A Cambridge professor has set up a website dealing solely with coincidences. Now I’m a person to whom coincidences occur regularly.
For example, I was walking along a completely deserted mile-long strand in Tobago with a pal. Suddenly in the far distance a lone figure hove into sight. Beach is a bit crowded today I joked. Bet it’s a German, commented my friend sarcastically. He was indeed a German, and as he drew near he said ‘Good morning Mr Scarlatti!’ Turned out he was chief technician at the Berlin venue that had first staged the Natural Theatre show Scarlatti’s Birthday in 1985!
On the same island (is there something about that place?) another friend got on a country bus. There was just one seat free, next to the only other obvious tourist aboard, an American. Naturally, conversation struck up. Where are you from asked the tourist. Bath in England was the reply. Ah, said the tourist, I’ve been there but only for one night. I’ve never forgotten it. I went a festival on a field and I saw the most amazing spoof rock band.
My mate on the bus was actually the lead singer of that band, the legendary Rocky Ricketts and the event was one of the Walcot Festivals of yore! I don’t think the bloke believed him.
Here’s another. Last week my next door neighbour went to visit her friend in New Zealand. Turns out his current partner is a woman with whom I briefly shared a student flat in Wimbledon forty four years ago. Blimey!
My best one however was when I got a crossed line with a chap who was phoning someone called Ralph. You can imagine the confused conversation that followed. It took us ages to work out that I wasn’t the Ralph he was calling and he wasn’t whoever it was I was calling.
Now what are the chances of that happening? Or maybe things like that occur all the time and I’m just the sort of person who notices. That’s what the professor is hoping to discover. I looked the site up. So far, most of the coincidences on it are pretty run of the mill. So if you have any really good ones, submit them to http://www.cambridgecoincidences.org and you might even make it onto his telly programme.