I've too long proved an enigma to my mother when it comes to gifts, so she usually gives me money. I like this arrangement for many reasons but always force myself to buy something memorable, rather than let the funds get sucked into meaningless purchases or bills. Here's what Mr & Mrs Flanagan bought me for my birthday: This photograph from Alice Olive. I'm a fan, you may have gathered. And these cute studs, because the first ones I bought have become a perfect staple.