Luck? Make up YOUR own mind!
There was a time, and I am not too falsely-modest to say this, when I was considered an above average player of the card game Contract Bridge. Whenever I had the opportunity, I and my regular partner David W akeman, would take on the best and defeat them, through a combination of guile, skill and...yes. good fortune! Because in Bridge, as in all similar games, it is the uncertainty of the deal that allows the skill of the players to come to the fore!

David and I became well known in Norfolk for our dashing, exuberant bidding, and we won many rubbers together! But I wish to share with you an astonishing evenement  that occurred during a tournament in which we were playing!
From the opening bid of seven clubs it was obvious something unusual had occurred! My partner followed with seven diamonds: his bid was, in turn capped by a response of seven hearts! And I? Well I, of course, was holding all thirteen spades! We had all been dealt a complete suit: even more amazingly, we had been dealt them in seniority order! The mathematical chance of even one player receiving a full suit is one in 635,013,559,600 deals! Just luck? What do YOU think?

Just a coincidence? You decide!
Do you believe in coincidence? Are you familiar with Jung's theories on the subject? Or those of Freud? Well, whatever….
Most psychologists  and cosmologists maintain a belief that there is no such thing as a pure coincidence:- we are really dealing with the phenomena of collective consciousness or synchronicity. Interested? Mail us for more details! But allow me to share with you a truly astounding account of a coincidence that occurred in Wales when I was much younger!

Many years ago, my family took a holiday in North Wales: in those days both my parents were alive, my mother was healthy and attractive and I was still on speaking terms  with my brother!

One day the four of us decided to climb from the Llanberis Pass to the summit of Snowdon: no big thing in itself, but a very spiritual undertaking at five AM and a memory that will stay with me forever..

Some hours later we reached the summit: you have to understand that in those days there was no café or gift  shop, just a cairn to mark the highest point in England and Wales. As countless holiday makers must have done before and since, we posed for photos by this pile of Welsh slate and chatted  excitedly.

At this early hour, there was only one other visitor to the summit: a middle-aged woman who had presumably made the more difficult 'Sheep Walk' ascent. I noticed her cock her head in our direction: she suddenly started and then strode purposefully towards us. She spoke:

" Patty? Is that Patty Robertson?"  My mother paled and stammered out an affirmative reply.

Astonishingly, the lone hiker was none other than my mother's cousin who had emigrated to Rhodesia (as it was then still called) in 1937. She had arrived in Europe only two days before and the summit of Snowdon was her first tourist destination !!!

Coincidence? Well possibly!

A coincidence concerning these pages!

The following is an extract from an e-mail I received from a new correspondent called Karen:-

"This isn't really a 'Chilling Tale', more a peculiar happening...
This morning when I awoke, I found myself thinking about a book that a friend had loaned me a few years ago...

I felt I should read it again, but couldn't remember the title.
I forgot about it, and started browsing the internet. I opened up Google to find Tom Slemen's website, but it had relocated, so I clicked what I thought was a link to his site.
However, the link didn't take me there: instead I found myself on the page where your website is described. I clicked the link and navigated to your page about the Celestine Prophecy. This was the name of the book I couldn't remember this morning!!!!
Did I have a premonition of these events, which put the book in my mind? Or was I somehow guided to your webpage so I rediscover this thought-provoking book ? What do you think ?"

It might possibly be significant the the Celestine Prophecy has much to say about the true meaning of apparent coincidences!

The loyal septarian nodule!
You may recall that, as well as being a lecturer, I run a company importing and exporting meteorites, tektites and other space memorabilia. Until a few years ago, I also worked in mainstream schools, with what are euphemistically refered to as 'challenging children'!

Much of my business is conducted over the 'phone or internet, but most weekends find me hundreds of kilometres from home at a collectors' fair or airshow.....

Several times last year my wife and I set up our marquee at Duxford Airshow, in Cambridgeshire. Not only do we meet many new clients, we also both enjoy the sights and sounds of the vintage aircraft.
Halfway through the day, a singular looking couple in their mid-fifties came up to our stand. There was a curious purposefulness in the man's approach: he stopped in front of me and scrutinised my face closely in a somewhat disturbing fashion.

After a few seconds, he spoke: "Your name is David, isn't it?" I assented. "I had to come here to day to bring you something!" he continued. As he spoke, I examined my unexpected visitor. He had wavy, shoulder-length grey hair and a neatly-trimmed beard. His clothes had that 'real ale, Morris dancing and folk music' look about them. I had certainly never met the gentleman nor his wife before!
From his pocket, the stranger extracted a small object. He took my right hand in his left and deposited this into my palm: it was a smooth, brownish stone.....

"Do you know what this is? It's a septarian nodule. It has power to help you in your work. I know you need all your resources at the moment: this will augment your persuasive talents. I found it on a beach in Kent and have been carrying it in my pocket until I had a chance to pass it on to you."

To say I was surprised would be an understatement! The next five minutes was a revelation: it became obvious that this amazing savant knew virtually everything about my life, and yet I never felt the least bit threatened.....

Time went by. The stone was my constant 'companion': it came into every difficult class for three months and really did seem to help me find the extra focus and lucidity of speech it takes to maintain discipline in today's schools. But during a late holiday in Devon I lost the stone: it fell from my pocket during a walk along the beach at Exmouth. No amount of searching turned up my talisman: it seemed gone for good, and I eventually forgot about it during the exhausting days of a new contract at a somewhat 'challenging' school.
Then a few days ago, as I was invigilating an SAT exam, I distinctly felt something drop with a 'clink' into the pocket of the brand-new pair of trousers I was wearing. Emptying the contents of the pocket into my hand, I found the nodule nestling in my palm! It had somehow found its way back across the entire breadth of the country!