Obviously the handrails weren't perfectly aligned to start with. Which didn't help the cause. In the real world, the large, rubber end stops would have rested against the wall. Nobody would ever notice, nor care about perfect alignment. Had I chosen to use that option the ladder would have slowly crept down the wall over time. So I'm not quite the pedant you had just painted me. I wanted the ladder fixed but without drilling holes to bolt it down. Leaning the ladder against its rubber stops would normally provide the friction needed to make the handrails stiff. So I needed a safe alternative.
There's a specialist tarpaulin "tailor" not far away who could probably make one big enough for an observatory. The size is manageable at 3m long x 3m wide x 1.5m high but it would need strong circular hoops to make a windproof structure. Square stainless steel tubing hinged at floor level? It makes one think furiously, about options to a hard dome, doesn't it?
Thursday: I used the fine weather to paint the veranda joists with the Safe-Way 'eco' wood protection treatment. Being made almost entirely of water it went a long way and ran everywhere if applied generously. Being water-transparent made it rather difficult to see where I had already painted. Once surface dry, it turned a thin, highly variable, weak and patchy, bluish-grey. Which made the timber look merely dirty rather than old or weathered. Perhaps it will change again given enough time and weathering?
After an hour in breezy sunshine @ 66F the knots in the timber look darker and more noticeable. The images show the general idea. The darkness seems to depend on porosity and previous exposure. The bottom braces look dark because they have been frequently splashed by rain. The sawn finished posts also look dark because they are absorbent. I noticed the larch floorboards darkened where I had splashed the mixture. Because the liquid was so runny I kept a tub of the mixture inside a bucket for stability. The flat bottom of the bucket sat safely on the braces without fear of toppling or being knocked off by the wind. The bucket also collected most of the drips from the freshly loaded brush.