I knew that Paris would be empty and so expected to come empty-handed, but when I read in a magazine about all those stamp shops huddled together in a few streets just north of the Opéra, I couldn't resist going there to check. How frustrating to see shop after shop boarded up, but there were enough with only an iron gate in front of the windows, so I could do some serious window shopping!

However, Monsieur Patrick Vattier (bless his heart and soul) had opened his shop so I dashed in and in my best French (which is highly inadequate) tried to explain what I was after. Just as well I had studied my French catalogue before I went, so I could say the right words at the right moment.

What I came home with is a number of varieties, like this one: the mèches croisées variety on the 6f stamps.

These were issued in three colours and the variety is visible on all three of them (positions 15 and 65).

More tomorrow!