New York, New York! Six years ago we decided it was time we experienced a proper white Christmas and that NYC would be the place to do it and it was amazing, hit after hit. The giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre, and watching the lighting of the biggest menorah in the world for Hanukkah. And of course, shows. Sipping champagne watching The Nutcracker at Lincoln Centre a couple of days before Christmas, watching Alan Rickman, Samuel L Jackson, Daniel Radcliffe, Josh Gadd, Angela Bassett, Stacy Keach, Rachel Griffiths and Stockard Channing tear it up live on Broadway, and did I mention the amazing over-the-top Christmas decorations all over the city? And of course watching the ball drop at Times Square. It really was like being in every New York Christmas movie you have ever seen, and it's a holiday I'll never forget.
We'd just had an amazing month travelling through France and were heading home via Kuala Lumpur for a couple of days. I started feeling a little unwell before we left France and by the time we reached KL I was feeling pretty awful. We had a crazy cheap deal in a beautiful hotel and in retrospect I could have just relaxed by the pool but we only had two days and I wanted to see as much of the city as possible so, with stomach cramps and a fever, I strapped on my backpack and camera and ran from temples to markets in the sweltering heat before finally staggering back on to the plane home. Probably not the best way to experience KL.
Alex Ellis is starring in Conversations with Dead Relatives at The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, February 20 to March 3, 2019.