Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

House buying

When buying my first house, I looked around dozens of homes for sale in Bristol - somewhere I'd lived for a couple of years (I grew up in East Anglia). After weeks of searching I was shown one home and got the immediate feeling that this was the one to buy. Not unusual I know, but six months later, after buying the house and moving in, my aunt was doing some family research and discovered that my great great great uncle used to live in the very same house. I had no previous knowledge that any of my distant relatives lived in Bristol.

Late for Work Excuse

I regularly used to be late for work, my supervisor became increasingly annoyed and gave me a good telling off. The next day I overslept so I made up a story about my cat bringing a blackbird into the kitchen and having to wait for my neighbour who liked animals to return from dropping someone at the station so that I could ask her to come in and remove the bird. Since everyone in the office knew I couldn't bear birds the story was accepted and nothing more was said. The next morning, the entire situation happened exactly as I had lied about it the day before.

A Dream Which Almost Came True

I dreamt one night that I was at work. The emergency evacuation alarm went off followed by an announcement which seemed very confusing. With other colleagues I tried to find my way out of the building, but the lights went out, and it was rather scary and in my dream we got lost. Next morning I told a colleague while we were standing at the coffee machine. That lunchtime I went out to do some shopping and to spend a short time in St James' Park. When I got back this colleague told me that I had missed an emergency evacuation.

Mrs Sylvia W

My father, John Edward B, was born in 1913 and was the eighth child in the family born on the eighth day of the eighth month (August)

A Change Of Perception

In the Seventies I was a young single Police Officer in a rural force.

telephone boxes

I was on holiday in London in the old days of concertina wooden doors to telephone kiosks in Piccadilly Underground phoning my Aunt and I asked her when she had last seen her brother - my Uncle. I moved position in the box and discovered he was on the phone in the next box

Leap year babies

Some years ago I attended a course in Canterbury. Of the 20 or so attenders three of us were parents, with a total of five children. Out of these, two shared the same birthday: 29 February (different years).

Telephone Call

When I was 15 or 16 (1960/1961) I decided to ring my pal who lived down the road. I picked up the phone to dial and there wasn't a dial tone. Whilst I was waiting for a dial tone to come on, my pal spoke (to himself) saying something like 'where is he'. I had picked up the phone to ring him at the point in between him dialling the last number at his house and the phone ringing at mine.

House Name

We moved into our home on the 18th December 1998 and decided to rename the property. My Mother in Law thought Holly Cottage had a nice festive ring and we placed this on the deeds. A few years later my Wife's Uncle searched the history of our home and discovered that it used to be a market garden and the owner's name was Henry Holly.

Birthdays down the generations

in three generations, granny has three children girl1, boy, girl2 girl2's older child (a boy) has the same birthday as girl1, the oldest child in her generation and boy's youngest child (in a family with the same pattern as his own: girl, boy, girl) has the same birthday as girl2, i.e. the last child in a family with the identical pattern. From granny's perspective: her oldest child has the same birthday as her oldest grandchild, and her youngest child has the same birthday as her youngest grandchild (of seven), in a family with the same pattern as her own.

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