Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

meeting neighbour

This happened three years ago. (sorry I can not be more specific with dates) I was visiting the Treck Cliff Cavern, Blue Jon mine in Hope Valley, Derbyshire on business. After the business was concluded I was taken down the mine and cavern by one of the guids. We (the guide and I) were in a bit of the mine not normally open to the public when a party of tourists passed on its way out from the cavern. In that party were a neighbour and his wife. I was so surprised I could not even speak and they passed by oblivious to my presence. To put this in context. Hope Valley is not a through road so has to be a specific destination. I live on the Black Isle, some 400 miles away, and we were 300 feet underground. I am tempted to say "beat that" but no doubt somebody can.
Total votes: 957
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:08:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3291

Chance meetings

I live in Durham, was staying in Edinburgh with wife, crowded restaraunt, asked to share table with two women - mother and daughter from NW Scotland mother was cousin of my ex's wife, daughter went to school with ex's children. On another occasion I parked my bike in an office doorway in Kinlochbervie to shelter from rain and sort out a problem withbike, it was a Sunday so didn't think it was a problem, it turned out to office of same ex-girlfriend's husband. Ended up having dinner at their house.
Total votes: 959
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:07:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3290

Encounter with a star

Visited the National Portrait Gallery and there was an exhibition of photos of English actors and actresses from the 1950s and 1960s. My wife and I for some reason stopped at the picture of Rita Tushingham and both reflected that we never seem to hear of her these days or see her. Next day we went to Euston Station and, having treated ourselves to first class tickets, were waiting in the first class lounge. Standing in a corner and talking on her mobile phone was . . . Rita Tushingham.
Total votes: 970
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:04:41 +0000Coincidence ID:3289

Brother's girlfriend

When I was first working in London as an 18 year old in 1974 I was invited to the opening of a new "disco" called Anthea's in Carnaby Street. It was very 70's, plush seating, waitresses on roller skates - just the thing to impress a spotty 18 year old like me ! Started to speak to a very glam waitress and commented that her accent sounded really nice - she told me she was from South Africa and her name was Eva and she had only been in the uk for a few months. I mentioned that my older brother lived in Jo'burg. "thats where I lived" said Eva, "where abouts does your brother live"? - I told her ihe lived in Hillbrow, "me to" said Eva. "what is his name, i might have met him"? - I told her it was Tony Randall, her face turned to thunder, she turned on her heels and she disappeared never to be seen again !!!!!!!!!! When I phoned my brother later that week I told him what had happened when I "met" the lovely Eva. He asked me to describe her and then confessed that he and Eva were having a very hot fling and when he "dumped" her she decided to go to the UK. So this poor waitress had fled from South Africa to get over a bust-up with my brother and finds herself being chatted up by his little brother in a nightclub in London !!
Total votes: 1086
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:59:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3288

Met Wife's ex + coincidental firstborn

I was working at a Backpackers in Brighton in late 90's with a plan to go travelling to OZ and NZ late in 98 with 2 friends. I was 25 at the time. Whilst there a couple came to stay at the backpackers - Michelle & Charlie (they had been there before) . Michelle's younger sister Vicki was herself travelling at that time in Oz. Before I left in the September of '97 for Oz Michelle suggested I try and meet up with Vicki and her boyfriend etc - so wrote down a PO box number and thought no more of it, as Oz was such a massive place. Though Vicki had sent a couple of pictures of her trails in Oz and I must admit to remarking to myself that she looked a 'beautiful girl'. So then off we went to Oz - had a great time down the East Coast, as three 25 year old british 'lads' would have. When we got to Townsville we decided to take a couple of days out on Magnetic Island - 'Maggie Island' as the Oz's called it from memory. Only Mini Mokes were allowed there and it was a beautiful place to stay - dont remember the hostel we stayed in but 1 night there armed with a pitcher of VB someone behind picked up that I had mentioned Brighton and he asked if I knew a backapackers there........then if I knew of a girl called Vicki (She had stayed there previously before my time visiting her sister) I told him that I knew her sister Michelle though. Turns out he had been travelling with Vicki - he was the ex - they had split up, Vicki had gone north towards Cairns and he had travelled down south. Thought not much of it at the time - small world etc. Got back to blighty in the feb 98 - and returned to the backpackers in Brighton - Michelle was now working there and guess who came to visit her ? Within 2 weeks we were 'an item' - left the backpackers to live together within 3 months and were married in 2000. So then coincidence no. 2 - My mum passed away in Apr 92. My most special person in my life at that time and I was devestated. Still life goes on and as above I believe fate, coincidence etc all happens for a reason. So a couple of years after Vicki and I were married we discovered that our first child was to be expected in December 2002. We did not want to know the sex and when we found out the expected due date me, my dad and sisters were quietly more than excited - Due date 8/12. Mum's birthday was the 9th. And true to fate our first child - a girl, Bella was born on the 9th. (Although my Mum's name was Anne her nickname at school was Bella) What other name could she have had ?!!
Total votes: 1147
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:58:20 +0000Coincidence ID:3287

Family Births

My Father is the middle of 3 brothers, My Dads older brother has all daughters (2) My Dad had 3 sons (i'm the middle brother) My Dads Younger Brother has all Girls (2) My Older Brother has has all girls (2) I as the middle brother has all Boys (2) My Younger brother and his partner have just given birth to a baby girl My wife and i had a miscarrige 4 years ago, my mother is conviced that as middle brother we can't have girls and that the miscarridge was due to the fact that my wife was carrying a girl (unsubstantiated), I explained to her it was a coincidence but she is obsessed and my little brother having a baby girl last week fuels the fire. What are the odds!
Total votes: 1102
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:48:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3286

old friend

My Name:Albert Grant Friend 's Name: Phil Andrews Location:Nanjing Road East,Shanghai,China Event:My 1st visit to China on Arsenal F.C pre-season Asia Tour Thurs 14 July 2011 - Hotel I pre-booked was unavailable so went to different hotel with a mate. Fri 15 July 2011 - we got a taxi to the the metro station, which was near the original hotel and were just entering the station when I heard someone shout "Albert!", which intrigued me! I turned round and saw Phil! He was an Arsenal fan who used to drink with us and go to games,7 years ago! and was now working in Ordos,Mongolia and was in Shanghai,also on his way to watch the Arsenal match on Sat 16 July!
Total votes: 1073
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:47:31 +0000Coincidence ID:3285

matching words

I often read a book while my wife is watching television. It frequently happens that a word or phrase just spoken on television is the one i have just read at exactly the same time. I would expect this to happen with very commonly used words or where I am reading a newspaper and the news is on TV. However, it often happens with uncommon or obscure words or phrases, and what makes it seem strange is that the word is spoken at precisely the same moment that I am reading it. It happens so frequently that I now expect it and it's no longer remarkable. I haven't heard other people talk about this, but wonder how common it really is.
Total votes: 1107
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:32:53 +0000Coincidence ID:3284

Christmas thoughts

Had a lot to do this Xmas made myself a list and at the bottom I wrote smile Was speaking to my brother not long after I had made my list and he exclaimed he had had to make a list himself.. At the bottom of his was SMILE. Knock me over with a feather
Total votes: 1045
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:29:55 +0000Coincidence ID:3283

Book shop

I wanted a copy of guinness book of hit singles, went into the hospice bookshop,they didn,t have a copy. But while the ladies were helping me look, someone came in and donated a box of books, and on the top was ...guinness book of hit singles!
Total votes: 1003
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:25:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3282