Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Cats and a haircut

I used to work as a vet in Burnley in Lancashire but moved to Lincolnshire more than a few years ago. Anyway, about six months or so after having moved I made a return journey to Lancashire to visit my friends and while I was there I decided to get my hair cut at my previous "usual" barbers. As I was sat in the chair, chatting away, the barber asked me how I was getting on in my new job. The lady in the chair next to mine overheard that I was a vet and now living in Lincolnshire and mentioned that her daughter also lived in Lincolnshire and had a cat. In fact, the cat had been to the vets the previous day. (You can see where this is going can't you?) "Where does she live?" I asked. "Woodhall Spa", was the reply. So I asked for the daughter's name and her cat's, and sure enough, I was the vet who had attended to the cat twenty four hours earlier. The chances of this happening depend on so many unrelated factors - my visit to Lancashire; deciding to get the haircut; the timing of both; the lady in the next chair deciding to have her hair done at that time; the daughter living in the village where she does and having a cat; the cat being ill, and me being on duty at the right moment.
Total votes: 336
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:15:51 +0000Coincidence ID:3656

A matter of time and place

I bought, here in the UK, a mechanical toy car, a present for my son. As a family we then traveled 500 miles to the East of France to visit relatives. The toy car was a great success but it was quickly realised that it needed some adjustments and for this a minute Allen Key would be needed (about 1mm). With just a couple of hours to closing time, prior to a holiday period, an journey to the not too local shopping complex was made. Time was pressing but the time we reached the shopping area and parked in one of those vast brick paved parking areas. The shops we visited could not help and finally we had to return to the car - a 100 or so meters across a now almost deserted car park. Something caught my eye, there resting in the small depression formed by the beveled edges of the interlocking prick paving - an Allen Key. What an extraordinary chance but was it the right size YES What are the chances of that ever happening again ? CM
Total votes: 316
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:15:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3655

The Tardis Lift

Over 40 years ago, a lift in a Liverpool hotel appeared to pick floors at random due to some fault. After several long waits over two days, whilst returning to our rooms for the night, I remarked to my colleague that "this lift is just like the Tardis", at that instant without warning the lift pinged the door opened and out strode William Hartnell , the then Dr. Who, in full costume with his silver topped cane. Needless to say, whilst standing open mouthed, the lift door closed, and our wait began all over again. info. In those days the Dr. of the day was unable to guide his craft, it took him to the point of need.
Total votes: 348
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:15:18 +0000Coincidence ID:3654

Coincidence in itself

I have always been interested in coincidences. The comment 'It's just a coincicidence' always seemed too dismissive. However, I nearly didn't know about the Cambridge study. I was lying in bed this morning reluctant to get up because it was Saturday. Radio 4 had gone off automatically at its usual time. I turned it back on, hoping for an interesting item, just in time to hear the request for coincidences.
Total votes: 383
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:15:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3653

Birthday Coincidence

My daughter was born on the same day as her dad, 27th October, her daughter stayed snuggly inside her mummy's womb, waiting to be born on the same day as her mum and grandad. The dr's though had other ideas, so because she was 2 weeks overdue the dr's wouldn't wait a day longer and the baby was induced one day before her mums and grandad's birthday! Also my son's baby is due about his birthday in July?
Total votes: 304
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:43 +0000Coincidence ID:3652

unlikely event venue

Last week I contacted a website called www.loveahappyending.com (LAHE) that features 30 authors from UK, US and Canada. My novels have a happy ending so I enquired about how I could join. Firstly, a writer in Lanzarote who runs another blog I belong to called www.famousfiveplus.blogspot.com had apparently just left LAHE as she would be unable to support the upcoming big book event LAHE is running in June. I could fill that vacancy. Secondly, this event, a book festival, is in a little place in Cotswolds called Tetbury - you know near where Prince Charles Lives? Oh, and it'll be in Sir William Romney's School - MY SCHOOL! I was born and bred in Tetbury, lived there until I was 18. My father was the Maths teacher. All pure and uncanny coincidence.
Total votes: 306
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:28 +0000Coincidence ID:3651

Same birthday

In the sixties my friend ended up sharing a flat with two other women in Edinburgh....on discussing their birthdays one day my friend had exactly the same birthday as one of her flatmates, and the same place of birth (a small village hospital in the Highlands)....after investigations it turned out that their mothers were in adjacent beds in that hospital!
Total votes: 338
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:12 +0000Coincidence ID:3650

Chinese Take Away

About a month ago I got in my car to collect a chinese meal from our local called Hong Take Away. Just after the radio came on, Honk Kong Garden by Siouxsie and the Banshees (a seventies song about a chinese take away) started to play on the radio. The song lasted for exactly the duration of the trip. For a while there I thought somebody had decided to accompany my life with a soundtrack. I'm game if they want to do it more.
Total votes: 327
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:12 +0000Coincidence ID:3649

Fancy meeting you here!

On a canal boating holiday in Yorkshire (where I live) in the early 1980s, as our boat glided under a footbridge, I saw a man whom I knew crossing the bridge above us. He was the manager of a small bookshop in Glasgow on whom I called in my day job as a publisher's rep. I hailed him and we had a brief chat.
Total votes: 332
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:11 +0000Coincidence ID:3648

chance encounter

Travelling from Cumbria back to Leicester My friend suggested we stop in Lancaster for coffee.On the way back to the car my friend saw a small dress shop and suggested going in.During a conversation with the owner ,it transpired that she and my friend had both lived in Nigeria at the same time and travelled on the same boat.Further conversation revealed that she had owed a public house in a village in SW Lancashire where my friend and I had once lived!
Total votes: 319
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:14:08 +0000Coincidence ID:3647

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