Or keep the Gipiemme chainset and change the freewheel and rear mech(for a long arm one).
Ride with that setup and then decide where to go spec wise.
David and Roadking, thanks for the further advice.
David, the current Gipiemme is 144 BCD (did I get the letters right?) so 42 is the lowest ring that'll fit - I hadn't thought of getting an old-school chainset that has a smaller BCD and can fit smaller rings - I'll check out the Stronglight you suggest.
Roadking, great minds think alike. To keep me going, I've fitted a seven block 13-34 but for the roads round here even a 42F 34R gear is too high for me. Also, the block jumps from 25 to 34 in one go, so it's a big gap. It'll be fine for now, as you suggest, but I'll prefer a 13-28 with a compact chainset whether old or new.