Cool Stuff You Can't Find On The Web has been updated:
...there used to be a magazine (I think) which came with a tape which had various childrens stories on it. The one I remember was "The thin king and the fat cook" but there were a few on each tape. I had a couple of tapes, but I've lost them now. Maybe they are still at my parents' house somewhere.
[Update!] - This is what I was talking about. Apparently I had "Story Teller 2" parts 5 and 16 and possibly also "Christmas Story Teller" part 2, because the titles Bored Brenda, Noggin And the Birds, The Snow Bear, The Inn Of Donkeys, Shorty The Satellite And The Brigadier, The Nightingale, Hugo And the Man Who Stole Colours, Mole's Winter Welcome, The Tale of the Little Pine Tree and Grogre and the Giant Nasher seem familiar. I remember very little about any of these except that (as I recall) some of them made me feel quite sad. And there was something about a picnic of bread, cheese and apples in one of them. And people getting swallowed up by a bog. Derek Jacobi's voice still makes me think of these stories to this day. It's quite possible that at least some of these tapes were chewed up by my tape player - it used to do that every once in a while (particularly when I stuck things into it - I was a little scientist).
[Update!] - I got a hold of a digital copy of all of the tapes and magazines, and they are just as good as I remember - extremely well done. I have been playing them for Alexander but he’s a bit young for them at the moment. I look forward to the day when he is old enough to enjoy them. The one with the picnic was “The Snow Bear”, and the sad one was “The Nightingale” (all these stories have happy endings, though). “Mole’s Winter Welcome” still brings a tear to my eye.
There's something very surreal and very wonderful about finding something you remember from a very long time ago in early childhood, and having memories of that time come flooding back. This has happened to me a few times now (mostly because of the internet). Sometimes they things you remember are even as good as you remember them being.
That happened to some extent when I watched The Mysterious Cities of Gold again at university. Some parts (like the butterflies on the approach to the New World, Tao's sadness at the destruction of the Solaris and the first time the Golden Condor flies) were as magnificant as I remember, but some bits seem a bit implausible now and I had forgotten just how destructive those kids were - just about every magnificent ancient treasure and building gets turned to rubble in their wake!
Speaking of MCOG - Oh wow, I just noticed that they're making a movie of it - awesome!