Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Chance Encounter

I live in Australia. For five-and-a-half years I was in the worst relationship of my life with a person I would later learn, from various sources including specialists, was a borderline/narcissistic personality. By the end of it my sense of self had been almost completely destroyed, I had no confidence, everything had become a kind of relativistic miasma, my self-esteem was shot, I couldn't think about the future and barely had the energy to get through the day.

Radio and CD Player in sync

Last week I was driving along listening to Classic FM radio and a couple of minutes into one piece of music (it was Borodin), I decided it didn't match my mood so I switched to my 6 disc cd player in which I have kept the same fairly diverse discs for months if not years. To my complete bafflement, it seemed I had failed somehow to switch, so I switched back to the radio - and then I realised that my CD player had picked up on exactly the same track, and merely a "cat's whisker" behind!

Australian visit

Our son, who lives in the UK, decided to attend the Rugby World Cup competition in Sydney. He contacted his Godmother, who lives in Sydney, simply to say he would contact her at some stage during his visit. He sat down at one of the matches to discover that his Godmother was in the seat directly behind him.

How strange!

I have lived in various parts of the country over a forty year period and moved to my present address in Dorset 5 years ago. I signed on with a new doctor and on talking to the nurse at the 'introductory' medical found we had been born in exactly the same part of town in Portsmouth and later moved to exactly the same part of town at the north end of the island and attended the same school only fifteen years apart.

Of all the basilicas on all the mountains in all the world...

In October 2010 Bradford Cathedral Choir undertook a short tour of Catalonia, singing in and around Barcelona. My son and I have been singing in this choir for a few years and went on the tour. One of the events on the tour was to be a 15minute slot singing in the Basilica at Montserrat, where visiting choirs are permitted to do a short session at lunchtime on Mondays. We duly arrived at the top of the mountain and were waiting outside the Basilica to put our robes on and warm up our voices.

Mr Michael D

I was born and grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire in 1970. I moved to London and became a doctor and one of my good friends from home moved to London and became a lawyer. He became a partner in a London law firm in 2008. In 2010 I became a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Hastings in East Sussex. The secretary I was given had lived in Hastings for many years but this was her first secretarial job. One day I was talking to my friend on the phone and my secretary asked what he did. I told her and it turned out her sister worked for the same firm as she was a legal secretary in London.

Flight neighbour

It was about 1995; I was about 55 at the time. I was on a family-related trip to Aus (NSW), decided to go up to Queensland (Airlie Beach) for some SCUBA on the Barrier Reef. Signed on to a 3-day boat trip, with about 10 others, all of them total strangers in their 20s or so, origins from all over the world.

a musical coincidence

In the spring of 1985 I was at an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Handel. The exhibition contained several portraits and a number of music scores. Not unnaturally there was some background music going on as one walked round it. At the time I was visiting, the music was the composer's Music for the Royal Fireworks. And on a music stand was the original manuscript of... the Musc for the Royal Fireworks. As I approached the exhibit I noticed it was open at the movement called La Rejouissance. And the music playing was...

Birth dates

My brother and I were both born on the 26th of the month. His birthday 26th October and mine is 26th September.

same town

On the 30th of December I went out with two people for a drink and the subject came up about New Years' Eve. They told me one of them would be in Oxenhope, West Yorkshire ringing bells. I went out on New Years eve with two people I hadn't met before who had been long-term partners many years ago. After midnight a text came through `happy new year from Oxenhope with the ringing of the bells` A few minutes later I was chatting with my two new friends who told me they'd lived together for ten years in West Yorkshire. Where?

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