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Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron died this week.

Prematurely it seemed as well.  Monday night saw twitter ablaze with ‘RIP Nora’‘So sad to hear about Nora Ephron’‘OMG ‘When Harry met Sally’ writer has died’ when in actual fact she hadn’t died then but held on until Tuesday morning.  Mmmm sometimes there are downsides to this technoligcally advanced world we live in.  In the words of Clive James – ‘I’m not dead yet!’

I knew the name but couldn’t think who she was.  Wikipedia confirmed that she was in fact a huge part of my life and one I would be incredibly grateful for forever.  She wrote films that I associate with my troubled, slow developing but ultimately dreamfilled teenage years and one that I met a life long friend through.  Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were everywhere when I was a teen and a tween {I both love and loath that word in equal measures} and films like Joe versus the VolcanoSplashSleepless in SeattleBig,Addicted to Love where huge for me.  I wanted Meg’s hair and I wanted to hang out with Tom.  Not too much to ask.

Then when I was at University You’ve got mail came along and still to this day it is one of my favourite films.  It shows New York to be the beautiful, exciting and magical place that it is and is centred around books.  My first and only true love. On my 30th birthday I went to New York on my own.  As I sat eating sushi on the upper west side, talking to the waitress so that I would have someone to communicate with, she told me that the cafe used in You’ve got mail was just around the corner.  3 blocks north.  I paid my bill and headed up the street and there it was.  I knew it as soon as I saw it.  Cafe Lalo was it’s name with drapped fairy lights outside and stairs leading up to it on the right.  I was too shy to stay and sit on my own so I simply went inside and ordered a peice of cheesecake to go.  I picked up a few postcards from the place that were sat by the till and was told they weren’t free I’d have to pay for them.  I made out that I knew that all along and put 6, out of the 10, I’d picked up down.

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Years earlier as I was wandering around Waterstones one afternoon, touching the books, making mental notes of which ones I would ask for for Christmas I saw the new girl from Uni doing the same.  She had transferred from another college and was joining our degree course in the third year.  She was funny and I was funny so if there was another funny girl around I needed to know what she could do.  Was she better than me?  What was her Welsh accent like?  Would she get the parts I wanted?  I’d seen her do a few little pieces and I knew she was like me.  She liked observing people and her humour came from the little things – the eye glances, a twitch of the fingers, a walk, a look.  We weren’t friends but we knew of each other.

We stopped and chatted for a couple of minutes. I said I’d liked what she did in TV acting that week.  She said she’d liked what I’d done in Theatre Directing. Have you read this? Have you read that? We liked the same things.  We joked {she was naturally funnier than me…always the case} and laughed.  I asked if she’d seen You’ve got mail. She had and she’d loved it.  She said one day she wanted to own a book shop like Kathleen Kelly.  I told her I did too!! I suggested that maybe we could run one together?

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Since I heard of Nora Ephron’s death I have thought a lot about my favourite film and a lot about my friend, Moon. Nora {and her sister, Delia} wrote a film that brought two people together and who are still friends 14 years later.  Two people who love comedy and theatre and film and jokes and the little things in life that not everyone else see’s.

For this I will be eternally grateful to Ms. Ephron and will – hopefully one day – do the same for two other girls.

My new girl crush Lena Dunham, wrote a beautiful piece about Nora. Please click here to have a read.