London 2012's 10 commandments
"Seriously, how do you think we're doing?"
Tough question to dodge that, particularly over a meal you haven't paid for. And I've been asked it twice in the last fortnight by senior London 2012 staff. Luckily, for all concerned, it's not one I had to swerve as they are doing really rather well.
For evidence of this cast your mind back to Monday and the coverage they got for reaching the three-years-to-go mark without major mishap and getting a train to travel five miles in under seven minutes. Robert Stephenson's Rocket didn't get as much praise as Seb Coe's Javelin.
So well done, Locog/ODA, you've done a blinding job...so far. There are plenty more fences to clear before you're home and hosed. Here are 10 of the biggest - feel free to scribble them down on post-it notes and scatter around the office.
Four years into the project of converting a WWII bombsite into a venue for the world's greatest sports event/desirable place to live and work, nobody can fault what has been achieved. You started ahead of schedule and you've stayed ahead. The stadium is a familiar face on the skyline, the pool's signature roof is already legible and there are reassuring shapes been thrown all over the park.
But it still looks like Glastonbury after the crowds have left and you are still attempting to build at least half a dozen large structures on what was (for the most part) a contaminated, neglected and ignored 500-acre parcel of watery real estate. And if that's not hard enough, you're using umpteen different firms whilst observing the very greenest building standards. So let's have no resting on our spirit levels just yet.
Wembley no way
One of the reasons things have gone so swimmingly is that you've stuck to the script. By all means trim where possible but remember Wembley. Mess with the master plan at your peril. Unlike the Football Association, you can't stage the Games in Wales while you finish the plumbing.
Which brings me on to Wembley Arena and perhaps the most imminent of your headaches. Boxing isn't biting on the heritage hook and shows no inclination to swap its cosy corner of the ExCel Centre for the hard shoulder of the North Circular. You might have to build that £40m temporary venue in North Greenwich after all.
On the flipside, the original plan also called for equestrian in Greenwich Park and shooting at Woolwich Barracks. My advice would be to hold your horses and stick to your guns. These venues still make more sense than the alternatives (but only just in shooting's case) and should be left alone.
It's the economy, stupid
The general mood might be positive towards you at present but there are many who have not forgotten how the "public" budget went from a £2.4bn guesstimate to a £9.3bn line in the sand in less than the two years. Add to that the fact the economy fell off a cliff last year and you're looking at "the toughest time - short of wartime - to get the project to 2012".
To your credit, the budget is still £9.3bn, which is good as you aren't getting any more, and you secured most of your sponsorship cash before the market went belly up. But as your City-schooled chief exec Paul Deighton will know GB plc isn't out of the woods yet and deals can be broken. In fact, you've already had to rip up one yourselves, swapping Nortel for Cisco. That bit of peace of mind cost £15m but will prove cheap at half the price if the intraweb works in 2012.
So be prepared for more contractual wrangling particularly as you add the less lucrative but vital value-in-kind partners who provide all the free hotel rooms, bottled water and leisurewear that make any global event possible.
Here's something your predecessors in Beijing didn't have to worry about: elections.
The team has already lost two of its star players, with Tony Blair leaving Number 10 and Ken Livingstone losing City Hall, but the Olympic project remained on track thanks to the continuity supplied by those who remained and those who replaced them. Gordon Brown swapped his Treasury scepticism for Blair-like enthusiasm when he took the top job, and Boris Johnson brought a showman's grasp of the big occasion to compensate for losing Livingstone's eye for redevelopment detail.
Brown, of course, is now vulnerable himself, as is his underrated Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell. Their likely replacements are unlikely to tear up the cross-bench consensus that has prevailed but a hung parliament could make things interesting.
Assuming all goes smoothly on the domestic front, you will still need to keep a close eye on foreign affairs and the key relationship is with the court of Jacques Rogge. Never forget that when push comes to shove this is the International Olympic Committee's party - they pick the guest list, music and parlour games.
But the IOC is well aware of the financial constraints you're working under and wants you to succeed (they know London 2012 is a better model for the future of the Games than Beijing 2008). Use this to your advantage, particularly when dealing with the 26 international federations that represent the Olympic sports.
At the moment, Rogge is loving your work. Keep it this way and everything gets much easier.
Build the field and they will come
You may have three years until the opening ceremony but you've only got two years to finish the buildings if you're going to give yourselves time to test the bars, loos and press facilities (particularly important, that last one). Previous hosts have failed to do this and taken years off lives as a result.
And there is another reason to push on with the building work. Just think how much easier it will be to sell tickets in 2011 if the venues are open for business. Hit the ground running on tickets and you can concentrate on how to keep the venues full during the Games themselves - something Beijing failed to do - and create a festival atmosphere around the country.
A good time is a safe time
If there is one thing guaranteed to ruin all your hard work it is a terrorist attack. Previous Games have been scarred by violence, most notably Munich in 1972, and the positive vibes associated with London's bid victory in 2005 were only 24 hours old before the 7/7 bombings brought everybody crashing down again.
This is a massive challenge, and not your sole responsibility, but as the public face of the Games the onus is on you to make sure everything that can be done is being done.
By jingo, we've won it!
Another truism of Olympic history is that a successful Games for the host nation is usually a successful Games, full stop. Nothing packs them in and keeps them cheering better than a parade of home-grown heroes. The TV pictures look better too.
Now it's not your job to gerrymander this but nobody will thank you if we stage the best Olympics of all time but come 36th in the medal table. We could have gone back to Atlanta for that. So push on with your preparations but keep Team GB's main stakeholders in the loop.
Bricks and mortar
While 9 September 2012 will see the end of the Paralympics and seven years of hard work, it will not close the book on London 2012. That will only happen when every building you leave behind has become somebody's home, be it a regular Londoner, an aspiring athlete or a thriving industry.
We know we would not have even bid for the Games - let alone win them - if we had not hitched a long overdue redevelopment project to the Olympic wagon, but that will look like a Faustian pact if the Olympic Stadium is padlocked and peeling a year down the line. Get this right and you should be able to relax...in about 2032.
Sport for all
If you can stage a great Games and leave London a little better off then you all deserve long holidays on islands in the sun. If you can stage a great Games, leave London a little better off AND persuade people to get off the sofa and back into sport, you deserve the islands in the sun.
A cynic will point out that no Olympic host has ever managed this before. A believer will counter that few have really tried. Some things are certain, you will not pull this off on your own and you will have to share credit if it works and take sole responsibility if it fails. Them's the breaks.
But a fitter, happier, healthier Britain would be a legacy of genuinely Olympic proportions. Good luck.