While out walking with the dog the other day I noticed how many people were having work done to replace garden walls that have either bowed or fallen down because of the saturated ground. Many. I'm having the same problem in my own back garden where a (fortunately, decorative) wall or two are on the move and will need to be removed, the earth dug back and the walls replaced. Sometime.
It's because we're built on limestone, on the rock itself. Many houses here don't have actual foundations or footings, my cellar is my foundation and it was blown out of the rock. The downside is that gardens are very shallow, dig and you soon reach bedrock. Meaning that there are certain trees that won't grow in certain places and that you have to have a lot of raised planting areas- hence lots of retaining walls.
Subsidence here is rare, but not unheard of. A friend lost the back of her house when a cowboy builder banged up an extension presuming the whole house was on limestone (no footings). Turned out the back of the house was on a pocket of clay. Big whoops.
I managed a couple of hours in the garden yesterday, tidying up. It was dry, and by that I mean nothing was falling from the sky rather than the underfoot status, and a balmy 1oC with a bit of a nippy wind on top. I was very muddy when I went back in, but the job got done.
I also managed some time on the dolls' house. I think this will be a long haul. Reading other people's blogs about mini home renovation I'm relieved to see that it can take years. I think it's actually harder than doing a real house. The silver paint is an absolute double-expletive to shift, and just seems to keep going round and round, re-spreading and moving rather than coming off. The temptation to give up is tremendous, but I think if I set myself small goals it'll get done eventually.
I did find myself thinking 'I could sneak it to the charity shop and look for a better one...' But I am British and I will persevere where almost all hope is lost. I will not be beaten by a dolls' house. I will not be beaten by a dolls' house. Repeat as required...