Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Dog Friends

We own two dogs, both West Highland Terriers, one called Maggie the other Vanilla. I made friends with someone on our street who also owned a (at that time 6 month old) Westie - coincidentally called Maggie. Little Maggie and Vanilla grew up (although not much as both are small for the breed) and were the best of friends. Sadly my friend, Kasey, moved back to San Francisco taking little Maggie with her and our long dog walks ceased. Six months later Kasey's sister came to London and wanted to visit Portobello where we live.

double Hastings visit

Having never been to Hastings before I got a job (I'm a photographer) there to do a business portrait. While driving there, I got a call from another client to do a job in Hastings the following day. There was initial confusion because I assumed that the two jobs must be connected - they were not connected in any way. Instead of driving back to London, and returning the next day, I booked into a lovely old hotel, and spent a great evening eating in a very nice restaurant, and visiting the castle. I have never been back since.

Mobile phone coincidence

When shopping in a local supermarket I bumped into a friend whom I hadn't seem for some time. While we were chatting, my mobile phone, which was in an inside pocket of my jacket, began to ring. Before putting the phone in my pocket I must have forgotten to lock the keypad and, reacting to my movements, the phone had set itself to the Contacts list. As I took the phone out to silence the ringtone, I glanced at the screen. It was displaying the contact details for the friend to whom I was talking .

Barry Higgs Pastetable and file

I needed an additional pastetable for a boot-sale and set off to buy one but down the road I found one lying in the road. I was due to hand over a rented property but the replacement key I had had cut didn't work. At 9.15 I visited a local ironmonger to buy a file to adjust the new key. The shopkeeper was very edgy. 'What's the problem' I asked. 'It's Monday' he replied, 'I've been open 15 minutes and you are the third person to come in and all each of you has bought has been a file. What the hell is going on'.

Watch incident!

I was shopping at the all night Sainsburys in Islington, when I looked at my watch and noticed the bezel was missing. My heart sank,as it was a Rolex submariner, and nothing Rolex comes cheap! The trolley I was pushing,was empty,(I'd only just arrived) except for a watch bezel! I picked it out and put it safely in my pocket. When I got home, I pulled out the bezel, hoping that I might be able to replace it myself, only to find, it wasn't the bezel from my watch, but a completely different make.

FORMER COLLEAGUE

I returned from Northern Nigeria after two years as a teaching volunteer at a college just off the Niger boarder. I went for a drink in London with a University friend whom I hadn't seen for three years. We went for a drink, tried three pubs and ended up in a crowded one in Chelsea. I was speaking about my experiences and the people I worked with, in particular the other volunteer who had gone out with me but left after the first year and I had had no contact with. I described him, a large man with a bright ginger beard.

Stranger asks do you know

In about 1985 whilst camping in Strontian, a small village in Scotland, we were talking to a fellow camper who asked where we were from. We didn't see the point of being specific but he persisted until we had revealed we were from The Midlands - Northamptonshire - near Silverstone Circuit - until we needed up with our home in Whittlebury. "Do you know Carol Elliott?" he asked. We did. "she taught in my school in Buckingham" he said.

Renting the same house as the property my father was born in

I applied to study at Manchester Uni, but missed a grade so as usual with other students went through the clearing process. I successfully secured a place at Newcastle University, but accommodation-wise the halls were full. I luckily had two friends planning to study art at Northumbria college and they had secured a flat with a spare room. I moved in. My Father heard the address when I explained where I was going to live and went quiet. It turns out he was born in the house and my great grandfather built it! I had no idea about this, as had never been to the area in my life. Very weird!

100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's First Bluebird

It is the 100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's first Bluebird (racing car) which was built in 1912 in Bromley (south east London), where I live. He and his son (Donald Campbell) were born in the area in Chislehurst. I went to my local copy/printers in the town on thursday and asked for a number of copies of an article on this to circulate to friends and family.

Three chance meetings in three European cities in three weeks

I went travelling round Europe in 1982, and met a guy called Tony in the youth hostel in Heidelberg. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was a Cambridge graduate student, as I was going up myself the following October. A week or two later, we were amazed to bump into each other again, quite by chance, in Venice. When we bumped into each other a third time on the Gare du Nord in Paris, he was so surprised he bought me an ice-cream.

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