Twins in Cambridge and Cambridge Twins

We have three and a half pairs of twins at the school this week. This is probably a record. I do not recall our ever having had any at all, ever, but then twins in language schools can be rather hard to spot, since they are rarely in the same class.

...three sets of twins – Antonio Pollaiuolo

…three sets of twins – Antonio Pollaiuolo

One of our sets (if that is not an impolite term) for example is a pair of identical sisters from Turkey, which has been very confusing to me, since I was teaching the one and saying hello in the corridor to the other for half the week before I realised. We also have a non-identical brother and sister from Jordan, a French brother and sister (I think), and a seventh, as it were, whose twin is at another OISE school (Oxford, I think).

There must be any number of strange psychic waves coursing through the school, if cod-theories about the uncanniness of twins are to be believed. Needless to say, they are not. I am perfectly prepared to believe that twins are good at pictionary and can finish one another’s sentences, and share tastes in clothes and where appropriate the opposite sex; they must also derive some strange insight about themselves from being able to see themselves as others see them, more or less; but I find it unlikely that they can sense one another’s pain across time and space (hard to verify, after all); they are not, I suppose, entangled like sub-atomic particles.


Cambridge has a twin, of course. Two, in fact. It is twinned with the venerable university towns of Heidelberg in Germany and Szebad in Hungary.

Town twinning was invented (if that’s the word) after World War Two, and was intended to bring communities together in reconciliation, and to cement new friendships. It has involved reciprocal trips, and gift-giving. It was not solely responsible, I think, for European reconciliation, although it might have cemented a few friendships down the years.

No mysterious unions here either, then, although I read that in 2012, the town of Boring, Oregon and the Scottish village of Dull, twinned their municipalities. Make of that what you will.