Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Dream Home

My husband and I were on holiday in Egypt a about 20 years ago and we met a lovely young English girl on the trip who we kept in contact with sending Christmas cards and even went to her wedding. Imagine my surprise when she sent me a Christmas card a couple of years ago and said she had seen the house of her dreams in my home town, but the deal had fallen through and she was disappointed. Turns out she moved in to her (dream home) eventually, a few months later, it is in the next avenue to me and was owned by one of my colleagues at work who was moving down south. What a coincidence.

Meeting a Celebrity

A few years ago, my wife and I attended a play at the Mill at Sonning, where we go only every few years. Geoffrey Palmer appeared in the play. The very next morning I had to go to London by train, again something I rarely do. Ascending the escalator at Waterloo, I passed Geoffrey Palmer coming down the other side.

how my parents met

My mom and my dad had dated, briefly and not seriously. They both planned to visit Europe at the same time, so she sent him a letter (semi?)-jokingly proposing that they meet on the steps on the Vatican on a particular day and time and tour it together. He never got the letter. He did however decide to tour the Vatican and, remarkably, chose the day and time that she had specified. There she was, waiting for him. They got back together and were married a couple of years later. If that was the plot of a movie, nobody would believe it.

When in Rome

Back in 1971 whilst still an architecture student my friend and I decided to go to Greece. We both had summer jobs and I decided to leave early and hitch hike to Athens. My friend was to fly out later and I would meet him at the airport. I duely hitch hiked to Athens and was there for about a week before his flight was due. Somehow As the plane was due in just after midnight one of us must have got confused about the date and he wasn't on the plane. This was before mobile phones so I assumed he changed his mind.

Extraordinary Intercontinental Family Intergenerational Collision

Upon graduating from Cambridge in June 1961 I pursued an International Business Career objective of living and working in South America, becoming a trainee with Balfour Williamson in the City, transferring to their subsidiary SACAE in Guayaquil, Ecuador in March 1962. Upon my arrival I was introduced to the English Managing Director of SACAE, whiose name was John W. The first personal question he asked me following the initial business discussions, related to my Mother' name!

same day of the week

My brother was born on September 4 My parents were born on February 27 My parents were married on April 10th I was born on July 17 The above all fall on the same day of the week - regardless of year

Wedding & Honeymoon

My honeymoon was arranged by my parents, who purchased everything based on vague instructions (near Carcassone, must have a pool, if I remember correctly). We didn't play any part in it beyond this. The wedding had about 40 guests, and went very well (it happened to be about the only dry day in a very rainy summer, but thats a different - and less impressive coincidence) We arrived at our honeymoon accommodation, and got talking to the owner (who was cleaning the pool). It transpired that he had family near where my wife had just moved from.

Two cards twice

My mother sent me a card with a drawing of a goose on, since she knew I like drawing and I like geese. A few months or maybe a year later she sent me the same card, having completely forgotten about sending it the first time. Some time later a friend was visiting, and saw one of the cards which was up on the mantelpiece. Not knowing anything about the story behind it, she told me that her mum had sent the same card to her boyfriend on his birthday once. And then sent the same card the next year, having completely forgotten about sending it the first time.

Shared childhood home

I worked for one of the London open top bus sightseeing tours from around 1993 to 1998. Initially I worked on the pavement for a few years as a supervisor (organising the departure of buses and so on) and in doing so got to know the various bus drivers and tour guides that started out or passed by the departure points I covered.

Lock and key!

My father, Terry, had some friends around for a drink in the 'pub' he'd built under his house. He mentioned that he had to get a new lock for the bought door he'd bought from a reclaim yard, and fitted to the 'pub'. It had no key. One of his guests, John, thought the door looked remarkably similar to one he'd recently taken to a tip. He still had the key on his ring: it fitted!

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