Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

College friend living on same street (with other connections)

A few days ago I got a friend request on Facebook from someone I had been friendly-acquaintances with in college 10+ years ago. I would have ignored it, as I'm usually pretty selective about Facebook friends, BUT upon looking at his page I noticed that he and his wife have 3-year-old twin boys. What a coincidence, I thought: I am 35 weeks pregnant with twin girls. So I accepted his friend request (parents of multiples gotta stick together!). A few minutes later, he messaged me to ask if I lived on [certain street] in [city 300 miles from where we both went to college].

Went across the country to meet my neighbour

In an ill-fated tree-planting experience in Northern BC, Canada, I met a nice young couple, who were joining my planting team. They spoke French, as I did, and found out they were from Montreal, like me. I chatted with them some more, and found out they were in the same neighbourhood as me. Chatting with them even more, and it turned out that they lived across the street from me! We had to go over 4,000km to meet!

Grandparents of married couple were in the same choir without knowing.

One day my friend's father came back with a photo from an old box in the loft of his Grandfather singing in his choir. My friend's mother looked at the photo and recognised her Grandparents in the photo and assumed her husband has found one of her photos. But then they realised that both their Grandparents were in the same choir and that they hadn't realised it.

Friend`s phone call.

This happened to an unrelated military friend and myself in 1977. My buddy not having a phone went to his mother`s house to call me out of the blue. We had had no plans beforehand. Thinking about this person I not having a phone went to my sister`s house to call him. After saying my hello`s etc. I went to the rotary phone to call my friend. Before any ring I picked up the receiver to start dialing and my friend was on the line.

Two unconnected French friends of mine meet on Dover to Calais ferry

Some years ago, I was being visited by a friend ( Patrick) from Paris. During his visit, I received a postcard from another French friend( Jean-Pierre, from Grenoble) who was at the time on a walking holiday in Scotland. I was gobsmacked to hear later from Patrick that, on his return trip on the Dover-Calais ferry, he had sat next to another chap and started up a conversation. The chap was also French, and it turned out they both had a friend in Cambidge. Yes, it was Jean-Pierre.....

A bizarre sighting

At some time in the late 1990s, on a Sunday afternoon, I was sitting next to a stranger in a bar on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. I started talking to her, found out she was Canadian, and mentioned that I had spent quite a bit of time in Canada and was there during the tenure of Brian Mulroney, the former prime minister. She said that she disliked Brian Mulroney and probably (I can't remember exactly) gave me some reasons.

Sing a song of sixpence

Yesterday (1st March) for some unknown reason,I started contemplating the words of 'Sing a song of sixpence' and how at odds it is,with today's green philosophies, for it to be considered 'dainty' to bake blackbirds in a pie,and that the blackbirds subsequently sing from within a pie. Add to that the nose of the maid being snipped off,and it all seems a tad gory to be telling a child. Blow me down,if today,Richard Herring in the Metro newspaper ( on page 31,remarks that 'nursery rhymes are bloody twisted' and gives some exa

Met the one who signed my Visa

I am an Indian citizen and I applied for a visa to Colombia in June 2008 at the Colombian Embassy, New Delhi, India. I filled out the relevant forms given by the Embassy and submitted them along with my passport. I picked up the passport next day. I did not have to give an interview nor did I meet anyone in the Embassy. Few months into my stay in Bogota, Colombia (I was there on a year and a half long teaching program) I went for a Diwali (Indian festival) dinner/gathering in the Oct or Nov 2008.

The make up lottery ticket win

This is not mine but something I read that didn't get enough attention to it paid in the newspapers. Maybe about 10 years ago, but it could even have been 20, but less than 30 there was a family or person in the Bronx that bet the same numbers every week on the New York State lottery. And one week they won. Except they hadn't bought a ticket that week. Well, they picked themselves up where they were left and continued buying. 8 weeks later they won. yes, with the exact same numbers they always used.

English Literature's Fieldings & Joneses

“Of course, billions of such coincidences take place in the world every second. I dream of writing a big book: The Theory of Chance.” – Milan Kundera “In any event, whether it was a matter of one in a million or one in a billion, the meeting was absolutely improbable, and it was precisely this lack of probability that gave it value.