And a Hodgkin in a pear tree
An orchestra, the ‘Paris Review’, James Bond’s house – oh, and if Mr Darcy’s not busy . . . Our critics share their Santa lists
What would you like in your Christmas stocking?An Alphabet pendant by Alan Ardiff. His pieces are kinetic, and when the centre of this limited-edition silver and gold pendant moves it reveals a line from the Seamus Heaney poem Alphabets: “The letters of this alphabet were trees”. Ardiff is one of our most talented and creative jewellers, and his work is so beautiful and whimsical it always makes me smile. All profits from the sale of the pendant go to support the work of the Irish Writers’ Centre, so it’s a win-win. It costs €700 from alanardiff.com.
You have €20 to spend on a Kris Kindle gift. What do you buy?A Moleskine notebook, with its beautifully bound blank pages just waiting for ideas, observations, snippets of overheard dialogue and jottings of all kinds. Get the creative juices flowing. A design classic, kept shut by a strip of elastic, with a ribbon bookmark. From, among other places, the Pen Corner, Dame Street, Dublin.
If money was no object, what would you like to get as a fantasy gift?A picture by Martin Gale. Uplifting, gorgeous, vivid, evocative: a modern take on Ireland and of the rhythm of rural life. He’s started to be resold at auction – there have been a few this year – and every time I spot one in a catalogue I daydream about owning one. Cones (2008) sold at Whyte’s in Dublin this week for €4,800, and that was a small piece. As this is a wish list, I want any one of his large canvases.
In your stocking?Mr Darcy. I believe I could tolerate his moods and would be well able to single-handedly maintain the grounds of Pemberley with or without a ride-on lawnmower.
Kris Kindle?A CD of JS Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin played by Viktoria Mullova. The greatest composer performed by one of the finest violinists.
Fantasy gift?My very own symphony orchestra to live in the house as guests. All would be well fed and free to enjoy the landscape, but I can’t make promises about the weather.
In your stocking?A subscription to Wax Poetics. The best magazine when it comes to vintage and new-school soul, jazz and funk, with superb design and features. See waxpoetics.com.
Kris Kindle?For anyone looking for the next great TV show and suffering withdrawal symptoms from The Wire, I’d get them the Spiral box set (€20.49 from play.com). It’s a superb gritty French law-and-order drama.
Fantasy gift?A commissioned iPad drawing by David Hockney.
In your stocking?A personal letter from the Eavis family, guaranteeing me a tepee at next year’s Glastonbury, because I’m too high maintenance for tents. Failing that, the American Horror Story box set.
Kris Kindle?Maeve Higgins’s book, We Have a Good Time . . . Don’t We? She is a highly rated comedian, and she’s also a brilliant writer. Her words leap off the page.
Fantasy gift?Pegasus by Jean-Michel Basquiat, but because John McEnroe owns it, and I don’t fancy negotiating with him, I’d settle for Charles the First, which the Aaron Gallery is selling for $50,000 (€40,000).
In your stocking?Bernard Meehan’s The Book of Kells is dazzling, delightful, mesmerising and mysterious. And I can use this hefty tome to thump anyone who says that Ireland has no visual culture.
Kris Kindle?Claddagh Records recently unearthed and released a fabulous recording of the great Jack McGowran reading Samuel Beckett’s poems. I’d give it to someone who’s feeling a little low, just to cheer them up.
Fantasy gift?I’m hoping some admirer will give me a Mark Rothko painting. If anyone is thinking of it, Four Darks in Red would do nicely, thanks.