Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Same hospital bed, same name

About 10 years ago I was having an operation in a London hospital I arrived during the afternoon and when it got to tea time the staff handing out meals claimed that I had cancelled my meal which I vigorously denied, telling them truthfully that no-one had asked me anything about my meal preferences. The next morning a group of nurses on the next shift congregated round my bed and the lead nurse said, "This is Mrs ....". One of the nurses interrupted and said, "No, she went home yesterday morning." I interrupted and confirmed that I was indeed Mrs ...

timing

During a commercial of Sportscenter, I reach over to my phone to start playing Wordscapes Uncrossed where you trace letters in a circle to identify the words those letters might form. These five letters made the word "blimp" and just as I traced them to form the word, the word "blimp" was spoken on the TV synchronized exactly to my tracing.

The same ship name

My Uncle Jim, with whom I share my name, was torpedoed and sunk twice whilst serving in the Merchant navy in WWII. He never talked about this but my father mentioned it briefly once and I knew nothing of the circumstances. Recently I was researching our family history and after help from the National Archives I at last discovered the ships he served on. The second sinking was of the ms ADDA, an Elder Dempster passenger liner which in the early hours of the morning of 8 June 1941 had been the lead vessel of a convoy which had been dispersed en route to Liverpool from Africa.

Professor Nicholas Pickwoad

I worked for many years as a conservator of rare books and manuscripts, and one afternoon in the October 1985 was working on a manuscript volume of harpsichord sonatas by the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti, one of about 20 volumes of many different sorts of music sent to my workshop for conservation by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. As usual, my radio was tuned to Radio 3, and I realised after a few minutes that the music I was listening to was not only by Scarlatti, but actually the same sonata that I was working on within the volume at that moment.

Twins?

I met X on a dating site a few years ago.

Love Beyond Borders

I had a spiritual awakening since years ago and it led me to a man I held particular bond with that was unique. Some years later a met a man who was identical in bond but eventually drove me to my current partner. I started seeing sjgns and strange things happened everytime i went away. The last attempt i made i totaled my car after hitting a tree. I gave up trying to leave. He did also because he experienced similar things. The night after i hit a tree my cousins husband(close friend) hit a tree and was killed.

Garfield's

I was in a car with new friends heading south on Lake Ave in Pasadena. I had never been to this area of Pasadena before. The conversation led to me telling a story of travelling in London many years earlier. I was telling of how I'd gotten sick from eating at a restaurant called Garfield's. At the exact moment I said "Garfield's", my eyes landed on a sign we were passing "Garfield's Tax Service". This type of coincidence has happened to me so many times over the years that I rarely remember them.

CA tag

While riding in the backseat of my grandparents' car (heading north on Santa Anita Ave in Monrovia, CA) with them in the front and Mom in the back with me, I asked my grandpa why he hadn't gotten my grandma a personalized plate (as that's very popular in CA). He told me no combinations of grandma's name were available from the DMV and I told of having the same experience with the plate I wanted to get - D Link. Just as that conversation ended a car pulled up next to us with the license plate D Link. It was on a gold Nissan 280z with 1984 Olympic commemorative plates.

Whist

When playing whist (diminishing contract) as a child, I was dealt a hand of four cards. I asked my grandfather what to lead if all cards were equally good: I'd been dealt all four aces!

Reunited on a bus

Twenty years ago I was holidaying in Lebanon with a friend. We sat on a tour bus and two young women in front of us heard us talking English and turned round to talk to us. They were French. In conversation one of them mentioned that she had practiced her English with an old lady in the flats where her grandmother lived throughout her childhood. I asked where that was and was surprised when she said 'La Napoule'. I exclaimed that I had visited my elderly auntie there every summer in my childhood. Who was my auntie...

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