My wife's birthday present to herself

My wife’s birthday present to herself.

You may be surprised what the lady, who worked in the fashion industry before moving to Sri Lanka, bought for herself.

A dream made real.

I didn’t know when we met where we would end up. 

It’s not something that you discuss on an initial date.

I don’t have the type of character that would naturally discuss dreams and aspirations.

We did discuss a future plan. I saw it as a change at the right time of my life. A chance to get some time back. 

My wife is Sri Lankan and we met when she was working in the UK.

And how did you meet?

Lots of our guests at GlenMyu Estate ask how we met. Some are surprised that we met on the dance floor in International Student House, near Great Portland Street.
At the time she was in the country only occasionally and we always danced together when we met. It took her almost nine months to ask me out. Yes, she asked, I didn’t read the signs. 

A relationship and a plan.

During our years in the UK my wife always said that her plan was to go back to Sri Lanka at one point.
Our relationship blossomed and I guess I was in on the plan. 
Maybe I didn’t listen hard enough, but I understood that the reason she wanted to go home was to live with her parents.

What I didn’t hear (or listen to) was that she really wanted an organic farm and to look after animals.

Things evolved.

Plans change in life and our initial idea of living in Colombo and using a smaller version of the house at GlenMyu Estate as a holiday home changed.

I really couldn’t manage with the heat in Colombo (almost 10 degrees Celsius more than the hills). The feeling of being a prisoner in the morning and evening avoiding the mosquitos was also not pleasant. Although there are mosquitos in the hills, the temperature results in very few bothering me. I can sit out in the evenings in the cooling air and not be pestered. 

Our plan changed and it fell in line with my wife’s dream of living in the mountains and creating an organic farm.

A lot of work, a bed and breakfast and lots of animals.

Roll on to the present time and after a lot of hard work and persistence we created GlenMyu Estate.

The estate is funded by having guests stay with us when they are on holiday in Sri Lanka. Being around an hour away from Ella, Nine Arch Bridge, Little Adam’s Peak etc, we are a good alternative to the busy tourist town. We have great reviews from our guests and they rave about Ru’s food.
As we only have three bedrooms availability is getting scarce during the peak holiday periods.

We have gathered some animals which are an added interest to the guests that stay.

My wife's first birthday present to herself.

As you get older it’s hard to chose a birthday present for your partner.

In the UK it was a little easier as Ru was really interested in cooking. So, cook books were welcomed.

I managed to get several books signed by Rick Stein over the years through my brother who drove him around for a period and also standing in line at a book signing at Waterstones. There were books from other authors and Le Cordon Bleu as Ru carried out a short course there.
My mother lives in West Cork, Ireland and there are books from great producers such as Gubbeen and by her acquaintances including also Darina Allen from Ballymaloe.

In Sri Lanka, living away from Colombo, it is a little more difficult choosing a suitable present.

As we were driving from Haputale to Beragala, my wife decided that she wanted to buy four ducks for her birthday. I guess this is where buying her own birthday presents started. 

The ducks were installed at GlenMyu Estate and have multiple over the years to around twenty. They add something special to the environment and I find watching them quite meditative.
Ru has a special relationship with our original mother duck who follows her around and is more like a pet. 

Her latest birthday present to herself.

In December 2022 we took ownership of our rescue cow Maali.
She has also become a great addition to the estate and provides us with manure for our organic garden.

Unfortunately, being alone, behaviour problems started to arise and she would try to play and heat butt our dogs, ducks and chickens in the afternoon.

Having read more about the issue it was clear that cows, being a herd animal, need some company of their own kind.

An opportunity arose to chose a new birthday present.

One of our neighbours had a bull calf which was destined for the slaughterhouse.
Females are the important ones as they produce milk and generate an income for these smallholders. 

Ru was given the opportunity to rescue the bull calf and, after a little discussion with me, she decided that this would be her birthday present to herself. 

The birthday present would not just be purchasing the bull calf, but also building a new cowshed where he and Maali could stay. Maali’s accommodation was not big enough for two.

My wife's birthday present.

My wife used to work in the clothing and fashion industry. I think that if you asked us ten years ago what she would be getting for a birthday present, a bull calf would not have arisen as a choice!
Life has changed and perhaps there will be another life saved with her choice of birthday present next year.

Not just a bull calf for her birthday.

The day of my wife’s birthday included feeding stray dogs with the big batch of chicken and rice that had been made that morning.

Lots of poor creatures were fed on the way to the beauty salon where she spent a lot of the remainder of her birthday being pampered

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and meet our animals.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours or so drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

GlenMyu Estate
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