Monday, 16 January 2012

She's Amazing.

Her name is Julia West and before I met her I knew she was going to be one of those people. The kind of people that have such a profound effect on you that it's hard to understand how you lived before you knew them. When I met her I had to, theoretically, split my life into two: Before and after.

Not only is she a talented writer, she has the ability to make you feel...

Thats it.

After meeting her I felt renewed as a person.

I think she's Jesus.

With Love,
Kathryn What?

This would be a lot easier...

if she wasn't so beautiful.

She has an odd kind of beauty, and dazzling eyes. It's hard not to fall in love with her. Her wildly curly hair, French accent (even though its all in my head), and photographs make it very hard not to be jealous. Her name is Camille Makachian. She lives in Paris, France and holds the heart of the man I think I love.

I don't believe in love, but                   is the most amazing human being I have ever met. He is kind and generous and loving and cute and wonderful in every way. Except, he hates me. This is a fact I'm prone to obsess over, to the point where I fake sleep just to listen to him talk. There's just something inside me. I cant do it. I get scared and nervous and cannot talk. Its so painful to have all these things to say and not have the courage to open my mouth and say them. They sit on the tip of my tongue, waiting to fall out into the world. I hold them back with all my might. He would never love someone like me. A coward.
A scardy cat.

He was talking to my friend Rosa, who has a nack for talking to people I cant. I fought with every fibre of my being that night. I was fighting to stay awake. I just wanted to hear him talk. Just the sound of his voice makes my heart beat faster and the blood rush to my cheeks. No. Calm down. They cannot know I'm awake. They spoke for about three hours, life, love, the universe and everything. I long for him to be able to talk to me like that. That's how I know he loves her. I was eavs dropping on their conversation. Also, he's flying to France to see her.

I can't stand it.
How am I going to live this year. We'll be barely a 5 minute walk from each other and probably see a lot of each other. I can't.

Posted by magneticmuppets
Like the immune system rejects its own tissues in the suffering of an autoimmune disease, we, as humans, reject secrets.

Secrets are like autoimmune diseases. They are raised from a part of you, from your own substance. By some fluke or twisted, unexplainable process, you identify secrets as alien and a threat. Involuntarily, and despite your best efforts, you’ll push them away because you do not want them living inside you. Secrets begin to adopt the characteristics of an infection; your mind is cast in the role of unsuspecting host and the pathogen-like secrets slowly infect, weaken and eventually destroy you.

You could take it out, operate, forcibly remove and release the secret. But what if the secret represents a fundamental and necessary portion of you? And what if it is a donated organ that isn’t yours but needs to live inside you anyway?

The only way to treat a secret or autoimmune response it is to suppress it. To take medication to quiet your immune system’s response and leave the tissue there, although you may suffer side effects. To drown the secret under distractions and trick your mind into believing it belongs there, although it may cost you dearly.
The only way to keep going is to embrace your disease.

I'm not going to tell him, it's not worth it and it just hurts to think about.
I will not tell him.

Kathryn What?

Aren't All Beginnings New?

Ambivalence, (noun) the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

The grass was slightly damp and the sun hot, high in the clear blue sky. It was endless. That's the best part about the sky, that it goes on forever. It's the last time I will have the opportunity to be in this place, in this moment. At least for a little while.

I'm scared and excited all at once. Ambivalent, if you will allow.
I feel strange.
I feel little more than lost.

There is a slight chill in the air as another tropical storm rolls in. I am worried it is going to rain. But only vaguely aware that it would ruin the afternoon. I know it wont. I know it wont, because it never would. I know the universe wouldn't have let the rain ruin this day. It is a good day. Despite the minor emotional breakdown of the morning and the almost unbearable urge to burst into tears at the thought of leaving I know it will be all right.

The contorting, wisps of smoke from a freshly lit blunt bring me back to reality, out of my musings. Chatter filled my ears as I let in the sound particles that made up the excited chatter from my friends back in. I would miss them I decided. Half wouldn't even register I wasn't there, and the rest were about to start their own lives. University, college, new countries and adventures of their own. Acceptance.

I'm scared I'll miss Chloes new boyfriend. I wont be there if they break up. She'll have a new life.
I'm scared that I'll never see Alice or Chrissy again. They're probably the only people that really cared when everything fell apart.
I'm scared I'll never get to know Kamo better.

Without me.

In less than 18 days I will be leaving lovely South Africa and my little slice of comfort in Johannesburg to tackle the big, wide world. I'm a excited, nervous and scared. In that order. I know it will be amazing and that I'll have the time of my life, but you can;t blame me for having a few anxiety attacks in between.

I'm scared of the Australians.
I'm scared no one will like me, or I'll hate it.
I'm absolutely terrified I'll be cold. It seems silly to say, but i'm a cold person and I hate being cold.

The pull at the back of my neck reached the point of no return and I knew my brain would soon surrender to the pull of the substance. I inhaled deeply, feeling the burn a the back of my throat and the expanse of my lungs. Turn on. Tune in. Drop out. This is my favourite part. The only part worth it I sometimes convince myself. I know it isn't true. Many times I feel tingles in my toes and fingers. 'The Octopus Moment' I fondly call it in my head. 
I'm swaying back and forth.

 In. Out. 

I'm excited to leave. To start somewhere new where I have a clean slate and no one will know. I'm excited for all the new things I'll be doing. All the different people. I'm thirsty for knowledge and my finger tips are itching to create new things. Its seeping out of every pore. I'm enthused by all the possibilities.

I'm alive tonight. Dead tomorrow.


A strange feeling of uncertainty of the future and the past. A subtle mix of fear and anticipation.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Article Smarticle

This is my article for the Jewish Repot Newspaper:

Netzer Machaneh Shirat ha Yam-Inspiration in a Nutshell
By: Kathryn Henning

The gates opened to reveal a crowd of cheering madrichim (Leders). Excited faces of the channichim (Campers) peered through the windows, others were jostling their friends awake, eager hands waving from the windows signified the begining of Netzers' Machaneh Shirat ha Yam. Bags lay strewn across the field, cast aside to make way for hugs from old friends. That night Netzers' version of So You Think You Can Dance hightened the camp atmosphere as the channies were introduced to their Madrichim. We were in for one of the most amazing summers of our lives.

The theme of this years Machaneh (Camp) was "Song of the Sea- Inspire our Journey". We spent the better part of our two week camp in Cape Town learning and doing, in true Netzer style.
We explored our heritage through abstract means like music and nature. Other times adopting a more "practical" aproach learning through torah texts, pieces of literature or as our youngest age group - Geshem - did it, making cool beards and becoming Rabbis. We learnt about the song which Miriam and the women sang as the Isralites escaped their harsh lives in egypt. We learnt about South African politics, and different means of protest all over the world. We learnt about the importance of making informed decisions before acting on them and how to live as a community, where everybody has equal rights and responsibilities.

As soon as the sun was shining bright and the wind died down we would all put on our swimming costumes and sunblock, grabbed our towles and headed to the little beach down the road to relax and made sandcastles, while the more energetic ones played soccer or other fun games. No matter how cold the water was, you knew all the kids from Gauteng would swim until they could't swim anymore.

Shabbat on camp is a whole new expirience for some of our Channichim. We spend Friday getting ready for the service, preparing our little Shul in "Jerusalem" and decoraing the Chaderochel (Mess Hall). Shabbat morning is a little different from the other days on camp. We have a creative and inspirational service and learn about the torah portion for that week. The relaxing atmosphere on camp is a great way to rejuvinate and welcome in a new and intense week of camp.
Don't get us wrong, its not all learning and no fun!

Throughout the course of Machaneh, we have theme days.
Along with Visitors Day, where our Channies showcase their Dancing skills, Accapella Singing and some Survival Tips wich they had been working on throughout the camp in our Chuggim Sessions, We have Israel Day. Where our trusty Mishlachat (Israelie Embassadors) dont dissapoint. They pull out all the stops for a fantastic day. Shakshukah laidened plates and eager faces watch as the Israelie Madrichim sing and play music in the Chaderochel. Our "inflight" entertainment. A day filled with  learning about all-things-Israel ensues. A crowded shuk, a tent protest and israelie dancing gives us just a taste of what Israels all about. We cant forget about Tikkun Day! Each age group takes part in a little social action, helping out in the community doing some volunteering at animal shleters or orphanages. We do Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world) projects throughout the year as a part of Netzers ideology.

Right in the middle of our jam-packed Machaneh we had Channies Day. A day where the oldest age group - Keshet - take over being madrichim for a day. Running camp and peulot (activities) that they had written for the younger age groups. The day left Keshet feeling exhausted, the Maddies well rested and the Channies wanting more.

The highlight of camp, our much anticipated Colour Wars.
Coloured face paint was what defined you that day. There were no friends. There were no enemies. There was only one goal. Ruach, Gees, Spirit. Those were the rules. Colour wars had begun, the final say left to the Judges, dressed only in white. Only they could determine the winner, and there would be only one winner.
The Blue Team had what it takes this year... Who will win next?

Camp would not be complete without our Tiyul (hike) where we had a mid morning sandwich on the rocks looking over the sea and were treated to Talya Davidoffs hiking expertiese. She knows everything you need to know about Cape Towns biome and gives us a little insight as to where we are and what-plants-are-where on all our hikes.

Life at Machaneh is really something rare and special. Something you cant really describe. The friendships, the jokes, the hopes and the deams that we as the youth of our nation, not only in South Africa but as the young generation of Jewish people in the world create or develope whilst in this environment can only be described as a "You have to be there" moment. This camp was no different. We've got big ideas and we're not afraid to use them.

We danced, we sang, we learned, we did and we got up on that soap box and fought for what we believed in! Netzers' changing the world, one camp at at time.

"While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Nostalgically, Kathryn What?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Owl You Need is Love

Dear Jozi,
I love owls. Especially in jewelry.

My friend Sivan bought me the little earrings and I bought myself the necklace from a random stall in a market last year. I always wear them with my Harry Potter t-shirts.
I'm that cool.

The necklace is really long, so it hangs really nicely, making seemingly uninteresting t-shirts a little more girly and lovely. 

With Love.


I love to recycle.
Most of my shoes have recycled shoelaces in them. Made from plastic bags, which surprisingly come in a whole bunch of different colours, and sticky tape for the hard bit at the end that's meant to make it easier for you to put them through the little holes.

Just one more way in which I'm trying to save this lovely, little planet.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

With Love,


I spent the last week curled up on the couch with a nice cuppa tea and a blanket when it was chilly becuse of the rain and read a whole bunch of books.

I love to read, and drink tea.
Generally at the same time.

This is a story of an orphan girl who has just been released from custody of the state at the age of 18. It recounts her struggles to survive in the world with no education, money or even a place to live. The only thing she knows is flowers and how they communicate messages. Throughout the book, she tells her story of the present and how it entwines with her past, as a child of only 10 and how she "ruined" her chance at a family. Its a beautifully written book, filled with angst and love. The details in the language of flowers and the way they make the characters react is mind blowing. Along with all the family drama, there's a hidden love story that would be the basis of her new life.

I have yet to read this book, I think I'll start later, but from what I've heard its a forbidden love story between two of the performers in the night circus. We shall see.

I'm a blogger from Johannesburg. Would you expect to see ant other book than 'Mushy Peas on Toast? Best seller by the blogger of A story of a Joburg Girl who is finding her own way in the city of Gold.

Keep Reading!

With Love,

On Ice

The Nuttyest of Crackers

Last night I went to see the Nutcracker on Ice. My mom used to be a figure skater so we go to the ice show every year.
This year it was spectacular. There was pyrotechnics, fire dancers, contortionists, acrobatics- ON ICE. It was truly amazing.
We had an early dinner, I had a burger, at a place called the Metropolitan and we went for coffee afterwards.
We were with my Uncle and Aunt, who are quite entertaining.

Yay! Youtube is da bomdiggidy

For those of you who don't know it, or had a deprived life as a child and never watched the movie on KTV, here's the story of the Nutcracker:

My favorite part was at the end when all the Skaters just get to show off for about ten minutes and do crazy ass tricks. I thought the costumes were amazing, especially the dresses that lit up.

With Love,
Kathryn What?

Saturday, 7 January 2012


I'm a stalker.
I have finally accepted this fact.

This is Armani Quintas. He works in the camera shop in Rosebank. I was inlove with him from the moment he asked if he could help with anything.

He's so gorgeous.


With Love,
Creeper McCreepinstein

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Journey through Time and Space - Flash back to 2010

I spend a lot of time behind my computer either stalking other peoples blogs or writing my own. I't may seem ridiculous to you, that someone whose barely legal and barely spends any time outside knows anything about the world at large. Believe me I don't. But I like to pretend I live like the people in movies or books about the 80's and 90's do.

I would give every last book on my shelf (and thats a lot of books) to go back, for even just one day and be a kid living in punk rock London.
I love the night, I love the feel of cloth ears after a nights gigging. I love the feeling of the speakers pushing the air against your body. I love the sweaty people pushing up against you as you jump till you cant breath, and you shout and sing till your lungs feel as though they're about to give in. I love the smell of your genes when you peel them off at 2am, smelling like stale Black Label and cigarette smoke. I love the congealed, angle of hair, that I have to struggle through with a comb and bottles of conditioner. I love the memories, the drunken conversations, the random people, and the wonder the next moning, waking up in someone elses bed thinking "What the phuck happened last night?"

As an aspiring photographer, I spend most of the night trying to get a good angle of the gorgeous guitarists or just the right lighting on the screaming fans. Subsequently, I spend most of the night looking through the lens of the camera, but that's just the way I like it. When I'm not filling my memory cards with images of strangers you can bet that I'm right there, in amongst the sweaty crowd screaming, cheering and singing my heart out.

There's nothing like the passion in your favorite bands face or the adoring fans.

That's why I started this blog.

Mostly to recount my experiences with the world, but also to express my adoration for South African musos, being limited in musical talent myself.

When I'm not taking pictures of the band, blogging about them, you can bet your last clean socks for a month that MK is blaring in the background. How else do you think I flunked out of Afrikaans class. My idea of studying is watching Jack Parrow rap on TV.

I attribute my gigging experiences to my friends Vodka and Ganja. Not at the same time though, although this would definitely change after time, and experience. I can split up my first year of gigging into a few momorable nights, each slightly blurred into the last. Nights out were spent oogling bands like Voodoo Child, The Stellas and Cortina Whiplash.

I remember it because that was the tyear I became the worlds biggest groupie and the very first time we went to a little smokey bar called Back2Basix in Westdene, Johannesburg. This is where we would spend a great deal of our young adolescent lives for the next couple of years. That is until we made fake ID's and started going to Cool Runnings and the Boheimian.

A little band called Voodoo Child were playing. I remember this night because that was the night Abby, Michael and I got married. To each other. It was a beautiful ceremony, outside in the cool February rain, 5 minutes before the band was about to start.
She gave me an ominous pink lace glove, which still resides, never worn again for fear of heartbreak, in my sock drawer.
That night, was my Voodoo Child christening.
I was mesmerized.
I sang along like I knew the words.
I didn't.
This too would change.
Photo by: Abby Boulter
School started, and ruined all our fun. Two months later, we would grace the small dingy bar that held such high rank amongst my friends. A band from Pretoria, called Maroc and Apple were playing, and from the first time I saw him, I knew I was in love with the bassist. Don't ask me what their songs were called, or even what they were about, because for the life of me, I wouldn't be able to tell you a single detail.
The night was amazing. They had stickers to promote their band, one which I stuck in the Ladies bathroom still remains in what is now Tipsy Gypsy. Nothing will take away that moment. I was feeling rebelious after three tequillas and we were about to leave.
One quick moment, seemingly fleeting, yet forever remembered.

Photo by: Kathryn Henning
Photo by: Chloe Flaxman
Photo by: Kathryn Henning
Photo by: Chloe Flaxman

As our repetoire of unsigned South African bands grew, so did our passion. This time, rocking out to an emo Rock band with a sassy Lady lead singer, The Monroes, and Man as Machine graced the stage of B2B with their striped socks and loud beats. Voodoo Child would later take the stage much to the delight of Michael.
Photo by: Kathryn Henning
We ended the nights in a ritual, soon grasped by all our friends. Between the bands you would have to drink at least on drink, and a shot. Failing to do this in time to watch the next act, empty handed, enduced a shrill outcry of: "Down it! Down it!" You had to do it. One would simply rock out with a cigarette in ones hand.

I have many a scar from Michaels' lit cigarettes.

A popular occurance in Joburg inlate August or early September is Joburg Burning.
5 Venues, 2 Days and over 30 bands grace the little social hub that is Melville.

This included drunken stumbling from one place to the next, bathroom missions, getting locked behind large iron gates, dancing on stage with Fire Through the Window, busting epic missions to see 340ml, making friends with the shuttle drivers, sitting on randoms laps just so you're not left behind, hanging out on pavements, McDonalds trips at 3am and general stupidity. This year, Abby and I had it all planned out. We had a list of all the bands playing and their prospective venues. We had highlighted the most important ones. The ones we could not miss.
Needless to say that this plan was not stuck to very well after the shots of straw rum. Another ritual developed, mostly because of the "No drinks leave the premisses rule" but also to get hellishly wasted.

Photo by: Whoever had my camera
Joburg Burning was probably the best nights of my life. Anything would go. There technicaly were no rules.
In my short gigging life, I've been to 3 Joburg Burnings. One by accident in late 2009 and two in 2010.

Abby was kind enough to invite me to a The Stellas' gig. From that moment on, I wanted nothing more than to be an underground punk rocker form the 80s.  We danced on stage, got half naked, stole some free shit from Black Pimp'n Jesus, mainly shards of the mint guitar he unfathomably smashed all over the stage, and I convinced my lover at the time to but me a Stellas' T-Shirt.
Photo by: Kathryn Henning
We would go to many more gigs together, including Fokofpolisiekar, aKing, Thornfest and many more. I think this was the epitome of our friendship, although we shared a love for photography, boys and music, it was not to last.
She moved to Cape Town.

Rocking the Gardens was next on the big festival list, wich opened my world to a whole nother level of South African Music.

Thankfully, I spent my birthday weekend surrounded by beautiful people and good music. Along with all the birthday wishes, came a new obsession in the form of Hot Water. Closely followed by an Israeli named Nathanel, who I would proceed to perv over for the whole of 2011, and probably a large part of 2012 as well. Playing at Rocking the Daisies was an Israelie band called the Idan Raichl Project. 
Pure Balkan. 

What with gigging and Joburg Burnig, and all sorts of othre mischief, it was quite a year, and not on I will soon be forgetting. I look forward to sharing my gigging stories of 2011 with you all soon. From one groupie, to another, keep rocking.

We are the product of having sex in the back of a moving vehicle. We are the product of Rock 'n Roll.

With Love, and Reminiscence,
Kathryn What

This blog post was inspired by:

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I Listen to this in the Shower

"Don't be shy, be brave little champion, It's better to live, than to hide."

One thing I loved about Camp and basically being an insomniac for a month was waking up at about 5:30 and taking some of the best showers Id ever taken. Since my life.

Sometimes they'd be uncontrollably hot or cold, but mostly they were great.
What made them so amazing wasn't walking out the bathroom, lovely and clean to sit on my rock and drink a cup of tea and wait for my fellow Maddies to awake, but the quiet, peacefulness of the bathroom whilst showering.

Also, being able to play my music and actually hear it. Without all the interruptions of people.

Why am I blogging about my shower habits you may ask?
Just so I have an excuse to tell you about:

This is one of my favorite songs.
Wich means there are about a hundred more.

With Love,
Kathryn What

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


If you haven't already experienced the face melting, mind exploding, wanderlust that it Skrillex, then you haven't lived as yet.

This is my Glow Poi, to that Skrillex song:

With Love,
Kathryn What


I think this post is an ode to Jake and Evan.
Probably. In all my life. The most best guy friends I've ever had.

Evan is like my other half, and Jake is like a big brother to me. Ironically, I was his little sisters big sister once upon a time. I can spend all day, or night rather, typing out tidbits of information, hoping that the three people that don't actually read my blog, will find them useful in trying to imagine how amazing these people are, but it wont help.

When I opened my blog tab, and proceeded to think of the things I would write, I first thought it would be about the talent show, and how much fun that was, but I realized that there are much bigger talents in these people other than the ones they choose to exhibit in a blue room, somewhere on the coast of South Africa.

There's Evan. Who is comical, and outgoing, yet reserved in his actions and the pieces of himself that he chooses to share. I admire his empathy, his ability to decide when things are worth it, and the fact that many a time he has kept me from straying far too deep in my thoughts. A problem I am all to familiar with- Over thinking.

Then there's Jake. Jake-the-hake to most. Jarred to some. Jake-nstien to me. He's a wonderfully charismatic individual with strong beliefs and a happy-go-lucky attitude. I think its mostly because he's an insomniac and spends a great deal of his life in spoon hour, feigning sleep or watching people enjoy theirs. I have a sneaky suspicion that Jake is one of those people that are so tired they no longer have boundaries. You can spot Jake a mile away, because he always has a blanket or snuggie with him.

Oh, and an unhealthy obsession with Coke.

This is Evan in the Talent Show. Beautiful isn't it?

With Love,
Kathryn What?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Beach People

Cape Town has the loveliest beaches. I love the beach. It comes from living inland. I'm sorry Johannesburg, but if there was one improvement I could make to you, it would be to add the ocean.

Whilst we sat eating ice creams on the beach, I thought to myself:

"Do you think that the little water particles have a life goal to be in a wave?"

I sure think they do...
Like the tiny-est tiny-est little particle right at the deepest darkest part of the ocean. Hes got big dreams too! Imagine the rush of being part of a wave! If I was a tiny tiny water particle, I would want nothing more to be a wave.

Keep Swimming!

With Love,
Kathryn What

A Wishing Tree

This is the wish tree. Jackie and Sivan ran a ma'amad (Morning Prayer) for us one rainy morning, where we all wrote down our wishes for camp, or for the world or for anything really. Some people wrote personal things, others wrote their hopes and dreams for the future. I wrote a little anecdote about my feelings towards the world. We wrote them on blue ribbon.

"I wish we was like peas and carrots again"

You can choose to interpret this as something silly, or you could see the deeper meaning. I wish the world would be as one again. I wish everyone would learn to accept and not tolerate. Tolerance is the worst word in the English language and it irks me when people use it. As humans we shouldn't just tolerate peoples existence but rather accept that different people have different ways of living and expressing them selves. Acceptance. Growth. Humanity.

That was my wish for the wish tree.

Make your own wishes...

With Love,
Kathryn What?

Dear Jozi,

I'm Back!
For the last month I've been hitting up the beautiful city that is Cape Town. Its been a n entire month since I've slept, let alone in my own bed. The late nights, hectic days, intense moments and sheer bliss that is Netzer makes it all worth it.

Machaneh Shirat Ha Yam Started on the 4th of December 2011, with A-Guard. A week long planning session where the councillors organize the two week camp and plan all the activities. We spent most of our time in the bayit (house) being absolutely insane. People at Netzer are the most wonderfully creative and amazing people you will ever meet. The rest of the time was spent in the pub across the road and planning in the Cape Town offices.

Once the kids had arrived, the idea of sleep went right out the window. Many nights were spent in meetings, having emotional breakdowns in the kitchen, eating cereal at 2am or just having a full on jam with Talya and Gozlan.

For our opening night we all made a huge circle and lit sparklers!

This s Marni.
She is one of my bestest best friends in the whole world.
We had the most amazing times on camp and she's the most beautiful person, inside and out.
We had a bet to see who could poop in ALL the toilets.
We both won.
 I love and miss her so much! 
The Hanhalah, who are the people who make sure the whole camp runs smoothly and basically organise everything, did crazy things to some trance music for their introduction.

We had an amazing introduction video, too bad I don't have it on my computer, but if I did, or I get it, I'll post it.
 Camp started off with a bang, and would carry on its magic for another three weeks.

With Love,
Kathryn What?