Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

You are not going to get away...

Before going to art college, I went to a party where I sat next to a beautiful girl. We discussed colleges we were going to, I, to Sheffield, her to Leeds. I never went to Sheffield but Newcastle upon Tyne instead. My grant was delayed for six weeks in term 1 because someone else's name had been put on it. At half term I wanted to move to a new flat, so I asked people on my fine art course if they knew of one. Frances was moving out of her share so I went round to look at it. There was the girl from the party, who had not gone to Leeds and whose name was the one on my grant cheque. She still controls my money and is the mother of our (now adult) children.

Discovering a relative

I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, but was born and lived for my first 30 years in Swansea. I have a daughter who is a teacher in a boarding school in Shrewsbury. She is also an Asst. Housemistress at one of the boarding houses. This term they have a new Matron. Matron has a dog, as does my daughter. I was visiting my daughter last week, and took her dog for a walk. He's a very friendly dog, and always wants to say hello to other dogs. We saw a woman with a dog, and the two dogs greeted each other and started boxing. I called my dog's name, and the other woman realised it was my daughter's dog, and introduced herself as the new Matron of the boarding house. We decided to let the dogs play, and had a chat about her new role, where we lived etc (she was from Liverpool, but had lived all over the world). She had to go back, and I was going to continue my walk, but then decided I'd walk back with her. She then asked if I'd always lived in Pembrokeshire. I told her that I was from Swansea, and she replied that her mother was from Swansea. I asked which part, and she said her mother was from Bonymaen, which is where both my parents lived.

Miss Pye

Pregnant with my second child in 1972, my husband and I looked for a house to buy. By chance, we ended up buying 18 Lansdowne Road, Chatham from the people who bought it from my parents in 1952 when I was five years old. I was born in that house in 1947, a home birth. I was due to have a home birth too, my midwife Mrs Nobbs was off duty the day I went into labour so the second midwife, Miss Pye, delivered me of our son. When my mother visited she told me that Miss Pye had delivered her of me, in the same bedroom, 25 years before!

Mathematician and metro

I usually carry a few books to read while travelling. That day I had three books with me. One was about mathematicians, other one was a novel and another on nature. I preferred the novel the most usually to read while on metro trains. That one day, I picked the book about Mathematicians. The book name is mathematical universe. I scrolled down the contents randomly and decided to read the Russell's paradox chapter. I started reading slowly the introduction part. I came to one particular part, "..Bertrand Arthur William Russell died on second of February, 1970.." Lo and behold, I felt crazy! Why? Because that day was 2nd February! (though the year was 2020).

Breakfast & the Mentalist

Never do I go out to eat breakfast. But that one day I was asked to parcel Semya (food name) by my sister who had come to visit us after a long time. The place where I went to pack the breakfast has a token system. My token number was 43. After I came back home, had some breakfast with my sister and bid her a goodbye, I switched on Mentalist. It was recommended by my sister. I scrolled down a few episodes, picked some random episode and clicked on it. Then and there my heart went bam! There was a scene where the person who was lying dead on floor had number '43' written on their hand! What are the chances that I would see the number 43 twice in such short duration and at such odd places! P.S If its not number 43 it must be some other number. But I am 100 percent sure it was the same number in both these places (breakfast shop token number and the number on dead person's hand in mentalist)

The Starfish Arrives

Many years ago, I traveled to Egypt with my sister. This was a trip that had many adventures, many highs and many lows. There were also several interesting coincidences. The most coincidental coincidence occurred in Cairo, near the great pyramids and the Sphinx. In a cab on our way to the historical landmark, for some reason we were discussing what animal we could be, if we could be any animal in the world. After I dimly suggested I would be a lion, my sister answered that she would be a starfish. "Why a starfish?" I asked. "I think because they seem so peaceful, as they float through the ocean." Interesting, I thought. A couple days later, we were in a bad spot. I had lost something of value the night before, and I was desperately trying to find it. A cabbie pulled over in the middle of the road, when he saw us frantically arguing about it. He offered to help. The item, though was lost at a bar, and none of the bars were opened.

Birth/Death Family age coincidence

My Grandmother was 45 when my father was born in 1908. When she died in 1953 at the age of 90, my father was 45. My father was 45 when I was born in 1953. When he died in 1998 at the age of 90, I was 45.

grandsons

I was at school in the early 1960s with Eric and Chris, and we stayed in touch over the years. In our mid-60s we all became grandfathers - in the same month; we all had grandsons - and my grandson and Chris's grandson were born on the same ward of a London hospital.

Same apartment

I planned to move to Sydney from Canberra to pursue a career in magazines. It was very difficult to even get an interview with a Canberra-based home address. My partner, who knew of my magazine career aspirations, had already moved into a nice two bedroom apartment in Wollstonecraft on Sydney's lower north shore. To understand the magazine business and perhaps build contacts, I interviewed three editors for a newspaper feature article. One of them edited Total Girl, a magazine for tween girls. When a job was advertised at Total Girl, I excitedly applied, putting in the address of my partner’s apartment in Wollstonecraft where I would soon join him. At my job interview the editor told me she stopped cold when she saw the address and even rang her husband to check: she and he had lived there, in the same apartment, many years before. Years down the track I became editor of Total Girl and in its history, there haven’t been very many editors. But two of them would live, at different times, in the same Sydney apartment.

Matching names

I always have a “Yusef”, “Yosef”, “Yusuf” in my life, at any given time, however, there’s never more than one in my life at the same time. None of them share the same ethnic background.

Pages