Susan Taylor was born and bred on the land.
Originally from Walesby, a hamlet in the heart of Robin Hood country in Nottinghamshire, her very earliest memory is of making mud pies in the farmhouse garden and later, being threatened by a fierce cockerel, almost as tall as she was. She sensibly hid under a broken door propped up on the farmyard causeway.
Once at school, she hid behind acute shyness. When the family moved their new farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds, she went to Caistor Grammar School, boasting a school hall built in 1631 and two poets among its twenty or so teachers. Her aunt, Joan Hunt, also wrote poetry occasionally and so, there must have been some poetic osmosis going on through childhood. She, at least, realised that poets were norml-ish human beings who did not live in remote ivory towers!
Talking of remote towers, though, the farm the Taylors chose to settle in had an exquisite sandstone castle of a farmhouse, built in the early 1800’s designed by Charles Tennyson D’Eyncourt, the then Poet Laureate’s brother. You might say the die was cast!