Matthew Tree

Matthew Tree

Long-term resident
Matthew tree

Out of the mouths of babes

Until I saw my children for the first time (14 years ago and counting) I had taken it as given that nothing was sacred, but at that moment had to correct myself on the spot: children are unmistakably sacred,...

Long-term resident

First sight

Nowadays, the word 'Catalonia' no longer provokes a frown of bewilderment on most foreigners' faces, the way it used to, say, half a decade ago; on the contrary, for reasons that are close to obvious,...

Long-term resident

Hawking

On the 23rd of the month (Sant Jordi's Day) the streets and squares of towns and villages all over Catalonia - Barcelona very much included - will once again be chock full of stalls selling books for which...

Long-term resident

One February morning

Demonstrations – and God knows, I've been on a few – tend to leave me, once they're over, in a state of post-coital sadness, without the perk of there having been any sex (and much less an orgasm)....

Long-term resident

The model

Last month the magazines The Economist and Politico Europe each published pieces which claimed that Catalonia would become a political nightmare for Europe in 2017, on the grounds that the Catalan independence...

Long-term resident

Belarus and Ukraine today

It would have been natural, given that I've just travelled to these two relatively unvisited countries, to write a travel piece about them. About the safe streets of Minsk, for instance (the poshest of...

Long-term resident

Trumped up

I was hoping to write a cheery, even cute, piece about Catalan Christmas traditions for this December issue. But on the day this article was due, an avowedly sexist, xenophobic, tax-evading, climate-change-denying,...

Long-term resident

Everybody hurts

In early 1967 – the year that 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was released in the UK – Spanish police arrested the Madrid student Rafael Guijarro and tortured him to death down at the station....

Long-term resident
Matthew tree

Musical chairs explained

A few months ago, the ex-King of Spain (the one who broke his leg while trying to cull the elephant population of Botswana) confessed to a French TV crew that the last words a dying Franco spoke to him...