Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Telephone number

During the months after the death of my wife in 1995 I was helped to deal with my loss by a female friend that I had not seen for some time and who had experienced a similar loss. I had written her number down on a cream coloured envelop. In the weeks that followed I agonised as to whether it would be appropriate for me to make a romantic approach to this friend. Finally deciding against the idea I tore the envelop into pieces and put them in a waste paper basket. Some days later on leaving my house I noticed a cream coloured piece of litter which had been pressed into the road tarmac by a car tyre. Vaguely recognising it, I picked it up and discovered that it was the fragment of the envelop that contained the telephone number. I made the call.
Total votes: 356
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:23:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3677

Living in Same Property, plus others

Unexpected meeting in Spain- Just after I left school in 1960 I went to Spain with seven others from my Scout Troop in a minibus. After touring across France and Spain we arrived in Alicante. When walking down the main plaza we bumped into two school colleagues, Tommy and Helen Jenkins. This was when few English people holidayed in Spain . Living in the same Property- This covers two coincidences concerning a flat in a large house ( 8, The Drive Walthamstow) my wife and I lived in when we were first married in 1968. a) Just after we moved in my mother told us that it was a house that they had also lived in for a while in between the wars. There was no previous discussion of where we were looking as my parents had been in New Zealand the previous 9 months. b) In the 1980's we went on a Flotilla sailing holiday to Greece. We discovered that the New Zealand skipper of the fleet, when he was in London, had also lived for a time in the same attic flat with the same strange landord. Unexpected meeting in Australia In 2003 my wife and I spent 3 months in Australia touring around in a hire car with no particular itinerary. On 28th Jan, my wife's birthday. we were in Sydney watching a free didgeredoo concert in a small theatre on the harbourside when who should walk in but a friend from my sailing club back in the UK. She was visiting her son in Bondi for a few weeks and had just popped in Sydney harbour to while away the time. Unexpected meeting in New Zealand. This concernes my good friend Peter who had spent a few years sailing his catamaran from the UK to New Zealand. He had hired a car for a tour of NZ and had pulled into a dusty carpark at a beauty spot and sent dust over two pedestrians. He went to appologise and found out they were British. Strangely they came from the same part of the UK as himself and then found they they both knew, quite well, Eric. (note they are both a bit eccentric and are memorable). Eric was my good friend from the Scouts and had also been on the Spanish Scout trip. Doug and Lesley Eyles
Total votes: 328
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:23:38 +0000Coincidence ID:3676

Same Birthday

We have three generations but four people with the same birthday in my family. My mother: Winifred Smith (nee Jennings (born Hereford, Herefordshire) 7th August 1933 Myself: Paul Andrew John Smith (born Hereford, Herefordshire) 7th August 1955 My eldest daughter: Natasha Alison Dawn Smith (born Truro, Cornwall) 7th August 1986 My son: Simon Ian John Smith (born Truro, Cornwall) 7th August 1987 I also got married (now divorced) on 7th August 1984 Neither myself, or my two children were planned! My daughter was born late and my son early and all of us were natural births!
Total votes: 295
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:22:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3675

Car plates match

I live in one of three similar houses in a village. Without collaberation, each family owns a dark blue car with the registration beginning WG07.
Total votes: 332
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:22:44 +0000Coincidence ID:3674

Prayer answered or Coincidence ?

As a newly converted catholic in the 1990s, when my father needed a serious operation, I decided to have a mass said for him. The operation was due for February of that year and so in early February I requested a mass be dedicated to my father, rather hoping that it would be at one of the February masses. My father was not religious and would not have welcomed or understood this request. I said in prayer, " I know my dad is very anti God but please let me know you are with him " The date of the mass allocated to my father was 26th March of that year. My father's operation did not take place in February - it was rescheduled for - 26th March at 6 p.m - the very time the mass was being said.
Total votes: 279
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3673

Mrs

My son has two children by two different partners, both children were born on 14th February, five years apart. My son shares his birthday with his neice, 34 years years apart.
Total votes: 317
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:15 +0000Coincidence ID:3672

Old Friend

My name is Beryl. I attended Holly Lodge High School in Liverpool. Whilst in sixth form I had 2 close friends, Shelagh and Pat. We left school in 1956. We three attended different Universities and lost touch for many years. We were all aware that we had married but because we were no longer close we neither attended weddings nor knew the nanes or professions of the three husbands. During the academic year 1986-87 I studied for a Master's Degree in Manchester University. One of my tutors was Professor Tom Christie. A man for whom I had great admiration. Following an inspiring lecture one morning I was discussing the content with a friend, at that time she was a lecturer in the Shcool of Education, and the conversation turned from the professional to the personal. This lecturer mentioned the nickname of Professor Christie's wife, Boz, in respect of something totally unconnected with the matter in hand. I did not immediately invest this name with any importance. However, much later in the conversation, I asked (apropos of nothing) the lecturer if she was aware of the proper name of Boz. I was prompted by absolutely nothing to ask this question, nor was it important that I should know this person's name. Therefore when my friend informed me that the Professor's wife bore the name "Pat" I confounded both myself and my friend by ststing with some force that this Boz-Pat was one of my best friends from school. I remember that both of us were white faced, trembling and not a little scared! Several days later I was invited to a small party in the University to be given by Professor Christie. This was a surprise to say the least. The party was in full swing when Professor Christie approached me and asked me to look towards the entrance. When I looked at the doorway I noticed several persons amongst whom was a junoesque woman who was clearly appraising me. As she made her way directly towards me I felt no connection. When she greeted me by my maiden name I was taken aback as this was not a name by which I was known in University circles and it was only when I looked directly at her that I recognised the eyes as those of my long ago friend from the sixth form, Pat! She was indeed the Professor's wife. It appeared that the party had been secretly arranged by the Professor to test the assertation I had made weeks earlier. His wife had immediately recognised me from the doorway, for apparently I had altered very little during the thirty years intervening years, and she had approached me in the belief that this meeting was a coincidence. It was of course no coincidence but I believe that my curious connective leap was indeed a coincidence.
Total votes: 327
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:02 +0000Coincidence ID:3671

Coincidence Squared?

For the past week I have (for the first time in my life) been researching psychopaths on the internet. I am doing this because of a piece of writing I want to do and have never done research of this type before. This morning I heard an article on Radio 4's Today programme about the analysis of coincidence and less than five minutes later there was a trailer for the programme "Saturday Live" on which Jon Ronson, the author of "The Psychopath Test" was to be interviewed. </p> <p>Coincidence squared?
Total votes: 342
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3670

ex-colleagues, same event

While working at our local theatre costume hire last Sunday, I encountered an ex colleague whom I hadn't seen for many years. She was hiring a 1940s costume for a 'Secret Cinema' event in London the following weekend. While she was looking for her costume, a second woman came in to hire a similar costume for the same event. She turned out to be another colleague from the same workplace. None of us had been in touch since we left about 15 years ago.
Total votes: 308
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3669

mauriceG

I have a neighbour who shares my birth date (not a big coincidence), BUT we have discovered that we were both born, (22 years apart) on Easter Sunday 21st April, 1935 and 1957. There were only four or five Easter Sundays on 21st April in the last century.
Total votes: 393
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:19:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3668

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