Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


My cat Penguin died a few weeks ago and on new year's eve we were playing a boardgame called the logo game for the first time. There are hundreds of cards (400) in the game and to try and get an understanding of the rules I picked a random card. It had a Penguin logo on which freaked me out a bit. I then picked another card and it also had a Penguin on....two in a row.


I was on holiday and had run out of books to read and the only book in English that I could find in the hotel was "Hotel du Lac"The main charcter goes to a hotel and is given room307 I thought that seemed familiar and it was because i was sitting in room 307.Incidentally while lookig up the book to recall the number yesterday a page fell open at"A cold coming i had of it"which is a paraphrase from TS Eliot and I realised I could hear a play being broadcast on Radio 4 about T.S.Eliot. Another holiday I took 2 books with me to read .one was A Diary of a Nobody and the other

Holiday Coincidences

Coincidences We have had three increasingly amazing holiday coincidences. 1.On holiday in a hotel on the east coast of Yorkshire, in which county we live, we joined a couple at a table round the dance floor. We spent a pleasant evening together but other than learning that they came from the south coast we did not exchange personal details. However, after we had gone up to bed I remarked upon the uncanny likeness of the man to my father who had died only 18 months before.

birth of my children

I have three sons the first was born on the 14th june 1963 the 2nd was born january 14th 1967 and the third son was born april 14th 1971 I was born on november the 14th 1939

airport coincidence

In 2005, I returned to Kenya to attend my maternal grandmother's funeral in Kisumu. On the flight from Nairobi to Kisumu I was sitting next to a Rotary doctor from Sweden on his first trip to Africa. He was going to work in a rural mobile clinic in Western Kenya. We spoke briefly and I assured him not to worry, if he wasn't picked up by the Rotarians in Kisumu, I would ask my mother to help arrange for assistance to get him to the rural clinic.


Newly arrived to live in Tanzania in the l960's, I was invited to a party way way out in the back of beyond in a small township called Mbeya, 600 miles from anywhere. I wore a most distinctive dress I had bought in Brighton (my home town) in a tiny boutique. Imagine my surprise when another girl arrived in exactly the same dress, which she had bought in South Africa. "Great taste in fashion" we both decided! A coincidence when neither of us had bought the dress from a large retailer such as M & S or Debenhams. P.S It was a jolly good party!

Same birthday card.

My son's birthday is on the 1st January and I didn't want him to be disappointed on his third birthday if his Nana's card failed to arrive. She lived in Devon and we lived in Lancashire. I bought a spare card to give to him just in case the slow post Christmas post failed to deliver. Nana's card didn't arrive in time but when it did, it was an identical card to the one that I'd chosen for him.

The Code of Coincidence

Dear Dr Spiegelhalter - not a 'coincidence' story, but a short story about coincidence that may provide some light relief from your labours! The Code of Coincidence "There are three elements that impose themselves on the affairs of men," said Charlie, putting his beer on the table and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, "The first is Chaos. Mother Nature at her most weirdest and wildest with no rhyme or reason for all the irregularities of events.

Holiday coincidence

I was walking along a remote and utterly deserted mile long beach in Tobago when figure appeared in the distance. Beach is crowded today , I joked to my pal. He replied sardonically, Hmm, bet it's a German. Indeed it was a German and as he drew near he said Good morning Mr Scarlatti. Turned out he was the stage manager of a theatre venue in Berlin where I had performed in a show about the famous composer for the harpsichord.. My pal was very impressed.

Forgetting "amnesia"

I am a writer, and one day was working while on a train. I simply could not remember a word I needed to use, although I could knew exactly what the word meant. After struggling for a couple of minutes, I looked down, and there was a scrap of paper on the floor with that very word written on it. The word, ironically, was "amnesia".