Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

reading and listening to same word

I often listen to BBC radio while reading a newspaper. Almost inevitably I find myself reading a word ('education', 'political', 'gender'....etc.) and hearing the same word on the radio - at the same time! I could be reading in French and/or listening in English, and the same thing happens - the word examples I give here are of course the same in both languages, but do not always mean the same thing.

The Last Photo

A couple of years ago a friend of many years called Ruby informed my wife and I that her Brother who lived in Ireland had just died. We had met him once some time before. Ruby asked me to design and print some small cards as a memorial to her brother. They would be given to people attending the funeral. I was given a photo of her brother who was by all accounts a character. For the front of the card I asked her what sort of picture what would be appropriate. She told me that her brother had always liked the sea.


On more than one occasion my husbandand I, on recounting dreams, have discovered we have had the same dream. The same people and places have been present in the dreams

Car crash coincidence

About twenty years ago I collected my son Anthony from Boys Brigade in Bath. I was asked to drop his friend Gary off near his father's house. (his parents were separated and his mother lived somewhere completely different) When we arrived at the spot to drop Gary I stopped the car. While he was in the process of getting out we became aware of a car coming straight for us veering from the opposite side of the road and showing no sign of braking. It hit us front on quite hard, just as Gary was half in and half out of the car.

Friends reunited

I live in the south of England and in Ocober last year was on a coach holiday touring national parks in the USA. We stopped for a couple of hours at one of the viewpoints on the rim of the Grand Canyon. While strolling along the footpath, someone walking in the opposite direction called out 'Wendy, is it you?'. It was an old friend I hadn't seen for some 30 years and had lost touch with over 20 years ago. She lives in North Carolina and was also on holiday. We have both changed somewhat over the years, but she recognised my voice.

Picture this

I have just written my first (unpublished) children's story, and went to Smith's to look at similar books for publishing ideas. I picked one at random, and saw that the illustrator's name was unusual - Korky Paul - I had never heard of or seen the artist's work before, but was very impressed by its quality. Today, I went to Blackwell's (Oxford) on a similar mission. I asked the very helpful assistant about manuscript promotion , and the subject of illustration came up. She then said 'Oh, my uncle is Korky Paul'.

Film on TV

Approx 5 years ago I was thinking about a film I had seen and enjoyed called Harem (no accounting for my taste!) which was made in 1985, not particularly successful at the time, and about 15 years old at the point I was thinking about it. 2 days later I was looking for something to watch on TV and it was listed as showing that night. I don't think anything conscientiously or sub-conscientiously has caused me to think about it previously.

Injured Little Bird

I was on a split shift in work one day when a colleague called me out into the courtyard of our work. She had found a small bird lying on the ground under a tree with what appeared to be an injured wing. It was attempting to fly but was unable. I phoned my brothers girlfriend to ask for some advice (she is a vet nurse) and if I should ring the RSPCA. She explained that there would be nothing that they could really do and that we should leave it alone and it's mother would tend to it and eventually it's wing would heal and it would be fine.

Travelled round Africa in a truck which years later was bought by a work collegue in the UK

In the early '70s I travelled overland to Australia and worked in a mining camp at Mount Newman in the Gibson desert in Western Australia. After six months, having made quite a lot of money - the contract was for 10 hours a day, seven days a week for six months (there wasn't much else to do but work or spend your money on in the Gibson desert) I left to visit various Australian friends I'd made on the overland journey and at the camp, plus I also wanted to see a bit more of the country.

Old schoolmate

I was forty years old and I hadn't seen my old schoolmate Ed for 15 years. One night I had a dream in which Ed was in. The next day I was in a town 15 miles from where I live and I bumped into Ed. The coincidence struck me immediately. I don't think it was a premonition just a coincidence. Previous to this dream I gave Ed little thought.