No suggestions... it's occured to me that peeps might think that I've purloined someone's work, as I'm clearly using a template.
This is in fact the template that Paul Dell is offering to anyone who contributes to his plight, which djinn brought attention to in an earlier thread: click here.
As I'm still learning CSS, it's ideal for me to use as an aid. I've made quite a few modifications, so although it's not all my own work, I've personalised it quite a bit.
Anyway, I think my transparent gif idea worked OK, but I won't tick as resolved just yet in case someone comes up with a better solution.