Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

My Colleague's Party

This happened maybe 20 years ago now. I used to commute from my area, a city of around 150,000 people, into a big city of around a million about an hour away (depending on traffic) for my job. One weekend a colleague was having a party at his house in that big city. Normally I didn't like to go back into the city but for some reason I can't remember, I decided to go. At one point in the evening, I'm sitting near this woman and in the course of trying to make the sort of polite conversation one has with strangers you know you'll never see again, I ask her where she's from. When I tell her in turn where I'm from she replies that her parents live in the same smaller city I do. I ask her what part of that city they live in? She says it's this really obscure place that I've probably never heard of. I encourage to her say it as I've lived in that city all my life and so I might know where it is. She gives in and tells me the name of the street, which is very unique. They were my neighbours 2 doors down. I confirmed her parents' last name, and was able to describe their house.

Lost contact

A few weeks ago I had a lot of excess energy from a work call, decided to schedule some catch-up calls with friends I haven’t spoken with in 5-10 years. Thought if I had the number of an ex from (almost exactly) 2 years ago, would reach out to him as well; it was nice catching up with old friends, maybe it’d be nice to catch up with him as well, but I didn’t have it, so oh well. I had deleted his number and text chain/photos a while ago - no contact. Later that day, with so much excess energy, decided to finally go through a year’s worth of credit card statements and health ins benefits to declutter/file them away - came across a bookstore receipt from 2015 for two books on marriage, one of which we talked about on our last date. Phone number written on the receipt, no name but ex’s area code, and his name came up when I googled the number - decided not to text since he previously said he was not interested in being friends and thought it best to respect that boundary. Shredded the receipt by hand since it had my name on it and tossed it in the trash. Talked to a friend who said I was overthinking it and since it’s a pandemic, should reach out.

College Coincidence

I live in NC, but went to school in VA. My school is a very small women’s college. I decided to plan a reunion for alumni who lived in my city. I picked a location in downtown, and then found out that the owner’s mother and best friend were alumni of the same school. So, I guess, serendipitously enough, out of all the bars, restaurants and meeting places in the city chose the right one!

Hemachromatosis coincidence

My boyfriend was diagnosed with a condition called hemachromatosis, ie iron overload. Upon receiving this knowledge, I began researching the condition on the Internet, and came upon two helpful looking books, one of which was a cookbook. I need to buy these for him! I thought to myself. Then I began to wonder who the authors were. I googled them. They are leading naturopathic doctors that deal with this condition, and they live here in the town that we live in, and their office is literally less than a mile from his house. I was able to pick the books up in person. To boot, my boyfriend’s ancestors made horseshoes for the Union during the Civil War, so there is that other “iron overload” coincidence.

The Girl on the Promenade

My name is Martyn Lee, . I live in Straford upon Avon. In June 1953 my parents booked a family holiday in Devon. It was in a caravan at Looville Holiday Park in Goodrington, Torbay. It’s now a housing development but in the early 50s it was a busy little holiday park packed with static caravans.<br /> I was 6 years old and in my third year at my Infant School in Birmingham. I was in a mixed class of about 36 children. A big class, but these were the height of the Baby Boomer years. My parents plan was to take me out of school for two weeks in term time. In those days there was no law against this and your parents simply wrote a note to the school on your return. Understandably schools didn’t like this, but it was common practice. I was therefore sworn to secrecy. Under no circumstances was I to tell my teacher or any classmates of the planned holiday.<br /> In those pre motorway days the journey to South Devon from Birmingham in my Dad’s 1938 Morris 8, maximum speed 55 mph downhill, took about eight hours. On the Saturday morning we set off at first light, being mid June this was around 04.30.

Horse Story

I was visiting Charleston, SC. Where I was staying, there was a beautiful equestrian center. The horses were in the pastures and as I walked down the alleys between the fields, they all started coming up to the fence line. I was struck by the similarities many of the horses bore to the horses of my childhood. I grew up riding at a barn in Maryland called Columbia Horse Center; my barn memories are my favorite memories. Later that evening, I was drinking a glass of wine at the Lodge, and I began chatting with a couple. Where were they from? Maryland. “We live in Howard County,” they said, right next to a horse farm. I get chills. “Which one?” I asked. “Columbia Horse Center.”

A Recluse and Friends

I am agoraphobic. I can list the people I know within 200 miles all on one hand. Let me give them fake names. Sarah is like a sister to me. Betty and her daughter Samantha are friends who I am not super close with. Samantha introduced me to her best friend Alice who lives a full hour south of me about 9 months ago. No one else. Not even on social media. Literally everyone I know. I am head over heals about Alice. I have heard about her family and personal issues. We are sort of close. I live in Kansas City, so the population I know, statistically, is very small. Sarah is visiting me this evening. She works up the street, and is talking to me about her co-workers. A father and daughter we will call Al and Tina. Tina is going through a tough time, and Sarah thinks I will really like Al. I offer to help out Tina as her issues fall into my wheelhouse. Sarah agreed to bring both Tina and Al over to meet me. A few minutes later I happen to scroll past a photo of Alice. Alice, from an hour south of here is Tina's sister/Al's daughter. My world is not really getting larger. My closest friend around here happens to be working with the family of the girl I am into.

The Lawyer and His Client

The Facts 1. Many years ago (maybe 13-15 years) I worked at a call center for a phone company. I have not lived in that city for almost 8 years. I am now hundreds of miles away. 2. Three years ago I was falsely accused of a crime. The accusations were about the level of vision I have. I hired an attorney, and we had several in person discussions regarding my case. This happened for a full year. 3. After more than a decade I finally found an eye doctor who was able to get me the correction I needed. A few weeks after I got my glasses and corrective equipment, I was out to dinner with a friend. I had a panic attack and headed to the bathroom to hide, but the stalls were full. I waited and this guy walks in front of me. I know him. We didn't really talk much, but we had been on the same team at the customer service call center all those years ago. I have not recognized a face in over a decade, and what are the odds that I would recognize a person from all those years ago, all those miles away? He also happened to be my attorney. Of all the people in the world for me to recognize, it was the person charged with defending me.

So many coincidences to not even be coincidences

My daughter’s best friends birthday is January 14th, the same date my brother past. Her other friend’s birthday is August 10th, the same date of my dad passing. We know of 2 other children in my small town who are my daughter’s same age who have August 10th birthdays. I recently found out her adult cousin’s on my daughter’s dad’s side birthday is August 10th. This same cousin has a wedding anniversary August 29th which is my birthday. I also recently found out that my newer friend’s wedding anniversary is August 10th. My new neighbor’s birthday is the same as my brothers (rip) August 24th and his brother’s birthday is the same as mine, August 29th. The extra coincidence is the brother part of this, tho mine as passed. I also just remembered that another friend of my daughter’s sister was born on August 10th. There are too many of these connections to be random coincidences.

Day of Song Release

I have been working with a producer who had struggled with my song due to the melody timing and key. But, after persistence, we finally got a completed song that I can proudly release. I have never met her in person as we do communicate completely online and don't know each other. I made some changes to the song, mainly the choruses, and then I sent her a private link to let her hear the changes. She liked them. I had also sent a 2nd message as I forgot to let her know the date of the release. She got back to me and said something like this, "What a coincidence! The 10th July is my birthday." I replied, "Wow! Amazing!' I wonder sometimes if things are really a coincidence or if they're pre-destined. I am a Christian.

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