“Is Mum alright, Dad?”
“Don’t wake her, for Gawd’s sake!” Lew’s face registered fear. “She’ll start doing a ‘knees up’ or get all funny. Either way, I’ll never hear the end of it.”
“A knees up?” Frances whispered. I explained it was an East London dance that is only difficult to do if very drunk, which is the only time it is ever performed. A “knees up” requires the linkage of arms, the stomping of feet, and high-kicking legs in order to get the required “knees up” while singing “Knees Up Mother Brown.”
The image of my drunken aunts performing like inebriated Rockettes, trampling on each other’s feet, was not far from my mind.