Methodically following the preference theme set up guide, easy to follow, confidence is growing. Got to page “lets get some plugins so we can do what the demo site does” and installed the recommeded widgets in order ,via Dashboard – plugins – add new – search (enter plugin name as per instructions), press search button. This worked for all except the last one Widgetkit Lite. To grab this click on the widget name on the tutorial which links to Yootheme.com and select the WordPress lite (free) option for downloading from them.
Posted just in case it helps someone somewhere who is at the beginning of a fun learning curve like me