Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Same car

I used to live in north Wales. And my eldest son lived in Dublin. Aside from his wife and himself, his greatest love was his car, a black German motor with a personalised number plate. He occasionally would come over to do some work in England and if he had the time he would drop in for a drink and a chat. One day I was walkng to the pub and saw a black German motor car with a familiar number plate coming up the road. This surprised me as he hadn't told me he was coming over, and moreover he had driven right past my house - and me - without stopping.I called him on the phone immediately and asked what he was doing. Why, he answered, I'm at home working. No you're not, I replied, I've just seen you motoring up my road! Impossible, he retorted, I'm looking at my car parked here on the drive. Well that's weird, I carried on, your car with reg P33PMD has just gone up the hill in the direction of Mold. But dad, he said, my car number is P13PMD. Similar car, similar (VERY similar) number, right place right time. I never saw that other car again

Auntie Kadine's gift

When I was a little girl, my great auntie Kathleen (pet name Kadine) gave me a hymnbook, which she inscribed with my name. Years later, after about 15 years away from the church, I went back to the church with my fiancé to talk to the minister about getting married. The minister was busy with some other parishioners at the time and gave us some hymnbooks, telling us to familiarise ourselves with the wedding ceremony on a particular page. We read through the ceremony, but the minster was still busy, so to fill the time, I started to flick through the hymnbook. On the inside page I found the inscription 'To Tara, with love from Auntie Kadine'. I didn't even know I had lost my old hymnbook! I asked the minister if he had known it was mine when he gave it to me, but he didn't - he was absolutely gobsmacked and said it was astonishing.

View from the Bog

A few years ago I was managing a small charity in Cinderford, Glos when, late one afternoon, there was a tap on the window. A young lady was looking for an internet cafe or similar to print a document for a friend. Being a kind hearted soul (and knowing Cinderford has never been over-endowed with internet cafes and the library was closed) I suggested I could print it in return for a small donation to the organisation. With the document opened to review before printing I couldn't help noticing it was a piece of work on the hydrology of Borth Bog. Knowing the area well from my Uni days at Aberystwyth we got chatting and it turned out her friend worked there on research. A bit of a coincidence but nothing remarkable. The reason the friend wasn't there was she was in the area looking to buy a house. Where I asked - near Borth came the reply. It's a lovely bungalow north of Borth in Ynyslas by the railway and river and sits up on a tump. It's called ******** I said at which point the lady clearly thought she was in the presence of either a genius or an incredible anorak.

Brought to book. What's in a name?

Making a regular visit to a place that asked all visitors to sign-in, I signed-in as usual using the initial B and then my surname. On signing-out some time later, I noticed that someone else had signed-in immediately under my name with the same surname and initial. That person had also given the name of their company. I took a picture of the signatures in the visitors book and was later able to make contact and shared the co-incidence.

Dr

Making a regular visit to a place that asked all visitors to sign-in, I signed-in as usual using the initial B and then my surname. On signing-out some time later, I noticed that someone else had signed-in immediately under my name with the same surname and initial. That person had also given the name of their company. I took a picture of the signatures in the visitors book and was later able to make contact and shared the co-incidence.

Fortune cookie

I grabbed a fortune cookie that was sitting on the table. I was watching tv so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention and realized the fortune was in my mouth. I spit it out to read the fortune and it said Warning: Do not eat your fortune

Everyone/everything has the same name

My immediate family has multiple examples of coincidences involving names. Examples: I have three children. My daughter is named Anna. My youngest son’s wife is named Anna. My oldest son’s first serious relationship, lasting eight years, was with a young woman named Anna. He is now married to Jana—finally a different name, but still very close. One more thing: all four of these women are attorneys. Two graduated from the same law school; two worked in the same public defender office in New Orleans. Those connections happened totally independent of the family link. Another example: our family had two dogs while my kids were growing up. We adopted both as adult dogs, and both were already named Jenny when we got them. Not a common dog’s name, btw. My former wife’s parents had a second home in a town on the New Jersey shore called Spring Lake. I now live near the beach in Delaware, in a condo community called Spring Lake. My kids grew up with summer beach vacations in Spring Lake. Now they bring their kids for beach vacations in a different Spring Lake. My youngest son and his wife Anna had the first grandchild on our side of the family.

Same House

I was in a work meeting at a new job with someone I'd never met (who doesn't work for the same company). While we were talking we discovered that she used to live in my current neighborhood. When i asked her the house number, she said my address. She lived in the same house that I live in now. We've become friends and have discovered that we have other things in common.

Dental Appointment

Waiting in the waiting room to be called for my dental appointment, I was joined by a man - a fellow attendee. The receptionist came in and called out “Mr Greene?” I said “That’s me.” The other man said “That’s me.” The receptionist looked at us both and said “Mr Greene with an ‘e’.” I said “That’s me.” The other man said “That’s me.” The receptionist looked even more perplexed and said “Mr K Greene.” I said “That’s me.” The other man said “That’s me.” We looked at each other in amazement. I am Mr Kevin Greene and it turned out he was Mr Keith Greene. We both had a good laugh about this amazing coincidence and went on to have our respective dental appointments. I seriously considered buying a lottery ticket.

"You're on your lonesome, into infinity."

I was reading a Twitter post from Richard Wiseman: it said, "Pick up the nearest book to you, turn to page 45. The first sentence explains your love life." There was a copy of The Hell of It All by Charlie Brooker right next to me, and the first sentence on page 45 was, "You're on your lonesome, into infinity." And it was dead right.

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