Yes, well, after more than six years of blogging and more than 1200 posts, I've finally summoned the nerve to fool around with Blogger's upgraded template designs and get a new look in place. There were many reasons I didn't do it earlier - the main one being that whenever I attempted a change, my manually updated sidebar either vanished or spread itself all over the page in terrifying patterns. People have been telling me for a long time that the old template looked staid or that the green was too bright or that the space utilisation was poor (the main text in each post covering only a relatively small section in the middle of the page), but I didn't much care: if you read the blog through email subscription or a feed-reader, the template doesn't matter. Plus there was the comfort zone, the fear of technology and the fact that my priority has always been the actual writing.
But I've made the jump now, and much to my own surprise it took only a couple of hours of fidgeting around nervously before I figured out how to transport old page elements (such as the Sitemeter icon and the "Subscribe by email" facility) to the new template. Also had to update the "books" and "films" posts on the sidebar, which took a lot of time, and there's more that has to be done. I'm still experimenting, and will make further changes over the next few days.
Hope you get used to the new look. Meanwhile, any suggestions (for page elements and additions, not for colour) are welcome.