Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Down the Line

Many years ago I phoned a friend of mine, Sarah. On picking up the receiver (house phone, pre-mobile days), instead of hearing a dial tone the line was blank. After a short pause I heard a "hello", and it was Sarah! She had phoned me and I had picked up my phone to call her just before it started to ring.

birthday coincidence

good morning i heard your piece on the radio this morning and you quoted the chances of three children born to the same parents and sharing birthdays. my example is similar in that myself and my brother (two only children) share our birthday with our mother. i was born on her 23rd birthday and my brother was born on her 34th birthday. myself 2 days late and my brother 10 days late. what are the chances of that? regards art

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.

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.

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!

Surprise birthday party

During my first semester of college, in December 1963, I was contacted over the winter break by someone I'd known in high school who said that plans were in the works to throw a surprise birthday party for a mutual friend and told me to call Laurel, at whose parents' apartment in upper Manhattan the party was being held.

Chance Meeting on a Beach !

I was a graduate of University of Kent until 1982 when one of my best mates went off to University of California to do his MA . In 1984 lying on a beach in Ios, Cyclades i threw back an American football to an American youth on a European tour who was coming to London and due to stay with the mother of a boy he had met at university in California, who lived in Romford, Essex . He unfortunately had misplaced the phone number of the lady. I was able to supply him with that number there and then as it was my students friend mum !!!

Jetsetting in the Lake District

I was brought up in Malaysia, and as an ex-pat our family were regular fliers to and from the UK. We once had a family holiday touring the north of England, and one of our stops was the Lake District. Having dinner at the hotel that evening, my mother thought she vaguely recognised someone sitting at a nearby table.

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.

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