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Do you doodle? Are you quick on the draw? Then this is your chance to have fun and help a charity.

IT'S something most of us do without thinking. Whether you're on the phone - or distracted in the classroom! - you start scribbling on the nearest piece of paper, coming up with some weird and wonderful shapes that mean absolutely nothing.

Or do they? Apparently the way you doodle is really a subconscious outpouring from your mind, and the pattern represents a facet of your personality in some way.

If you draw boxes, it usually means you're highly organised, or, if you like to draw triangles and other pointy shapes you're likely to be very determined.

Many often like to draw love hearts, stars and sometimes flowers... which apparently means you are peaceful and 'irrepressibly romantic'.

Even the stroke of the pen matters because it reflects how rushed or relaxed you're feeling at the time.

February 5 is National Doodle Day, an annual fundraising event organised by Epilepsy Action. There are lots of family fun events going on throughout the country and, by doodling and donating, your support will ensure that the 600,000 people living with epilepsy have access to specialist advice, quality healthcare and can live free of stigma, prejudice and discrimination.

So you could go to an event or even, as a family, have a doodling competition to see who doodles what - and guess what it means. See how accurate you can be. | You could ask one member of the family to draw a doodle and the others can all try to guess what it means. You could have a prize for the person who guesses correctly.

| Or you could all decide to draw the same thing but work out the different ways you have drawn it - the styles, the strokes, any intricate details - and discover why, when you have all drawn the same thing it says different things about you.

What are doodles? DOODLES may be shapes, patterns, drawings or scribbles - anything we produce in an idle moment while the focus of our attention is elsewhere.

Why do people doodle? MEETINGS and phone calls can be very tedious and some people hate doing nothing. Doodling helps relieve boredom and frustration and the urge to doodle gets stronger as stress levels rise.

Doodling is like a safety valve that allows pressure to be dispelled in a playful and creative way.

INTERPRETING DOODLES Shapes: Are the lines mainly straight or curved? These represent opposite aspects of our nature: masculine and feminine, mental and physical, willpower and emotion.

Does it fill it, look balanced, or is it tiny? This reflects the person's activity level, sense of importance and enjoyment of attention, and shows how they tend to dominate situations or relationships.

People who prefer straight lines tend to have strong willpower and self-control and like facts, while those who prefer curved strokes are more flexible, imaginative and emotional, says Ruth Rostron, professional handwriting analyst.

Styles and strokes: The mood and sense of movement (lively, peaceful, static, rushed, disturbed etc.,) reflect a person's temperament, dynamism and well-being at the time, while the strength of the strokes indicates what energy went into doodling. Colours: Dark colours or heavily shaded areas convey a sombre mood of serious thought or possibly depression.

Sizing and spacing: Everything in a doodle relates in some way to the person who has drawn it. A single object represents the person while the background scene or space represents the world around. Several objects may represent people who are important to them, different aspects of a situation, or parts of themselves.

Pale or light-coloured doodles look timid, indecisive or sensitive, while bright colours look more lively and cheerful.

| For more information on events or how to analyse doodles go to doodle-day. If a doodle consists of a single object or pattern, consider how big it is in relation to the space.

JOKE TIME To go with the traffic jam.

don't peel in the sunshine | What musical instrument is found in the bathroom? A tuba toothpaste.

| Why couldn't the pony sing himself lullaby? | Why do bananas have to put on sunscreen before they go to the beach? To make sure they | Why did the girl smear peanut butter on the road? Because he was a little hoarse.


| Doodle by YouTuber Joe Sugg

Everyone can get involved in National Doodle Day

| Illustrator Sir Peter Blake

| Author Shirley Hughes

| Actress Olivia Coleman
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 30, 2016
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