Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

birthday coincidence

My father lives at No 26. His neighbour at No 28 has his birthday on 16th July. His other neighbour at No 24 has his birthday on 16th July and his neighbour at No 22 has his birthday on - yes, you've guessed it - on 16th July. As I frequently tell people, I am my father's daughter! and although I do not live with him these days, my birthday is on - 16th July! We think this is a pretty good example of coincidence.....?

I-pod tunes

Some years ago I was working on a project in Ethiopia, travelling backwards & forwards with a colleague who became a friend. We had 4 trips backwards & forwards, lots of hanging about. On one trip, we were stuck in Dubai airport & Dave persuaded me to buy an i-pod as they were so cheap. I got one that stored 800 pieces of music [same as Dave's, but green] which I quickly filled up, using it particularly when travelling. On our last trip, we were waiting for our plane in Gondar airport, sitting on the seats. I was listening to my i-pod on shuffle, as was Dave - we had a conversation about the fun of serendipity. A favourite of mine [First Song, played by Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny] came on & I showed my screen to Dave, as he'd introduced me to the CD. He held out his screen - same piece of music was playing! A few years later I was travelling on a train from London to Sheffield, sitting in airline-style seats. Again, I was listening to my i-pod on shuffle, when a Norah Jones track came on. I spotted Norah Jones on the screen of the lap-top being used by the guy in the seats in front of me - then saw it was the same song.

Birthday dates

My parents had four children. The first and third were born on 8th March - in 1942 and 1948 respectively. The second and fourth were born on September 9th - in 1944 and 1953. Only two birthdays between the four of us. The siblings who share the same birthday are facially very similar to each other.

Ms

My Mother, Hilda, a Nova Scotian, was travelling in the Scottish Highlands, with a young Nova Scotian friend (Joan) who was at the time teaching in Germany. She had shipped her car from Nova Scotia to Gemany and they were travelling in it at this particular time. Joan was out of the car recording somebody singing a folk song. Mother was waiting patiently when a second car (UK registration) pulled up. 'Are you really from Nova Scotia?' was the question. Mother answered in a non-committal way that yes, she was. 'Oh, I was there a few years ago. Do you know the Annapolis Valley'. 'Yes', said Mother. 'Do you know the village of Lawrencetown?' 'Yes', said Mother. 'Well, when I was there I dated a lovely young farmer by the name of Clarence FitzRandolph. Do you happen to know him?' 'Yes', said Mother non-committedly again, 'I married him'. And that was the end of the conversation!

Seasonal birthdays?

Are birthdays hereditary? I take after my mother's side of the family, specifically her father and all have our birthdays in July/August. My mother's brother also takes after his father and fits the pattern. My sister takes after my father's side, and his father, plus his brother, and all of them have February/March birthdays. On asking people which of their parents they look like, then what are their respective birthdays, this pattern is almost always followed. Not to the month but to a couple of months usually. Maybe this research will demolish my theory but if not, is it co-incidence or a biological pattern?

Postcards

I buy sell and collect old postcards, I purchased a Louis Wain cat postcard from the continent, which I intended to sell (hopefully for profit). When it arrived I was extremely disappointed to find that it had been tampered with, the back was old but the wrong publisher and it was thicker than usual, I deduced that a Louis Wain front had been stuck to another old postcard, I had been caught. With nothing to lose I carefully peeled off the front layer and to my amazement underneath was an Arthur Moreland card. I have collected Arthur Moreland postcard since the 1960s and this was a very rare previously unseen (by me) postcard. It now sits proudly in my collection. How about that.

Euston Station

I live in Chester. A colleague lives in Blackburn. In May 2007 he was working in Lambeth, staying in London from Monday -Thursday. I had been doing some research for a contract in Blackpool when I was invited to an interview for a contract in Westminster. My colleague was also interested in the Blackpool contract so I collected some information about the work and loaded it onto a cd with the intention of posting it to him. I was travelling from Chester down to London on Thursday and intended to post the cd on the way to the station. The post office queue was such that I thought I would miss the train so I didn't post the cd but decided to post it once I got to London. On arriving at Euston I was walking across the main station concouse to the tube station when I saw my colleague walking towards me heading for a train to Manchester. Saved me the cost of posting the cd!

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana

Anniversary coincidence

On a holiday in New Zealand in 2009 we met and made friends with an Australian couple, Pete and Wendy. When we visited Australia the following year, we met up with them again. During the course of our conversation, Wendy mentioned that they were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary in October 2011. When I asked her the date I was astonished to hear it was the 2nd October. That is the very day that my husband and I will be celebrating our Ruby Anniversary.

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