Time for the lovelife update. I'll make this relatively brief.
After the romantic weekend in Marlow mentioned below, I was very, very ready to move on and put it all behind me, so I did. Although it was difficult, I stopped phoning her, stopped inviting her to things and even told her I didn't want her to come to a family wedding I had previously invited her to.
I did the thing that I've seen various of my friends do when they go through a breakup and started contacting people I hadn't spoken to in months. I also went through all my belongings and chucked away loads of things that I no longer needed (anybody want an old personal CD player, or a slightly worn pair of Doc Marten shoes). It was all very cathartic.
I did feel guilty about cancelling the wedding invite on her at such short notice (I'd never make an evil dictator) so I suggested we go to the cinema one Sunday afternoon, she leapt at the chance. When we met up I was weak for about 1 minute and invited her to see me in Nottingham during the week (I was to be alone in the hotel for the week). I knew I shouldn't have invited her, but...well I was crap. Anyway, we watched the film (Tomb Raider - absolutely dreadful) and went our separate ways.
The next day I got a phone call from her saying she had booked her ticket to Nottingham and I was to see her on Thursday. Hmmmm.
On Thursday she turned up and we went to a bar and started to make slightly forced conversation. After about half an hour, she put her glass down, looked at me and said
"There's something I want to say".
Never a good thing to hear, but I asked her to continue, and she said
"I've been stupid over the last year, I think you're great and if you'll have me I'd love for us to give it a try".
In response to which I remained speechless for about 20 minutes.
Of course, I'd had lofty imaginings of this conversation, but never expected it to actually occur. Anyway, most of those imagined dialogues had included lofty ideals on my side which saw me say things like
"Well, I should think you've left it a bit late for that haven't"
but I couldn't say anything like that at all, and am still really rather chuffed all in all.
So, being a bit of a bastard seems to work.