Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Spooky choice of an event

I don't know if this comes into the "forbidden" category of premonition. It's close to it, but here goes, because it is really spooky. I grew up in Swansea, S.Wales and went to the Grammar School there - an ancient edifice founded in the 1600's. But at age 18 we moved to London and spent all the years in England until retirement at age 65 in 1980. (Yes, that means I'm in my 97th year, but don't go away!). We had spent occasional holidays back in Swansea, but had not visited or thought about the Grammar School.

Village Idiot

My wife Liz' and I married in September1989. We had our honeymoon in Jamaica. On our return Liz needed to find a job. After a few months working in a dairy she found another job processing claims for an insurance company. She was one of dozens of people doing this. Some months passed when Liz' heard that one of the girls, Jo' and her partner John were trying to sell their house. Liz and I were looking to buy a house so Liz asked her about it. Arrangements were made to view and it suited our needs so after some negotiations spanning several months we eventually bought it.

Cat-sitters in Cardiff

A couple of Australian friends were in England on business and arrived in Cambridge on a Sunday evening prior to an appointment the following day. They decided to go out for a drink before dinner and went into a nearby hotel and requested a beer, This being in the age of restricted licensing hours the barman politely told them that he was unable to serve them until after 7pm as they were not residents. A woman sitting at a nearby table spoke up and, as a resident, asked if she might buy them a drink which they gladly accepted.

Place Coincidence

I have Belgian friends who lived in a small village, Ruddervoorde between Ostend and Brugges. A few years ago they were visiting us in the UK for Christmas. My Uncle (married to my father's sister) who lived 150 miles away called in to drop off presents. I did not know he had any connection with Belgium. He had never met my friends and asked where they lived. They said he would never have heard of the place but told him the name of their village. He said 'I've been there. My aunt met a Belgium General during the war and married him and lived there.

Holiday coincidence

In 1970 I traveled from England to Central Finland to stay with the Syrija family who were farmers. I had finished my first year at Exeter University and they had a son, Kari who was 19, 10 months younger than myself. After 4 weeks Kari and I drove to Oulu, "North" known for its market. Kari bought a reindeer skin for me. We were then approached by a Dutch couple who were jugglers working their way around Finland. They couldn't speak Finnish and asked Kari to negotiate a similar skin for them..which he did.

Sisters choose same recipe

My sister who lives in Florida sent me a cook book for Christmas 2011, called 660 Curries. It was a book she already had herself. I emailed her after Christmas to tell her which curry I had made for my first recipe from the book and she called me immediately to say that the recipe I had chosen to make for my first curry was the same recipe she had chosen to make for her first one. It was called Vibrant Chicken in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. For us both to choose the same recipe out of 660 was mind blowing.

birthday coincidence

my Sister 01 01 1965 her youngest son 01 01 2004 my birthday 29 Dec think our Mother preferred Hospital food to cooking a Christmas Meal

Travel coincidence

About 15 years ago my brother was travelling in Australia. About once a fortnight he would phone my mum to let her know he was ok and then afterwards he would go into an internet cafe to email his 4 sisters. My mum is a dressmaker and had one of her customers in her workroom. They started to talk about their children and mum talked about my brother and the phonecalls. The customer got upset as her daughter was also in Australia but rarely contacted home. Just then the phone rang and it was my brother with his regular call. Mum told him about the customer in her workroom.

Chance meeting

Some years ago my husband and I were driving along one evening in a quiet Hampshire coastal retirement area near our home when we spotted an elderly woman in slippers looking lost and confused in the road. We pulled abruptly to a halt to see if we could help - at the same time as a man driving in the opposite direction did the same. Having established that the old lady was indeed very confused we phoned the police for help. Whilst waiting for them to arrive my husband (originally from Plymouth in Devon) commented on the other man's Devonshire accent .

Birthday coincidence.

My sister had a baby on my birthday, which happened to be a Friday that year. He was born at about 2:30pm, and we were amazed when Mum told us that I, too, had been born at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon.