Annie, the Mother Who Is 46 Going on 21; LIVING WITH PETER PAN SYNDROME (CONTINUED)

Article excerpt

WHEN Annie Genower answers the door to salesmen, they invariably ask if her father is at home.

People who see the 46-year-old out with her three adult children assume she is their sister.

And at a recent family fancy dress party she was almost turned away after being mistaken for a teenage gatecrasher.

But the mother of three cannot attribute her youthful looks to a stress-free life. Her circumstances in recent years have been anything but.

She was divorced in 1994 after 18 years of marriage and went on to develop and beat a rare blood disease.

Mrs Genower, whose only sign of ageing is the occasional grey hair, admits she is as baffled as anyone by her failure to look any older.

'I don't know why I haven't aged,' she said. 'My friends all wonder how I do it, but I haven't got a secret. I put baby oil on my skin daily, I don't smoke and have never used soap, but I have no other routines.' Mrs Genower, of Thames Ditton, Surrey, contacted the Daily Mail after reading about Ian Dennison, a real-life Peter

Pan who, at the age of 32, has trouble convincing people he has not just left school. She said: 'My friend told me that I still looked the same as when she and I worked together more than 25 years ago.

'I think it must be hereditary because my parents are in their 70s and don't look it.' Mrs Genower, who teaches cake decorating part-time, claims to have inherited her parents' young-at-heart attitude.

'When I mix with people only a few years older than me I sometimes feel they are much older than me,' she said. …