In the glow of an imminent departure, everything's bright and beautiful. The same thing happened when I was getting ready to leave Cleveland - all of a sudden the snow melted and even surly postal clerks were smiling. It's even more so here in France.
The gear may be old, but the man is not. Happy Birthday Eric, the sweetest boy in the world - you only improve with age, like a vintage tape machine (well, maybe not this one...)