SO what does 2018 have in store for you? Well, by the end of it you’ll have made 197 trips to the supermarket, loaded the washing machine 239 times, tackled 150 piles of ironing, made 275 beds and filled the car with petrol 130 times.

Throughout this year you’ll prepare 171 packed lunches, do the washing-up 353 times, make 130 trips to the bank or post office, hang out 192 lots of washing, make four trips to a DIY store, use an ATM 156 times and be on hold to a utility company three times.

The new year doesn’t look quite so exciting once the party-popper streamers have been swept up and the empties tipped into the recycling bin. This is the week when reality sets in, when most people return to work after their Christmas break and all its indulgences - and a new report reveals that more than half (57 per cent) of Brits are feeling “completely overwhelmed” by the prospect of an entire new year of work commitments, household chores and life admin.

The survey of nearly 2,000 adults by Currys PC World lays bare the “life jobs” awaiting us over the next 12 months, not least vacuuming (208 times), loading and unloading the dishwasher (327 times), cooking evening meals (296 of them) and taking the car to the garage (at least twice). Seven in 10 of those surveyed said such chores got in the way of life, with tasks like laundry, ironing and cleaning taking up much of their weekends.

We’re only four days in and already I've lost count of hearing people say: “I hate January”. All the bonhomie of Christmas is packed away with the baubles and fairy lights and we become preoccupied once again with the minutiae of life.

There are bills to be paid, dental appointments to be made, dogs to be walked, forms to be filled, lightbulbs to be changed,

kids to be ferried around, bins to be emptied and tables to be laid. And yes, it's all pretty dull. But would we really want to be without these mundane life jobs?

Three years ago this month I lost my dad. In his dying weeks, when he was so ill he could barely walk across a room, I remember him saying in a quiet voice how much he wanted to just get in his car and drive to the shops. He missed the routine of his days, even the hum-drum domestic tasks that are tiresome chores to most of us. He no longer ran his house, a place where he'd lived for nearly half a century, and he knew he would never do so again.

And now, three years on, it's often the little things I did with him that I miss the most. I miss our walks by the canal, chatting about this and that; going round for tea, when he'd take pride in serving me a new recipe he'd cut out of a Sunday magazine; laughing at something daft on telly with him; playing cards, when he'd teach his grandchildren the games he once taught me; even wandering around a garden centre with him, killing a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon. I can't pass a garden centre now without thinking of my dad.

The minutiae of life is life itself. It's what makes things like holidays, celebrations, get-togethers and days off so special. If we spent our lives just doing the good stuff, without wheeling the bins out, cleaning the oven, doing the big shop or emptying the dishwasher in between, wouldn't the good stuff get tiresome too?

In youth we take everything for granted, but with passing time comes the nagging realisation that nothing lasts forever.

I don't exactly look forward to cleaning the fridge, or sorting out my bank statements, but cracking on with such tasks makes me feel in control of my life. And there's a lot to be said for that.

* DRY January. Two words I'm already sick of.

It's that time again, when we're meant to give our livers a break. I've never bothered, mainly because I'm generally put off things that everyone else is doing, like reading Harry Potter. But since most people I know are giving up booze for January, I've decided to try it too.

"How hard can it be?" I thought, until I remembered that nice glass of wine on a Friday evening, after a week at work. Then there's the birthday do I've been invited to, and a weekend away coming up. It's going to be a long month...

* I HAVE watched Coronation Street most of my life, and would probably get a reasonable score if it was my specialist subject on Mastermind.

I’ve seen it through highs and lows, and always defended it because it’s beautifully written, blending light and shade. But recently, for a second, I actually considered not watching it again. Not because of the sinister yet tiresome Phelan storyline, or the tedious Baby George saga. Not even ‘Ken Corleone’ and his clan of gangster Barlows.

It’s the toe-curlingly awful 'comedy'. Recent episodes have had Norris in a daft Batman cape, Roy as a ranting pagan Santa and Brian in jail on Christmas Day for a ludicrous bungled burglary. Woefully unfunny scenes, painful to watch. Where has Corrie's clever comic writing gone? I want it back.