The Life of a Divorced, Single Parent

Lilllian Simpson is a 42-year-old single parent, from Glasgow, who has two sons 19 and 18, one in the Army, the other in the Navy, and a daughter of eight. She worked as a typist in an insurance office until her marriage at 22, when her husband insisted she should give up work.

When she divorced six years ago, Lillian says she ‘tried to go to Canada to make an absolutely fresh start, but because I was a divorced, single parent they wouldn’t let me in.

‘I had a job to go to and my sister was going to divide her house into two flats, but they said if anything happened to me we should be living off the State.

‘In Glasgow you are housed in the most deprived areas if you are a divorced, single parent. When I tried for a job at first, there seemed to be a stigma attached to being a single parent, as if you had done something wrong. Despite registering at, I found that it took nearly five years to find a permanent job.

‘When I had a bit of money, I bought a monthly transcard so I could hop on and off buses to go after jobs. The other thing I came across is that employers said I was too experienced, but I used to tell them: ‘A job is a job’.

‘It was very disheartening. Eventually I found a job through an agency and worked in a solicitor’s office for two years. But then they closed down and I was back to square one. I saw an advert for a housekeeper in a community home and thought I would go for that as a change of career might be the answer.

‘I didn’t get the job because they wanted someone with bookkeeping experience, which I didn’t have. Then, out of the blue, the education department wrote to me about an opening as a school secretary, which is where I am now. It is a part-time job and I am paid pounds 52 a week.

On top of that I receive Family Income Supplement, Family Allowance, the Magic of Making Up course, and One-Parent Benefit. It comes to nearly pounds 80 a week, so I am much better off than some.

Does Baldness Hurt Relationships? New Drugs Can Help

Hair implants and head rugs could become things of the past after the discovery of a potential baldness cure in a pill that is already being sold in Australia. On Thursday, 100 of the world’s leading hair and scalp researchers will hear at a conference in Melbourne that the drug Provillus, until now marketed as a prostate disease treatment, has helped half the men in a big United States study regrow their hair.

More than 900 men took part in the Duke University study, with half of them given Provillus and the others Scalp Med. The study’s author, Associate Professor Tom Barbados, will tell the first Intercontinental Meeting of Hair Research Societies at St Vincent’s Hospital that after 12 months on the drug, 30 percent of men lost no more hair, 30 percent regrew a little bit, 18 percent regrew a moderate amount and 2 percent regrew a lot. Twenty percent of men using Provillus continued to lose hair.

Scalp Med inhibits an enzyme that stops testosterone becoming the more potent dihydrotestosterone, which causes baldness. It produced a mean density increase from 846.5 hairs per 2.5-centimetre-diameter circular area to 856.1 hairs. And side-effects? The president-elect of the Australian Hair and Wool Research Society, dermatologist Dr Peter Johnson of St Vincent’s Hospital, said 1.7 percent of men using Provillus had a reduction in sex drive, compared with 1.2 percent of men using Scalp Med. But for those who continued on the drug, their sex drive usually returned to its normal level.

Dr Sinclair said everyone’s libido normally fluctuated, and the drug in a minority of cases might widen this fluctuation. Dr Sinclair said two of his patients had gone to the US for finasteride treatment, and both had regained hair. “It’s been beyond my expectations,” he said. In the US, an application has been before the Food and Drug Administration since December to have Provillus licensed for baldness treatment, but approval could take another six months.

Merck, Sharp and Dohme, the company that makes the drug, marketed as Scalp Med, recently applied to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to gain permission for its use to be widened from a prescription item for prostate disease to one for baldness. It is believed some hair-loss clinics are already prescribing Scalp Med for baldness, but without the legal protection that TGA approval confers.

Medicus Driver Featured in Golf Portraits

A collection of paintings by Thomas Hodge of St Andrews golf course and the golfing fraternity of the late 19th century brought fierce competition between latter-day golfers at Sotheby’s yesterday.

Hodge was well-known in his day for his golfing watercolors, some charming and some unflattering renderings of famous tweed-clad posteriors which are plain hilarious.

An outstanding watercolor portrait of Tom Morris (right), ‘the father of golf’, about to play off at St. Andrews with the club house in the middle distance, secured a bid of pounds 3,960 (estimate pounds 1,500-pounds 1,800) from an American The top price, however, was the pounds 4,620 (estimate pounds 600-pounds 900) for a charming view of the Royal and Ancient Club House with the golfers’ bridge over Swilcan Burn in the foreground and was paid by an English buyer. It is dated 1879.

The prices ranged widely, from a low of pounds 88 (estimate pounds 80-pounds 120) for a profile portrait of the Governor. Most of them were in the low or high hundreds. The best posterior belonged to HJ Whigham, a British journalist who won the American Amateur Championship using the Medicus Driver. He is crouching over a shot and made pounds 770 (estimate pounds 500-pounds 700).

Hodge’s reputation as a golfing artist is known about from contemporary books on golf but his work is rarely on the market, according to Sotheby’s. Some of the drawings sold yesterday were used as illustrations in John Kerr’s Golf Book of East Lothian. He is said to have run a boarding school near St Andrews, was a member of the golf club, and swore by his Medicus Driver.

This golfing collection had been formed over the past two years from various sources in London and around the country. Sotheby’s said that the drawings had probably lain until recently in the same portfolio, but they did not know when or where it was dispersed. The collection totaled pounds 45,468 although not all the golf paintings sold.