Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

speaking to friend at hairdressers

having arrived at the hairdressers for my hair to be coloured and cut, i was thinking about a friend whom i was supposed to be meeting later that day for drinks. my phone rang-it was her, that was the first coincidence, as we were chatting about the place to meet and what time, i told her i was in town getting my hair done, and she told me that she was, we laughed at the coincidence, then i asked her which salon she was in, and the was in the same one as me, only downstairs so we missed each other as i came in and went straigt upstairs. that was the second coincidence.

Debbie J

I live in the UK and I "met" a friend who lives in Australia on the internet, on a web forum almost 12 years ago. We have been emailing regularly over the years. She had recently had a pool fitted in her back yard. I went to our local Garden Centre for an Open Event some time after this. They had an exhibition of pools. We got talking to the guy who was in charge of the pool display. I vaguely recognised the name of the pool company and realised it was the same company that had fitted my friends pool in Australia.

TV and newspaper featured the same odd word at the same time

I often read the newspaper at the same as having the TV on in the same roon. It is not uncommon to hear the same word being spoken on TV as you are reading it in the paper, especially if it is a current news story. However, on one occasion, I was completing a crossword, and filled in the word TOTEM at exactly the same time as the word TOTEM was mentioned on the TV programme. It is an amazing coincidence to find that a word which you rarely hear in daily life featured in two of my senses absolutely simultaneously.

Boyfriend caught cheating

In August 2009, my housemate in Melbourne, Australia was on a 3 month holiday traveling throughout Asian and Europe. My partner of 2 years had told me he was visiting family in Greece for 2 weeks in September. These two people knew each other but were not really friends. My housemate was at a small art gallery in Spain when he spotted someone familiar and ran into my partner on holiday with another woman.

120 years apart...

In 1850, my great great grandparents, Robert and Margaret Wilson, left Ireland during the potato famine. They travelled on the Charlotte Jane, one of 4 pioneering ships which went from Plymouth to Christchurch, New Zealand, as part of colonising mission. Robert was a carpenter, and the Wilsons travelled under the patronage of the reasonably wealthy Ward family from Ireland, who sent 3 of their sons (aged about 16, 19 and 22) on the same ship, to help found the new colony in NZ.

Fathers name features in Taiwan Restaurant Menu

I was on a business trip with my MD, Peter, in Taiwan, and we decided to have a break from local food and eat at a restaurant in Kaoshiung called the "Pig and Whistle". The menus were tastefully printed on "greyed out" facsimiles of old English newspapers. During a break in the conversation, we started to read the random news stories, and one of them was from the horse racing pages. It featured the winner of a routine race at Newbury in the 1960's, Peter's father, a Newbury jockey!

Purse returned in rush hour underground

In the school summer holidays (late July /August) 1962 I was asked one moring to meet a french speaking creole ( that was how she was described to me) off the boat train at Victoria Station, show the woman London and take her to the Convent in Slough that evening. I met the woman easily but as he she had two enormous suitcases we went by tube to Waterloo station to put them in left luggage before site-seeing. At The Left Luggage department I realised that I had lost my purse with return ticket and money. The woman had some money so we set off to "do " London.

Birthday coincidence

I phoned avios to book a hotel and was giving my children's details to the lady on the phone. I told her my 6 year old was called Luke and she said, 'I've got a Luke too, but he's 8'. I then had to give his date of birth, when I did, she gasped and told me that her son was born on the same date, (but 2 years earlier). Sarah

Visiting Wantage

Visiting our Daughter and family in Australia where they live, my wife and I took a trip up country. Needing refreshments on the trip at lunchtime we followed a signpost to a small community of bungalows and a Bowls Club. The latter said open to all so in we went and ordered sandwiches and cold drinks. We, obviously, attracted a deal of attention and a large elderly lady approached and, after the usual "G'day" asked where we were from. On hearing we were from the UK she asked where a bouts and we said "near Oxford" and she said "where near Oxford".

Credit Card

On a trip to Shanghia last year, my colleague withdrew some cash from a cash machine in our hotel one evening. We had a late night out and went to work the next day with hangovers. During the day, my colleague realised he no longer had his credit card. On return to our hotel in the evening, he asked if it had been handed in and was advised yes, a credit card for Mr Paul Tuck had been handed in the night before. When he asked for it, it as a master card - his was a visa card - and it was another Paul Tuck who had lost a credit card in the same hotel in Shanghai. Coincidence or what?