Since October 2006 I have lived in Redondo Beach, California. Part of Los Angeles county, Redondo is a small beach city with a population of around 63,000 in an area of 6.35 square miles. Redondo has two miles of beautiful sandy beach that are hugged by the Redondo Beach Pier and King Harbour area, and a paved path,c alled The Strand runs from South Redondo north to Santa Monica. A typical day on this path will see thousands of people on foot, bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, wheelchair and stroller enjoying the sun and surf.

Having previously lived in sketchier parts of Los Angeles – Silver Lake and Hollywood, you appreciate hearing sea lions bark in the distance at night instead of helicopters circling your building looking for criminals. Don’t get me wrong I loved living in Hollywood – driving down Hollywood Blvd past the Chinese Mann Theatre with all the hand prints and footprints of movie stars past and present, never failed to rouse nostalgic excitement in me and it was handy being close to friends and a variety of night life. But how can that compare with walking out my front door and in five minutes be standing on the sand in front of the Pacific Ocean?

Living in Redondo each weekend feels like a holiday! My boyfriend and I often just walk down to the International Boardwalk lined with shabby shops selling mounted starfish proclaiming ‘welcome to Redondo Beach’, the smell of fried sea food filling our noses. As we walk around the horse shoe shaped pier, the strains of a reggae band playing covers at the local bar battle with the sound of motor boats taking tourists out for nature tours overload our ears.

California brown pelicans line the harbour walls – I never cease to find these magnificent creatures fascinating, they are almost prehistoric looking with their big jaws, and gentle eyes. And boats – there are so many boats of all shapes and sizes, I can’t wait to start sailing lessons next year, and once again feel the freedom of being on the ocean commanding a vessel, the wind in my hair.

Yep you could say I love it here.

Not Goth, 34, Redondo Beach