Matthew Tree

Matthew Tree

Long-term resident

Touristdipity

After two years of touristic drought, Barcelona is once again flooded with summer holidaymakers. Tourism was, originally, a phenomenon created by the chinless wonders of the English middle classes in the...

Long-term resident

GROUNDHOG

Not long after the Catalans lost the War of Spanish Succession in 1714, a Castilian functionary called José Patiño reported that the losers ’spoke and wrote only in Catalan, without making much use...

Long-term resident

CRUELTY AND THE BEAST

In last month’s issue, Martin Kirby mentioned a book called ‘The Ravine’, a history of the massacres at the Babyn Yar ravine (now inside Kyiv’s city limits) during World War II, where the Germans...

Long-term resident

THE BEAUTIFUL CITY

On the road from Kyiv’s airport to the heart of the city, which I visited in 2016, I first saw thick snow-covered forest stretching for uncountable kilometres on both sides, then glimpses of the enormously...

Long-term resident

THE WAY THEY WERE

For the last couple of years I’ve been working on a book about the father I never knew, that is to say, the one who existed before I was born and also during the three years or so when I was too little...

Long-term resident

Visible man

A spectre is haunting Spain - that of a 70 year old man whose mask, dark glasses and perennial beret would make him look a bit like Claude Rains in the 1933 production of ‘The Invisible Man’, if he...

Long-term resident

It’s that man again

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Long-term resident

IS NOTHING SACRED?

There are three hoary old chestnuts that never fail to get rolled out in the weeks before Christmas, about the same time as the torrons and pannetoni – typical Yuletide foods - are stacked up in industrial...

Long-term resident

A EURO FOR THE GUY

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