Happenstance

coincidence-bookThe one thing we know for certain about coincidence is that they are anything but coincidental.There must be some profound meaning behind their occurrence if only we have the wit to work out what it is.

Just this weekend, I read A Life in the Day in the Sunday Times which featured 79 year-old Joan Collins. It’s not a feature I invariably read and even rarer when it features a luvvie, but for some reason I did this week.

In this rather dull account of her day, she mentioned her husband Percy and for the life of me I couldn’t remember his second name. I made a mental note to look it up and as with most mental notes I make, I promptly forgot about it.

Until the following day when I happened to catch part of the quiz show Eggheads in which one of the questions was: ‘Percy Gibson is the husband of which famous actress?’

I was stunned. The answer to my forgotten question had been beamed to me via the medium of television – no coincidence surely. If only I could figure out its significance, it might lead me to a wholly unimagined future.

But that hasn’t been the only coincidence in my life recently. They’ve also leapt out unannounced in my blogging, or more precisely my ABC Wednesday posts.

I should first explain that I try to plan these posts in advance and file away snippets of information for use when the appropriate letter of the alphabet comes round, so they are not spur of the moment things. Sometimes they might not see the light of day for a year or more.

So it was that I came to write about Richard Feynman a few weeks ago, someone I knew nothing about until I started fishing the net. Imagine my surprise then when just days later a trailer for the film Challenger began to appear on the BBC with William Hurt as Feynman. And when I mentioned this to my son, it turned out that unbeknownst to me, Feynman is his all time favourite scientist.

And then last week I wrote about Jiang Qing, better known as Madame Mao. Again I knew next to nothing about her at the time, but blow me if she hasn’t turned up as a character in The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared which I started reading a few days later.

Spooky or what? But for the life of me I can’t see what the significance of these coincidences might be. Perhaps I’m destined to become a Nobel Prize winning scientist if I grit my teeth and move to China. Then again perhaps not given that I only managed a lowly O-level in physics.

‘Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous’ said that moderately well-known man of science, Albert Einstein, and if anyone should know, it’s him.

Hang on a minute! Another character in the book is Albert’s fictitious and stupid half-brother, Herbert Einstein. I’m beginning to see a pattern. Or am I?

(if you are genuinely interested in reading about coincidences, you might try the 67 Not Out blog)

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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