… was a pair of American jeans, a Celtic sweater, a French bra and – for neutrality – a Swiss watch. I had become a British citizen in the summer, and it was oddly moving, voting in England for the first time. I brought my dog and my friend Nathan brought his dog, and the polling station was the social hall of the local church. No booths, no levers, no chads — just a piece of paper, a counter to lean on and a lead pencil that was attached to the counter with string.

I looked at the X I had drawn on the ballot paper and thought how this small action mattered; it was just like the flap of a butterfly wing that could create a tsunami, but before I could get too worked up about the electoral process and my exalted role within it, I saw that my nail polish was chipped and that my dog was starting to whine. I untied her – she was wearing a rather smart leopard-print halter and matching lead – and we went home.