I went to the waiting room to fetch my new clients, Chloe and her mum, but instead saw a teenager and what seemed to be her younger sister. There was no one else there so I asked ‘Mrs Ingle?’ and the teenager got up with the about-nine-year-old. Either the two girls were not Mother and daughter, or the Mother was less young than she seemed. Or, I suppose, Mrs Ingle had given birth at something like 7. We discounted the last idea when she started speaking about her older daughter, aged 11 and wearing Size 16 clothes. And so began talking about looking young. It turned out that Mum was 30 but one of those unusual people who genuinely look much younger. It ‘s the third time I have come across this, so it can’t be very common. In some families, people look very youthful. Mrs Ingle talked about having to take her passport to the pub, of her mum being asked for her pass when she took her three children on the bus. And of being asked again and again when she answered the door – Is your mum in dear? It can be very wearing. Another lady I met had been stopped by police while driving somewhere with her children, as they thought she was too young to have a license. There was research on this years and years ago. David Weeks, a neuro-psychologist in Edinburgh researched families who were youthful. This was in about the mid-nineties and what I most remember is that the trait ran in families. Certainly, in my families, it worked like that. I saw one Mum’s father. At that time he was in his late forties and looked just about thirty so that it was strange to hear him called Grand-father. I’ve tried to trace this research on Google, but the only significant thing that remains is the detail that people who have lots of sex – four times a week or more – tend to look younger. The stories mention people like Goldie Hawn, Helen Mirren and Joan Collins and make the assumption that they have healthy sex lives. They neither mention, nor show pictures of the men involved!!! This is actually one of the minor and less interesting parts of the story – all three women whom I knew were single and not in any sort of relationship. They looked young because their family had genes that made that happen. And it was a blessing and a curse: it was lovely to look youthful but a nuisance to have to explain yourself in all sorts of different circumstances

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