Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

wrong number, but identical name

I needed to have a Gas Certificate for my tenanted property and asked a local Corgi registered person to call my tenant, Will Jenkins, to arrange a convenient appointment time. I gave the Corgi man the name and mobile number of my tenant. A day later, the Corgi man rang back and said he'd come to inspect the flat but my tenant was out. He'd then called the number I'd given him and spoken with a Will Jenkins who said did not live in that town and had never heard of me.

Horror story.

During my teens I experienced a couple of nervous breakdowns which involved me seeing psychiatrists. My first one was Dr.Franks, when I lived up north in Blackburn in 1991. Imagine how terrifying, during my second major period of (already heightened anxiety & paranoia) when I met my new psychiatrist in South East London later that year & discovered he was Dr Stein!

John Common

This incident happened to my parents before I was born. My father David Common was fighting as a BEF soldier in France , June 1940. Told to make a run for it to Dunkirk and ordered to abandon everything except rifle, he threw away a small parcel of gifts he'd previously bought my mother and their daughter ( my sister Edith). The gifts included, I believe, a silk night dress and a doll.

Exchanging gifts

Back in the early 1990's, I was visiting a friend, who lived in Abergavenney. As I surprise I thought I would buy her a 'thank you for having me gift', and decided on a presentation pack of 'Paris' soap. Whilst enjoying a cup of coffee, she presentated me with a gift, so I thought I would hand her mine. Imagine our surprise when she had bought me exactly the same gift of 'Paris' soap.

dream and reality

When I was a teenager I had a dream that my grandad gave me 50p. (By that age he was probably giving me £1, or even £5, when we visited him.) The next day I went to secondary school as usual, and when I arrived at the bus stop near my house, there was 50p on the pavement, right where I'd normally wait. The bus stop was in frequent use, so I felt fortunate to be the only one to spot the coin. I thought at the time that this was a strange coincidence. Annabel

News of Ben

My wife and I lived in a large village in the Gezeira province of Sudan about 5 hours south of Khartoum. We were teachers in the secondary schools. We rented a house in the centre of the village. Since cooking was done on charcoal we sometimes bought sandwiches from the football club rather than spend an hour lighting the stove. One evening we had visitors and we were eating our sandwiches and chatting away. The topic was nearly always family as this is so important in Sudan.

Ms M Lee

Actually three In 1986 I took over a research post from a man who had the same birthday as me. My daughter married a man whose birthday is on the anniversary of her father's/my husband's death. On 14th Jan, I spoke to a friend who had just returned from a holiday that I had planned to join her on. My plans had to change. She went ahead and we spoke on her return this weekend. She told me that, at the swimming pool in her hotel, she had met the twin-sisters of my university room mate. She did not know this room-mate.

address coincidence

A colleague and myself were chatting one day a few years a go, about where we first started work. We now work in Somerset, but discovered that back in 1987 we were both living in East Croydon and used to go to the same pub, The Cartoon.

Strange words coinciding

Recently more and more I have noticed that as I have been writing, reading or saying words they have simultaneously cropped up . Just the other evening I was looking at my bookcase and got the notion to pull out an old red book. It was a copy of Black Beauty I was given as a little girl, nearly 50 years ago. As I started to read the first paragraph I read"water-lilies" and a split second after that I heard the narrator on a tv nature show saying "water-lilies"

Husband's Lover

Three years ago my husband left me for another woman. He was a self employed saddler. When later clearing out the garage I came across an old telephone notepad, it was over ten years old. On the page it was open was a message from the woman who would become his lover many years in the future.