Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Posts tagged ‘coincidence’

Pizza, Karma and The Wonders of Human Kindness – A True Story

On 9th August 2001, an orderly queue was forming in Sbarro on the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem.  An American man, standing in line waiting to pay for his lunch, was running late and a young Jew who was in front of him offered his place to the American so he could pay first and head off on his way; a very kind gesture.  The American thanked the Jew, paid and left.  No sooner had the American left the restaurant than a suicide bomber set off a bomb which blew the restaurant to pieces, killing 15 and wounding 130.  The young Jew who had given his place to the American was one of the injured.

The American escorted the poor Jew to hospital and offered to help in any way that he could, only too aware that if it hadn’t been for the Jew’s kindness it would be him laying there injured instead.

The Jew needed urgent medical treatment and the American paid for him to receive the assistance he desperately needed in America.  The American felt it was the least he could do.

The American visited the Jew in hospital on 11th September 2001.  As he chatted to the young Jew while he lay in his sick bed, word reached the American that a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers… where the American worked.  It’s hard to imagine what must have gone through the American’s mind as he realised that if it hadn’t been for the fact he had been at the hospital with the Jew then he would have been at his office at the Twin Towers when the planes hit.

Truly a case of what goes around comes around.

Now, I don’t want any tittering in the audience, but there is also a musical version of this true story which, I thought, relates the tale really rather well.  All together now:


©Nicola Kirk and 2010



Incredible Coincidences But… No Squirrels This Time, Sorry

My boss was having a heart attack.  He had collapsed onto the floor and his face screwed was up in agony.

“It’s okay, Michael,” I told him with a calmness that I didn’t feel.  “I’ll call an ambulance, you’re going to be okay.”  Isn’t it amazing that people always make these promises when everything is clearly not okay and the person suffering most certainly doesn’t look like they’re going to be okay.  I patted him on the arm in what I hoped was a soothing way but it just felt awkward.  I scuttled off to call an ambulance.

“Which service do you require?” the operated asked. Her voice sounded tinny and distant.

“Ambulance, please,” I said, my voice shaking with panic.  “My boss is having a heart attack.”

“Okay, we’ll get someone out to you right away.  What’s the address?”

“I’m…um… I’m at…” Actually, where the hell was I?  It didn’t look like my office.  “I think I’m at work…” I muttered.  This was stupid.  Surely I should know where I was.  And then, at the back of my mind I heard another voice.

“This is the news on Thursday 25th June on Capital 95.8FM.  Today people are waking up to the sad news that Michael Jackson has died from a suspected heart attack…”  My eyes flew open and I realised I was in bed with my radio alarm clock chattering away on my bedside table.  I had been dreaming.  I lay there listening to the news with a strange sense of unease that only moments before I had dreamed that someone else called Michael had been having a heart attack.


* * *

Penny Hopwood, who you may recall from an earlier post on incredible coincidences, seems to have an uncanny knack of running into people whom she hasn’t seen for years, even though the odds of meeting these people again are exceptionally large, seeing as she left them behind on an entirely different continent:

“Gareth was my first ‘real love’.  I was sixteen.  We parted after two years – I went to Entebbe and he to Provence.  We lost touch until about four years later when we found ourselves sitting next to one another on a District Line tube!  For a moment we sat in silence, but after a quick chat he asked for my phone number.  That night I had a date with my future husband and as I flew down the stairs I heard the phone rang – I shouted to one of my flat-mates to please take a message if it was for me.  Needless to say, it was Gareth and he didn’t leave a number.  Years passed by but I never forgot Gareth and always felt I would see him again.  I knew he was a relatively well-known actor and his mother a film and stage actress.   A few years ago, I saw Gareth narrating a programme on T.V. about his godfather (a very famous actor and writer).  I must admit, I found it hard to recognise the gorgeous Gareth I had known as a teenager, but he was still attractive.  I was all the more determined to trace him, but it didn’t happen. Last year, my boss’s wife, an actress, began talking about a film she had been in and asked me to check out a member of the cast whose name she had forgotten. I did.

It was Gareth.

The next day, I made some calls to find out the name of Gareth’s agent.  There was a slight pause at the other end of the phone.

‘I’m afraid you’ll have difficulty contacting him,” I was told.  “He died last year.”

P.S.  Looking at Gareth’s bio on the web, my boss wrote the music for two films Gareth starred in.  Small world.  It was a shame that I was a year too late!”


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

Incredible Coincidences And… Squirrels Part I

The world, as we all know, is a very strange place.  Sometimes things happen that are so incredible it seems impossible to believe that some ‘higher power’ hasn’t had a hand in events.  One person who has written to me with details of their extraordinary coincidences is Peter Murrell from Islington:

“On 7th July 2005, I was getting ready for work when I was delayed by a squirrel. Yes, a squirrel. It had jumped down to my front basement area and had started chewing on the coal cellar’s wooden doors. This has never happened before and it delayed me by about five minutes.

After managing to shoo it away, I ran to the tube station (Angel), changed at Kings Cross for the Circle Line, and hurried to the ticket barrier as my train was there.  But as I was to put my ticket through a man pushed in front of me and his ticket came up as ‘seek assistance’.  I was delayed once more.

Eventually I got through the barrier, much annoyed as I had missed my train. I managed to get on the following train but when it pulled into Baker Street there was an announcement that there was an electrical surge causing delays.

As you know, it turned out the trains were bombed.  A colleague who I worked with in Kensington had been on the train that I had missed and, unfortunately, he subsequently died as a result of the blast. I know a few other members of staff who were also on that tube today still receive counselling.

I believe God was watching over me that day even though His methods may seem, to our finite minds, unorthodox. As Isaiah put it:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways”.

Penelope Hopwood, our well-travelled friend from Putney, who starred in the earlier post, Sun, Sea and Sacrifice has also had her share of incredible coincidences, including the one below:

“Whilst working on Broadway in Manhattan I was handed a pile of telephone books and, as a research project, was asked to randomly pick out 500 names of individuals in the Buffalo area of New York State.  How boring is that!  So, I set to…  After a few minutes, my eye came to rest on the name of Perry Oliver Hanson III.  Believe it or not, Perry had been my first boyfriend in Uganda (I was 13 and he 16).  Perry’s father worked for UNICEF and we had lost touch once he returned to the U.S.  So, ten years later I rediscovered him by pure chance.  I immediately wrote to him and received an enthusiastic reply.  It turned out he was a Professor of Geography at the University in Buffalo.  Alas, we never did meet again – it was just too complicated.  I often wonder what would have happened had we done so.  Perhaps it was mere synchronicity or a meaningful coincidence as per Jung….who is the man who knows!”

Thanks to Peter and Penelope for sharing their experiences.  I have received a few more incredible coincidences, so please keep an eye out for Part II.  I can’t guarantee there will be any squirrels in Part II though, sorry.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

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