Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lucky 13

In the 1980s I was flying off with 12 other friends for a lads' holiday in Spain. As a nervous flier and fairly superstitious I was uneasy about travelling on Friday 13th. On check in I was given seat 13F. The departure board then showed our flight leaving from gate 13. As far as probability is concerned all fairly routine, but it did prompt many of my travelling companions to joke that I was/ we were all doomed. It then began to dawn on me that this was my 13th trip abroad and worryingly my 13th flight as 6 of my previous European holidays were via ferry crossings.

Second hand jacket

I went into an army and navy store in Leicester in 1969 to buy a jacket. I was browsing a rail of surplus and secondhand clothes and picked out an American combat jacket. I paid my 22s 6d at the till and left. After wearing it for a few weeks I decided it needed a wash. Inside the jacket was a hand written name and address. Bill Marshall, 82 Airborne, Soper Street, Long Island, New York. This guy was my late uncle who had been a GI and had met and married my father's sister, and after the war had returned to the Marshall family home.

Odd Cemetery Coincidence

In the town where I work, I walk around a local cemetery's paved roadway at lunchtime, for exercise. It's like a large park, pretty much safe from traffic except for occasional gravesite visitor's traffic, and I like to pass the time by reading names and dates on headstones, and wondering what their stories were, especially the ones who died young. I randomly stopped at one headstone, spying it from about three rows back from the path, as I was passing by. It belonged to a young-ish couple, who had died a few short years apart from each other, both in their 50's.

Family birthdays

Just listened to a BBC radio4 programme about coincidences where they interviewed you.

Driving license

Recently found out that my boyfriend of 3 years passed his driving test on my birthday and I passed my driving test on his birthday, both long before we met.

Plane crash

I grew up near Biggin Hill and developed a strong feeling that I one day I would see a plane crash – NB not a fear of being in a plane crash. As I got older even though I had moved away from Biggin Hill, the feeling got stronger and stronger until by my early 40s every time I saw or heard a plane doing anything unusual I would think ‘is this the one?’. I knew exactly what it would feel like watching in horror as a plane fell out of the sky.

Smashing face!

In Feb 2017 I looked in the mirror and, uncharacteristically, felt that my mouth was looking good for my age and that the Cupid's bow and upper lip were in particularly good shape. I decided to buy new lipstick next day. While walking to my car with the new lipstick I tripped over a pothole and fell flat on my face. The only damage was to my top lip - which despite being repaired by an excellent maxillo- facial surgeon is now permanently disfigured - the cupid's bow I was so proud of has been replaced by a two pronged scar.

Is this unusual?

Coincidences happen all the time in my life - so much so that I notice if none occur for more than a ciuple of days. II now realise I should try to keep a record - but it willl be time consuming. E.g yesterday afternoon I talked to a friend about how much I regretted not buying a property in Cambridge a few years ago. I then ordered some tile samples on-line. As I was paying I saw that the company's business address was Jesus Lane in Cambridge - where I used to live.

The Hakka hat coincidence

Invited to what promised to be boring dinner party in tiny hamlet in backwoods of N Notts with only 8 other guests, I decided to liven things up by wearing one of the collection of rare/ esoteric hats my husband brought back from his regular trips to obscure places. I had never worn any of these hats outside the house and my hat of choice for domestic jollifications was either an Uzbek shepherd's hat or a Turkmenistan police man's hat. However on this occasion I chose a hat I had never put on before a large traditional hat worn by members of the Chinese Hakka tribe.

The triple tea dance coincidence

The-dansants ?? In 1974 I was working in London in my gap year. One evening while walking past the Aldwych Hotel to Charing Cross I was approached by a young sandy-haired man with a clip board, He said he worked for one of the independent TV companies and was on the look out for 'interesting looking people' to invite to one of the regular tea- dances they held.

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