Mary (Roman Catholic) and Andrew (non-Catholic). I was given Mary as a middle name in 1957 (a very Catholic name). I've had 3 long term relationships over the course of my life with men who all have the middle name - Andrew. The age difference between the 3 men ranges across 11 years. All 3 were brought up with different religions - Catholic, Church of Scotland, Jewish, I was brought up Catholic where being named after a saint is important. And my one brother has two middle names, one of which is also Andrew.

crossing paths & fate

When talking to my late husband about our pasts, we discovered that: At the end of the 1960s I had worked in Kampala, in a building which had previously been the old British HIgh Commission. I showed my husband a picture of me sitting in a room which he said had been his office some years earlier, before the High Commission moved to a new building. In the early 1970s I left Uganda and worked in the British Embassy in another country to which at that time he had also been appointed, but this posting was cancelled, so we did not meet.

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.

old friend

In 1971, aged 20, I spent a week at the Glastonbury festival and was dropped off at Bath station to catch a train to London to visit my mother. I lived in Bristol at the time. I tried to buy a magazine but was a few pence short. The shop assistant would not help me so, in the spirit of Glastonbury, I turned to the person behind me in the queue and asked them if they would give me 2 pence. The 'person' turned out to be a girl called Celia who I had been friends with at Primary school in Salisbury and had not seen for about 10 years because she moved away.

Ship diversion

My parents (in their sixties then) had travelled on a Fred Olsens cruise dep and returning from/into Tilbury. They had arranged taxi transfers from home in Chandlers Ford (Hants) to get here and back. On the day of their return I took my son to Southsea (not a place I wnent to often) to pick up an antique item from an Antique shop - and afterwards, prior to lunchtime, we took the opportunity to promenade on the nearby Southsea beach.


My eldest child was due on a monday, she arrived on the thursday, my middle child was due on a thursday, but arrived on a monday, my youngest child was due on a monday and arrived on a thursday.

A Hong Kong / Hereford connection

A couple of close friends holidaying in Hong Kong took a Star ferry Crossing and found themselves sitting beside a friendly, middle-aged Chinese man with whom they soon began to converse. he asked them where they lived in England, and on hearing that it was Herefordshire he said that he knew it well. They were somewhat surprised, and then learnred that he had been articled, as a trainee Chartered Accountant, to one of the partners of a firm in Birmingham, and had been sent many times to Hereford on audit. That partner was me.