London needs firing up
So just as the snow is eventually followed by the thaw, we move from 2010 to 2011 - and have a quick look at some of the Olympic milestones for the year ahead.
There is, I reckon, one over-arching thing that needs to be done. Up until now, the London 2012 preparations have gone very smoothly. The chairman and the chief executive are still in place, which is rare for Olympic cities, and the construction has been ahead of schedule. But that lack of drama has also meant a lack of headlines - and "steady as she goes" isn't the cry that gets millions of people fired up.
This ties in with what one veteran Olympic-watcher said to me recently: London doesn't at the moment feel like an Olympic host city. There's little signage, not many 2012-oriented events yet and none of the buzz that was apparent in Beijing when I went there at this kind of time before the Games.
This is, of course, tied in with the fact that London is a city which hums with activity 24x7x365; and adding an Olympic layer on top of one of the world's most energised and connected cities was always going to be tough. So as with the achievements delivered by the organisers already, there's a challenge of coping with success.
But the goal for 2011 should be clear: by the end of it there needs to be a keen sense of anticipation for 2012 - and the UK should be moving from passive support to active engagement with what's ahead.
How can that be done? Look out for these landmarks.
1. Ticket sales, due in March. We've talked a lot here about ticketing and your message is clear. You want the process to be fair and tout- and glitch-free; and, of course, many people are setting a lot of hopes on getting into the events of their choice. Not everyone will get what they want, but knowing that you have your ticket to 2012 will be a big step for millions of people.
2. One Year To Go. On 27 July 2011 it will be exactly a year to the Opening night, so expect to see some ceremonial - there's usually a formal invitation to athletes to come to the next host city - and London starting to be dressed like an Olympic capital. In China in 2007 this was a characteristically huge landmark - so even if we don't have an official song like Beijing's unoriginally-titled "We are ready", the world will be wanting a sense of what the Games of 2012 will be like. Here at the BBC we're working with Locog on One Year To Go programming, and our ambition is to move from the daytime slots of Two Years To Go into the peak schedule if - and it's still an "if" - the right events can be created.
Beach volleyball will be played in Horse Guards next year. Photo: Getty Images
3. Test events. There's nothing like sport being played competitively in the actual Olympic venues to get the appetite stimulated, and that's what we should start seeing in 2011. A few days ago there was confirmation, for instance, of the test event for beach volleyball in Horseguards Parade; and gradually the 2011-12 calendar will be inked in with the first serious use of the velodrome, the Aquatics centre and all the rest.
And 4. The Torch Relay. We expect to hear in the first half of 2011 where the Torch will stop overnight on its 70-day journey round the UK, and that will mark the point when major cities know they'll have an official role in the Olympic journey. This is eagerly anticipated by many people around the country, but it's also the opportunity to start winning over wider communities once they know the Torch is coming to them.
Mostly these initiatives sit with the Organising Committee, but we're aware of our responsibility too if we want the Olympic spirit to build. World Olympic Dreams has exceeded our expectations in the numbers of people it's reached, and this Christmas it's complemented by British Olympic Dreams on the BBC News Channel - with Radio 5 live and BBC London supporting the sporting story alongside our live events coverage. Then in March we're expecting to see the launch of BBC Comedy's take on the Games preparations - "Twenty Twelve" - and all year our dedicated bbc.co.uk/2012 website will be getting richer and more ambitious in the content its offering. I'll keep you in touch with other BBC developments here too.
And here's the final reminder of how close we're getting to 2012. When this country won the Games in Singapore, there were seven New Year's Eve celebrations ahead before London's Olympic Year. After 31 December 2010, there will be just one.
In just 12 months' time, we'll be heralding the start of 2012 with all the expectations on London from this country and the wider world - and that ticking clock we've been hearing seems to be going faster and faster.