Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

neighbour abroad

When walking down the street in Sorrento on a family holiday many years ago we were amazed when we saw a man across the street - it was a neighbour from our home town in Lancashire. He lived within 20 yds of our house. We had been touring around Italy - he had just gone on a weeks holiday to Sorrento.

Spanish superstition

In my biography "Across the Shallow Waters" I relate two remarkable coincidences which occured during retirement in Spain. Having been evacuated from Bristol to Yorkshire during WWII I was once to find myself playing football for my Wakefield college against a team of Dutch schoolboys, refugees from the German occupation of their country. They were brilliantly coordinated and proved more than a match for us running out winners by 4-1. In Spain, fifty years later, I was to present a golf trophy to an elderly albeit energetic Dutchman, Yelle Housmann.

Birthday Coincidence.

In 2008, my whole family went out to a Thai Restaurant in Romford to celebrate my Grandad's 70th Birthday. We all decided that it would be nice for my grandad to open his cards and presents before the meal began. My grandad has three children, two living in Romford and one living in Chelmsford. They did not have any communication with one another about the details of the presents and cards that they had brought for their dad which means that they also all went out separately to do the birthday shopping.

Lost Relative

My wife and I stayed in a small B&B in a small village by the Seine. We became friendly with an english couple who lived near Bayeux, who were there for one night only on their way home. The next day, we were going to Beuvron en Auge and since this was on their way home, we said we would meet for coffee at a cafe they knew. We had coffee but they did not come. We had a walk in the village and went into a creperie for lunch and soon spotted our new friends in the street outside. They joined us and during lunch, Bob asked me where my christian name, Lewis, came from.

Fiat experience!!!!

about three years ago,i was driving on my 120 mile a day round on the Isle of Wight from Wootton to the Hare and Hounds at Arreton.I was following;at a rather slow pace!;a brand newly registered Fiat white van.Knowing the road,i was extremely patient and did not overtake on the straight road ahead.After about a mile we had to stop at a mini roundabout to a vehicle on our right:and low or behold it was a -----WHITE FIAT VAN;THE SAME MODEL;THE SAME YEAR;THE SAME REGISTRATION [BAR ONE DIGIT] I COULD JUST NOT BELIVE IT!!!!!!!!!! i often have"thought transference" with my wife and have

unlikely occurrence

My mother was adopted as baby and her family name was changed from Drury to Goacher. In my early forties I toyed with the idea of changing my surname [S*****] to Drury. I didn't discuss the idea with anyone in the family. As a regular user of the town library I decided to go and look for a book. As usual I checked that I had a spare ticket in my wallet. There was one --showing the name Drury. The library staff sorted out the problem, but I'm still struck by the 'coincidence. Donald S*****

Two scots in the same London shop

Standing flicking through the vinyl at the old Rough Trade shop in Covent Garden, I became aware of a chap next to me who looked very familiar. Because he lived in Glasgow, and I had recently moved from Dundee I figured it couldn't be him, so said nothing. Outside I sent a text - 'Andy, I've just seen your doppleganger in Rough Trade'. The reply? 'That was me'.

Three Musicians with the same birthday, playing the same gig

A few years ago I was in a band called Lipsick! with a girl who shared the same birthday as me (Boxing Day). As if that weren't unusual enough, we played a show once with another band who featured a member born on Boxing Day as well. Out of the 6 musicians on the bill that night, three were born on the same day.

'God' makes a coincidence...

I was debating with my atheist brother about the existence of God in a Kentucky Fried Chicken joint. To support my Theist position I was telling him about all the coincidences I've experienced. At that very moment our Uncle (who we'd not seen for months) walked into the KFC.

Letter for a friend

A few years ago I spent an hour counting birds in the garden for the RSPB's annual Garden Birdwatch. I sent them my findings, as did a few hundred thousand other people (check their website). A few weeks later they sent me a letter of acknowledgement and thanks. The letter arrived at the same time as another identical envelope. I was surprised to see this second envelope was not for me at all but was addressed to someone else, living about 17 miles away at a completely unrelated postal address. But I was shocked to notice that this person was actually someone I know, a friend from work.

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