Coincidences happen, but some leave us astounded

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom

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Have you ever heard of Jung’s theory of ‘synchronicity’? It refers to complex and meaningful coincidences.

The kind that go beyond switching the radio on, only to find it playing the song you were just thinking of.

I took several bin bags full to the local book bank and was throwing them in with abandon until I felt an urge to flick through one of them

One of the most famous coincidences of all time – once dismissed as a publicity stunt because it was simply too complex to be believed – occurred on the set of the movie The Wizard of Oz.

When the costume department was tasked with finding a coat for the character of Professor Marvel, they acquired an entire rack of them from a second-hand store in Hollywood.

They decided upon one that gave the impression of grandeur gone to seed and, some time later, when the actor Frank Morgan turned the inside pocket out, the name stitched inside read ‘L. Frank. Baum’ – none other than the author of the book upon which the movie was based.

A publicist for the movie wired the tailor in Chicago who had made the coat and they confirmed it, but the publicist stated that they simply could not get anybody else to believe that it was not a hoax or a trick. Such is the human ability to either rationalise, or dismiss.

It’s true that in any given lifetime various coincidences will occur, but occasionally some of these do leave us astounded.

When my father died 27 years ago, I was advised to write, as if to him, about my feelings.

As the years passed I often wondered what had happened to those words, until six years ago when I was clearing out hundreds of old books.

I took several bin bags full to the local book bank and was throwing them in with abandon until I felt an urge to flick through one of them.

I’ll leave you to guess what fluttered out on to the pavement, more than 20 years after I must have decided to tuck it away inside.

If you’ve experienced a coincidence that has been complex or meaningful to you, or has left you at a loss for explanation, then I would really love to hear from you.

Write to me c/o The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth PO6 3EN or e-mail simon.toft@thenews.co.uk.

I’M A MULTI-TASKING MUM, SO WHY NOT GIVE ME THE JOB?

Another week and another farcical charade of politics.

Thankfully we are no longer facing a Michael Gove-ernment. But Andrea Leadsom (now environment secretary) seemed to believe she was best-placed to run the country because she’s a mum.

If this is a credential for running the UK, then I’d like to offer myself as the next leader after Theresa May.

I can multi-task, clean a variety of bodily emissions out of clothing and carpets and have perfected a look of such impending fury that a tutor group of mine once labelled it The Burn.

Sadly I know zilch about running the country, or of what is best for us, nor how to extricate the UK from the EU.

Oh hang on, I forgot, neither does anyone in government.

SWIMMING OUTDOORS GAVE ME A FANTASTIC SENSE OF FREEDOM

I went swimming recently, out in the open air, under a blue sky.

I was cutting through sun-sparkled water whilst the breeze ran cool fingers through my hair.

As I moved through the pool I could see the leaves on the trees swaying and hear the water around me, and it was one of those rare moments in life when you experience freedom.

One of the times when your body feels as though it’s doing what it’s essentially been made to do.

Muscles stretching and pulling, your heart beating and your blood pumping, and you know that you are very lucky.

Lucky to be alive, lucky to be here at all, for however long we manage, and lucky to be compos mentis enough to acknowledge this.

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