Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Always say nice things, you never know...

I had just seen a wonderful play featuring Derek Jacobi at the Theatre Royal, Bath. Next day I was waiting in a line at the till at Waterstones in the high street, declaiming to my girlfriend how wonderful he had been and how I wished I had stayed to get his autograph. I turned round after paying for my book, and he was standing there next in the queue! I am so glad I had been saying nice things. And I got his autograph!

A chance meeting on holiday

We lived in Ely in Cambridgeshire and went on holiday to Interlaken in Switzerland. One fine day we are walking down the street, and I see a class mate and her family walking towards me, so said "hello" much to their surprise too. Not just a coincidence of place but of timing too, a few more seconds and we'd have turned off and never known they were even in the same town.

A chance to say thanks & goodbye

When I studied English at Worcester University my lecturer was a Mike B. He had a great style of teaching and everyone was very amused by his wry comments and sense of humour, so much so that some of his observations became a part of my character too. I told my wife this when we went on our honeymoon to Portugal some ten years later. The last weekend of the holiday we drove in our hire car down to Lisbon, and found a hotel on spec (no planning at all, it just looked nice). The next morning we went down for breakfast at 8am.

A popstar calls

My wife and I went to the show "Oh what a night" at the Hammersmith Odeon. It was a great show. Afterwards, I wanted the autograph of the main star, Kid Creole. We were told he didn't do autographs, and left disappointed. The next day we got a call from a girl who wondered if her boyfriend could view the car we had for sale, and of course we said yes, come straight over. Her "boyfriend" turned out to be Kid Creole, who not only bought our car, he had tea with us, and allowed us to take photos. We kept a copy of his cheque too.

A newspaper date coincidence

In the early 1990s I was living in an upstairs apartment in an old three-storey house in the small town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. The rest of the building was commercial space and it had not been a residence in many years. One day, with time on my hands, I started poking around in the attic, looking through old cardboard boxes that I suppose had belonged to previous residents. I found toys from the 1950s, tax returns from the 1930s, and so on. One box was lined on the bottom with a complete edition of the Halifax Herald, published in the nearest city.

From one side of the world to another...

I was born in Changi Hospital, Singapore, near the equator. So was a kid called David, in the bed next to mine (well, obviously, next to my Mum's bed really) on roughly the same day as me. I left Singapore at the age of 2 (can't remember my childhood there). 14 years later my parents had long since relocated to Ely in Cambridgeshire and I started my first day at school. In my Tutor class we were allocated our desks. At the desk next to mine was David, the same kid from the bed next to mine.

Birthday coincidences

My son's birthday is 2nd July, my husband's is 4th July and my late father-in-law's was 6th July. I found out I was pregnant with my son day that my father-in-law died. My Grandfather's birthday was 23rd September, my mother's is 25th September and my daughter's is 27th September. Oh, and me and my sister-in-law share the same birthday - 4th December.

Dream Home

My husband and I were on holiday in Egypt a about 20 years ago and we met a lovely young English girl on the trip who we kept in contact with sending Christmas cards and even went to her wedding. Imagine my surprise when she sent me a Christmas card a couple of years ago and said she had seen the house of her dreams in my home town, but the deal had fallen through and she was disappointed. Turns out she moved in to her (dream home) eventually, a few months later, it is in the next avenue to me and was owned by one of my colleagues at work who was moving down south. What a coincidence.

Chance Meeting on a Beach !

I was a graduate of University of Kent until 1982 when one of my best mates went off to University of California to do his MA . In 1984 lying on a beach in Ios, Cyclades i threw back an American football to an American youth on a European tour who was coming to London and due to stay with the mother of a boy he had met at university in California, who lived in Romford, Essex . He unfortunately had misplaced the phone number of the lady. I was able to supply him with that number there and then as it was my students friend mum !!!

Down the Line

Many years ago I phoned a friend of mine, Sarah. On picking up the receiver (house phone, pre-mobile days), instead of hearing a dial tone the line was blank. After a short pause I heard a "hello", and it was Sarah! She had phoned me and I had picked up my phone to call her just before it started to ring.

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