The royal family

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Not so long ago, Scout's career aspiration was to become Father Christmas, and then a doctor... and then a duck. These days she wants to be a queen. Not a princess, my daughter will have none of that: she is going straight to the top.

"I LOVE queens," she tells me. For Christmas, she asked Father Christmas for "a queen dolly." (Father Christmas found it more challenging than you might imagine to convince the elves to make such a thing).

"Why do you love queens so much?" I ask her.

"Because queens are Mummys and I love Mummy." Be still my heart.

"What do queens do?"

"They wear crowns and dresses and high heels." Of course.

"But," I prompt her, "what else do they do, after they get dressed?"

She looks at me with the air of a person patiently explaining something to someone who is a bit slow. "Well, we will just have to wait and see, won't we?"

Ralph, in the meantime, is VERY into castles. Essentially, any building that is more than two stories high is a castle.

"A castle! I see a castle!" he runs on the spot with excitement, every time we pass the construction site of an apartment complex on Sydney Road.

So on the last day of Mr B's holidays we decide to indulge both passions, and take them to Kryal Castle, the only "castle" within driving distance of Melbourne.

Say what you like about this place, my kids absolutely love it. Scout mixes potions and makes her own perfume. ("This is powdered goblin teeth," says the potions lady. "No, that's flour!" corrects Scout, despite being by far the youngest participant in the potion-mixing class. That's my little baker.) They are riveted during the jousting display (refusing to leave until the end, despite a bitter wind blowing); take turns gleefully playing "following the leader" in the maze; and Scout spends the entire drive home speculating how Merlin will rescue Queen Guinevere from Morgana.

Also, she wears her crown all day.

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