Having reached his fortieth birthday, Cyril Connolly reminisced in war torn London about his earlier adventures in France: “Peeling off the kilometres to the tune of ‘Blue Skies,’ sizzling down the long black liquid reaches of the Nationale Sept, the plane trees going sha-sha-sha through the open window, the windscreen yellowing with crushed midges, she with the Michelin beside me, a handkerchief binding her hair . . .”
Cyril could have also mentioned the satisfyingly mesmeric sound of cicadas when you drive beyond Valence into Provence. Perhaps part of their attraction is because it is tangible proof that you have left northern Europe behind or that they only sing when the temperature is above 83F.