IT'S been a long wait, but we've now put the shortest day of the year behind us.
With June 21 come and gone, we'll be getting a little more light each day - though it will be a while yet before the difference starts to become obvious and the squadrons of CBD workers aren't driving home along Eglinton Road, Hereford Street, Suttor Street and Kendall Avenue in the gathering gloom.
That precious extra daylight is valuable for exercise or outdoor gatherings or gardening - or it would be if it wasn't so ridiculously cold.
Everyone, even those who love the Bathurst winter, will have their own markers to indicate the coming and the going of these coldest months of the year.
IN NEWS AROUND BATHURST:
The first frost is an obvious one, but there's also the first day that doesn't get into double figures, the first day where you don't leave the house, the first load of washing that stays on the line all day but doesn't get dry, the first morning that passes without the sun managing to fight its way through the leaden fog.
There's the first buds that appear on an ambitious tree in your neighbourhood (or on your route to work), the first night you don't switch the heater on automatically, the first electricity bill that doesn't make you gasp.
The Bathurst Winter Festival has added its own markers since it was held for the first time in 2015 as part of our city's bicentenary celebrations.
Seeing Russell Street closed off (from George to William) signals that the big build-up to the festival has begun and seeing the ice rink start to take shape indicates that the countdown is now on in earnest.
The Saturday nights in which the centre of the city is filled with happy, chatting locals and visitors show that Bathurst has once again managed to perform the impossible: turning its cold weather into a hot ticket on the calendar.
And, of course, the early stages of the dismantling of the ice rink show that the festival - and a fair chunk of winter - is over for another year.
The longest day of the year and the sweaty, seemingly endless afternoons of high summer seem a fair way off at the moment as Bathurst shivers through another June, but December and January will be here before we know it.
The calendar keeps flipping and the weather keeps turning with or without us. That's the way the system works.