Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

I-pod tunes

Some years ago I was working on a project in Ethiopia, travelling backwards & forwards with a colleague who became a friend. We had 4 trips backwards & forwards, lots of hanging about. On one trip, we were stuck in Dubai airport & Dave persuaded me to buy an i-pod as they were so cheap. I got one that stored 800 pieces of music [same as Dave's, but green] which I quickly filled up, using it particularly when travelling. On our last trip, we were waiting for our plane in Gondar airport, sitting on the seats. I was listening to my i-pod on shuffle, as was Dave - we had a conversation about the fun of serendipity. A favourite of mine [First Song, played by Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny] came on & I showed my screen to Dave, as he'd introduced me to the CD. He held out his screen - same piece of music was playing! A few years later I was travelling on a train from London to Sheffield, sitting in airline-style seats. Again, I was listening to my i-pod on shuffle, when a Norah Jones track came on. I spotted Norah Jones on the screen of the lap-top being used by the guy in the seats in front of me - then saw it was the same song. One of the things I listen to on my i-pod is my dad, who was a trumpeter, playing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto 2. He's been dead for 30 years now, so it's nice to hear him playing. 3 years ago I decided to move to Edinburgh, 400 miles from where I was then living by myself. I was lucky enough to sell my house quite quickly to a couple who had recently got together. The man was rather cold & legalistic but his partner [maybe in compensation] was terribly war & a bit over-familiar. I just wanted the sale to go through & wanted as little contact as possible. For instance, during one call the woman told me to be sure I had a supportive friend with me when leaving the house as it would be so traumatic. I felt irritated, as I just wanted her partner to sign the papers, not give me counselling! As I was moving to a smaller place, I gave away lots of furniture & arranged for the rest to be put in storage for a month [until I took possession of new property] so the van came 2 days before the new owners were to take possession. I could do this because I was staying with a friend & driving off from her house with house-plants, etc. So, on the day before the new owners moved in, I went there by myself with borrowed hoover, mops, etc to do a final clean. It was great - I put i-pod [on shuffle] in my ears - CD player was in the van and cleaned away. When I finished hoovering, I put the hoover in the car & finished up by mopping the floors. Kitchen, utlity, dining room & finally, tiled floor in the hallway, out the door & take the keys to the agent was the plan. Just before the front door, on came my dad's trumpet!
Total votes: 390
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:39:23 +0000Coincidence ID:3714

Birthday dates

My parents had four children. The first and third were born on 8th March - in 1942 and 1948 respectively. The second and fourth were born on September 9th - in 1944 and 1953. Only two birthdays between the four of us. The siblings who share the same birthday are facially very similar to each other.
Total votes: 351
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:39:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3713

Ms

My Mother, Hilda, a Nova Scotian, was travelling in the Scottish Highlands, with a young Nova Scotian friend (Joan) who was at the time teaching in Germany. She had shipped her car from Nova Scotia to Gemany and they were travelling in it at this particular time. Joan was out of the car recording somebody singing a folk song. Mother was waiting patiently when a second car (UK registration) pulled up. 'Are you really from Nova Scotia?' was the question. Mother answered in a non-committal way that yes, she was. 'Oh, I was there a few years ago. Do you know the Annapolis Valley'. 'Yes', said Mother. 'Do you know the village of Lawrencetown?' 'Yes', said Mother. 'Well, when I was there I dated a lovely young farmer by the name of Clarence FitzRandolph. Do you happen to know him?' 'Yes', said Mother non-committedly again, 'I married him'. And that was the end of the conversation!
Total votes: 324
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3712

Seasonal birthdays?

Are birthdays hereditary? I take after my mother's side of the family, specifically her father and all have our birthdays in July/August. My mother's brother also takes after his father and fits the pattern. My sister takes after my father's side, and his father, plus his brother, and all of them have February/March birthdays. On asking people which of their parents they look like, then what are their respective birthdays, this pattern is almost always followed. Not to the month but to a couple of months usually. Maybe this research will demolish my theory but if not, is it co-incidence or a biological pattern?
Total votes: 307
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:41 +0000Coincidence ID:3711

Postcards

I buy sell and collect old postcards, I purchased a Louis Wain cat postcard from the continent, which I intended to sell (hopefully for profit). When it arrived I was extremely disappointed to find that it had been tampered with, the back was old but the wrong publisher and it was thicker than usual, I deduced that a Louis Wain front had been stuck to another old postcard, I had been caught. With nothing to lose I carefully peeled off the front layer and to my amazement underneath was an Arthur Moreland card. I have collected Arthur Moreland postcard since the 1960s and this was a very rare previously unseen (by me) postcard. It now sits proudly in my collection. How about that.
Total votes: 488
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:23 +0000Coincidence ID:3710

Euston Station

I live in Chester. A colleague lives in Blackburn. In May 2007 he was working in Lambeth, staying in London from Monday -Thursday. I had been doing some research for a contract in Blackpool when I was invited to an interview for a contract in Westminster. My colleague was also interested in the Blackpool contract so I collected some information about the work and loaded it onto a cd with the intention of posting it to him. I was travelling from Chester down to London on Thursday and intended to post the cd on the way to the station. The post office queue was such that I thought I would miss the train so I didn't post the cd but decided to post it once I got to London. On arriving at Euston I was walking across the main station concouse to the tube station when I saw my colleague walking towards me heading for a train to Manchester. Saved me the cost of posting the cd!
Total votes: 347
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:06 +0000Coincidence ID:3709

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana
Total votes: 314
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3708

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana
Total votes: 369
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3707

Anniversary coincidence

On a holiday in New Zealand in 2009 we met and made friends with an Australian couple, Pete and Wendy. When we visited Australia the following year, we met up with them again. During the course of our conversation, Wendy mentioned that they were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary in October 2011. When I asked her the date I was astonished to hear it was the 2nd October. That is the very day that my husband and I will be celebrating our Ruby Anniversary.
Total votes: 338
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:37:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3706

Mr John D Frew

I have four coincidences I would like to submit as follows; I was brought up on my father's small farm on the west coast of the Island of Arran in Scotland. We had a field above the farm that was used as a camp for both scouts and guides. In 1998 my wife and I were visiting my cousin in Vancouver. Her husband is a Presbyterian minister and, on the Sunday we attended his church. Following the service we went into the church hall for coffee and were introduced to other members of the congregation. We were speaking to a lady who was also a Scot and it turned out that she had been brought up in the small town of Kilsyth - outside Glasgow - where my wife had lived for a short time as an infant. When the lady asked where I came from, I said 'Arran'. "Ah" she said, "Machrie Bay". "Yes", I replied and she told me that she had spent a guide camp there in 1962 and that the boy from the farm had helped dig their latrine trench. "Yes" I replied, "and I still have the blisters". By coincidence, I was that boy! The second incident took place in Tobago last year where we met a Scots couple. I was born in Prestwick, on the Ayrshire coast, in a nursing home near the sea. The only other person I knew to have been born on the same nursing home was my sister. To my amazement, the lady had been born in the same nursing home just a few months after me. The third event concerns our daughter. When she was at university in London, she went into a M & S store and, whilst brousing, turned round to fine her Godmother standing behind her. On a more sombre note, I had a dream one night where our grandson and I were at Heathrow watching planes take off and land. In the dream, we were watching Concorde take off and, as she cleared the bank near the M4, I noticed flames coming from the engine of the aircraft. She made a turn to the left as the flames grew more intense and eventually crashed. To my horror, that is exactly what happened as she took off from Paris a few days later.
Total votes: 414
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:36:34 +0000Coincidence ID:3705

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