Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Falling light

I was sitting with family discussing my grand-daughters facility with both German and English when I made the point that she knew the word for 'light' (as in a light installed in a room). As I said this I pointed to the light fitting in the room which fell from the ceiling as I pointed at it! This was not something that this light fitting had ever done before, though to be perfectly fair it was not very solidly installed.

Simultaneous contact

I wanted to contact one unfamiliar editor and sent him an email, but there was no answer for more than a week. So I decided to phone, but didn't do it several days, being in wrong mood or busy. On Friday I felt okay to phone, but missed at least 3 urges, on the 4th I just picked up the phone and made a call.

Contact Naming

My girlfriend who is 47 had an old boyfriend that she said liked to have sex for two (2) hours. She is from China, very well educated (Masters/Graduate level) and English is her third language. She speaks broken English and is still learning. She has this old boyfriend listed in her phone contacts as DAX. I didn't understand why she listed him as DAX and was curious as to whether this word had a special meaning.


I was picking my daughter up from a night out. She had been to see her boyfriend and had met his sister and mum and dad for the first time. We had just gone about a minute in to the return journey when I asked her if her boyfriend had given her a hug when she got of the bus when she had arrived. Then I asked her if his sister had given her a hug too. As I asked this last question I was approaching a roundabout and a car sped across and in front of us. The last three letters of the number plate were HUG....

Brief encounter at a railway station

I was walking along a side street by Waterloo Station during one of my rare visits to London when I was waylaid by a burly young man in a tabard collecting for charity. Being charitable and in no hurry I stopped to talk to him. He told me about how the charity helped young people who had got into bad ways to find a better life. He said that he had been helped in this way after a somewhat shameful past life and was being trained in computer technology at a college in Canterbury.

Six degrees of separation from oneself

It is said that there are only six steps linking any two people in the world, so each of us must be just six steps away from ourselves, but can we always discover what those steps are? I once worked closely with a woman named Ruth in a company in Tunbridge Wells. We didn't live near each other, me living in West Kent and her in the south of Sussex. One day she told me a funny story. Her sister was living part of the time with a man on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells although she also had a home in London, I think.

A double

Last Saturday I met my daughter and granddaughter in a very large out-of-town garden centre which had an amazing seasonal display of every and anything you might wasnt to buy for Christmas. As we approached an aisle that was semi-covered over to best display the huge range of Christmas lights, I asked my granddaughter how she got on with her recent eye test. That prompted me to ask if she could see colours ok - as my late father (her Great Grandad) was colour blind.

Coincidence or thought transference?

I'm recovering from a knee injury and although I can now drive and ride a bike I can only walk slowly with a walking stick. I can't bend down to tie my shoe laces and have to put my foot on a step or low wall to tie them up. As I walked towards the station to get the first Sunday train another man appeared and crossed the road to walk about 3 metres ahead of me. We were the only 2 people in the street. Despite my stick, I was walking about the same speed as him.

Glacier Backcountry Run In

I attended the University of Richmond in Virginia for just one semester in spring 2007. In my seminar class there was a girl, Karen D.(from New Jersey), who I became friendly, if not friends, with. Fast forward to fall of 2010 and I am four days into a 10-day backcountry backpacking trip with my boyfriend in Glacier National Park, Montana. We were averaging seeing three groups of people per day so you can imagine my surprise when we approached another young couple and there was Karen with her boyfriend, also several days into their backpacking trip!

Same home

I've just found out that a guy who I became friends with while doing casual shifts in a newsroom at work eight years' ago, actually lived in the house I lived in Gosforth seven years before I did. He lived in the same annex and was there by chance as there was no where else for him to go when he temporarily needed a home. I was there as a trainee journalist in 2004. I've just started working with him in the same department and only found this out.