Ted Roberts, a cheeky Chelsea Pensioner takes us inside the Royal Hospital- Londoner #22

I like messing about, I like having a laugh.
Life’s too short, so if you can make someone laugh every day, you’ve cracked it. That hat
actually is not mine. I had to borrow that off a friend of mine. And that was sliding
down me head, that’s why I’m laughing. I’m saying ‘hurry up and take the photo, it’s
moving’. Lots of laughs, that’s probably why I didn’t get promoted. United nations medal,
that’s the only one I got. I never got my LS&GC because I got a bit of a record. Bit
of a naughty boy. And that photo is the wife. God bless her. Yeah, miss her. My ceremonial
duties, they mean a lot to me. Because it reminds me of the days when I used to do it
in the regular forces. And it’s good, I like the uniformity of everything. Retirement’s
fantastic, as long as you keep active and don’t sit about and forget about the world
outside. Keep going, or find something to do all the time. Keep your mind active. The edge between life and death was thin.
But then I discovered discipline. I learnt to smile when I felt sad. I learnt to take
the good and the bad. I learnt to care a great deal more for the world about me than before.
I began to forget the ‘me’ and ‘I’ and join in life as it rolled by. This may not mean
sheer ecstasy but it’s better by far than ‘I’ and ‘me’.

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