So I have had some luck now at least with formatting and backgrounds. I think its just a matter of slogging through the trail and error process. It's daunting but I've found a couple of web sites that have helped..
In the days to come when I've sorted the wheat from the chaff I'll post some links so anyone else trying to do what I've done will have a place to start.
At this rate it looks like 'The world according to me' is going to be rather dull.. we'll have to do something about that.