Sketching and Painting

Published: Oct. 26, 2020, 11:04 p.m.
Duration: 20 minutes 12 seconds

This is a story about an artist called Anna and a surprising discovery she makes in the autumnal woods. 

Listed in: Fiction

Brother Savion

Published: Aug. 21, 2020, 2:54 a.m.
Duration: 22 minutes 18 seconds

One day in September, 40 years of the companionship of a forest brings a hermit to the culmination of his life cycle.

Listed in: Fiction

The Librarian

Published: May 1, 2020, 12:47 a.m.
Duration: 22 minutes 29 seconds

"You know, all this talk we are talking? It's like the sunshine and the rain. It's present or not, but when it is present it soaks and warms and disappears. Nevertheless, the nourishing effect of it lasts and shows continually."

Listed in: Fiction

Chippie and Angus

Published: March 29, 2020, 11:02 p.m.
Duration: 13 minutes 23 seconds

It's a story about a quiet girl, and I don't want to give too much away ...

Listed in: Fiction

Lady Isabella

Published: March 6, 2020, 6:18 a.m.
Duration: 16 minutes 7 seconds

A story about an unlikely friendship that occurs on an expedition to gather chamomile.

Listed in: Fiction

Horseless Carriage

Published: Jan. 15, 2020, 12:52 a.m.
Duration: 23 minutes 1 second

Just a rather nice little trip down memory lane in later life, wherein we discover that the peacock is a magical bird ... perhaps.

Listed in: Fiction


Published: Nov. 19, 2018, 6:38 a.m.
Duration: 26 minutes 24 seconds

In which some fascinating things are discovered about the secret lives of plants and other living things.

Listed in: Fiction

Water Cure

Published: July 13, 2018, 11:47 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 42 seconds

Inspired by a piece of music by Paul Morris ( this story tells of a strange visit to an unusual shrink. 

Listed in: Fiction

Mortal Uncoil

Published: May 20, 2018, 4:11 p.m.
Duration: 11 minutes 28 seconds

The strange last journey of an old man from this life.

Listed in: Fiction

Poor Butterfly

Published: Jan. 14, 2018, 12:55 p.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 48 seconds

Two girls get away from it all in a borrowed Studebaker, and get diverted on their way to the coast.

Listed in: Fiction

My Journey

Published: Sept. 23, 2015, 8:36 a.m.
Duration: 15 minutes 12 seconds

Episode 36 ... a little bit of autobiography: part of the story of the inception of 'Stories from the Borders of Sleep'.

Listed in: Fiction

The Night of the Nipperquins

Published: Sept. 1, 2015, 10:41 p.m.
Duration: 21 minutes 49 seconds

Writting for the wedding of a friend, this story recounts the strangest wedding night of all time.

Listed in: Fiction

Hitting it Out of the Park

Published: July 20, 2015, 9:38 p.m.
Duration: 13 minutes 28 seconds

An episode dedicated to corporate daydreamers, opponents and proponents of boardroom bluster, meeting doodlers and anyone who has ever had to circle the waggons, eat their own dogfood or deploy blue-sky thinking - this is for you.

Listed in: Fiction

Thrice Buried

Published: July 7, 2015, 11:02 p.m.
Duration: 31 minutes 44 seconds

As in the King, so in the Kingdom. But how terrible, then, for the Kingdom if the King has lost the will to live...

Listed in: Fiction

Kalakut's Gift

Published: July 1, 2014, 10:12 p.m.
Duration: 21 minutes 15 seconds

This is a story about a little girl and a volcano and it's also about a grandfather and a fish, and a village and a rock ... and many other things if you listen carefully.

Listed in: Fiction

The Jellyfarglemarsh

Published: July 13, 2013, 11:15 a.m.
Duration: 13 minutes 3 seconds

Here we are, back after a long hiatus, kicking off a new season of fortnightly podcasts with episode 31 - a tale containing a lot of made-up words ...

Listed in: Fiction

Cantatur in Taberna

Published: Aug. 18, 2012, 11:17 a.m.
Duration: 21 minutes 38 seconds

A cautionary tale about drinking in strange taverns.

Listed in: Fiction

Returning Student

Published: July 30, 2012, 10:36 p.m.
Duration: 17 minutes 33 seconds

Can there be learning without books? Can there be as much to ponder in a day of walking as in a term of studying? A student is forced to face these questions on his way home for the summer.

Listed in: Fiction

The Other Side of the Hedge by E.M. Forster

Published: July 19, 2012, 11:20 p.m.
Duration: 17 minutes 2 seconds

Occasionally on this podcast, we feature the work of another author from the public domain. This week we have a short story by the marvellous E.M Forster. Writing in the first half of the twentieth century, his romantic soul was troubled by the march of "so called" progress and his voice is still prophetic in our own times. Enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction

Iron and Wood

Published: April 22, 2012, 10:32 p.m.
Duration: 23 minutes 23 seconds

A woodcutter, a sailor, a lace maker, and a mysterious old woman ... sounds like a fairytale to me.  

Listed in: Fiction

Michigan Water

Published: March 5, 2012, 10:22 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 10 seconds

It's December 1939, a hard winter in Harlem and pianist Jelly Roll Morton is plotting his return to fame. Tragically, in just over a year he would be dead.

Listed in: Fiction

The Wisdom of Things Found

Published: Feb. 20, 2012, 11:17 p.m.
Duration: 14 minutes 47 seconds

If you listen to anything, animal, vegetable or mineral, in time it will disclose some secret wisdom to you that you are obligated to share with others. Here is a story about a man who knew all that he knew because of what the sea brought to him.

Listed in: Fiction

Fighting Lions

Published: Feb. 6, 2012, 11:41 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 42 seconds

Welcome to "Stories from the Borders of Sleep" Episode 24. Rome ... Romantic? Oppressive? You decide, but just be aware that strange things might happen if you are at a loose end in the vicinity of the Colisseum.

Listed in: Fiction

The Ferryman

Published: Jan. 28, 2012, 3:15 p.m.
Duration: 22 minutes 49 seconds

Turpin Whittington has a few problems: an unusual name, complete deafness in his left ear and an uncontrollable tendency to get lost in fairy-land but somehow he makes good.

Listed in: Fiction

The Unhappy Body by Lord Dunsany

Published: Jan. 21, 2012, 5:20 p.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 18 seconds

Every once in a while, we have decided to unearth a short story from the public domain and to give it the "Borders of Sleep" treatment. Here's a curious tale originally published in 1910 by Lord Dunsany in a collection entitled A Dreamer's Tales. Enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction

Moving in Mysterious Ways

Published: Dec. 22, 2011, 5:28 p.m.
Duration: 16 minutes 37 seconds

What lies beyond the chess board? A few chess pieces get to find out ...

Listed in: Fiction

Bear Bridge

Published: Nov. 25, 2011, 9:17 a.m.
Duration: 19 minutes 17 seconds

A tale in which a baker gets the better of some savage bears with the help of a mysterious miller.

Listed in: Fiction


Published: Nov. 15, 2011, 12:37 a.m.
Duration: 24 minutes 19 seconds

Stitched together from ideas that occurred to me while out walking the dog, my ponderings on the nature of fear, a dream from a long time ago, and a more recent journey in my own soul - it kind of emerged over the course of the last week. Is there something in you that needs to be unblocked?

Listed in: Fiction

The Seven Legged Spider

Published: Nov. 3, 2011, 11:44 p.m.
Duration: 13 minutes 54 seconds

This story does not do what it says on the tin. Not to give too much away, but: It is based on a folk tale that is still told in many variations across the world. I remember hearing it as a child. usually the "take home message" is something to do with collaborating and contributing to a greater effort, but here's my take on it ...

Listed in: Fiction

Wild Blue Yonder

Published: Oct. 28, 2011, 8:33 a.m.
Duration: 11 minutes 40 seconds

Here is a deep dive into the ocean and beyond, to carry you far away in your imagination, to dream within dreams, or just to help you get to sleep ... enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction

Beth and the Emerantil

Published: Oct. 22, 2011, 10:42 p.m.
Duration: 31 minutes 30 seconds

A story of a young girl who intends to become a princess by marrying a prince one day, yet in a single night she meets a strange shadow and an even stranger creature who shows her things no princess has ever seen.

Listed in: Fiction


Published: Oct. 6, 2011, 10:14 p.m.
Duration: 7 minutes 49 seconds

A fragment of autobiographical memory, introducing one of the many creatures that inhabited my childhood. 

Listed in: Fiction

A Tale of TwoPots

Published: Sept. 29, 2011, 11:23 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 42 seconds

Another folk tale adapted for "Stories from the Borders of Sleep" by Seymour Jacklin. If you are enjoying these stories please rate them on iTunes or leave some feedback on the website:

Listed in: Fiction

Between Two Tides

Published: Sept. 22, 2011, 5:31 p.m.
Duration: 33 minutes 37 seconds

Here is another story that is a retelling of a vivid and lengthy dream I had many years ago. A stranger is washed up on a beach, barely alive. Years later he tries to recover his memories of a very different time and place and the people he lived with before - a people whose entire civilisation rose and fell in a single life-time or even ... between two tides.

Listed in: Fiction


Published: Sept. 15, 2011, 11:03 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 35 seconds

This is a story about ... a clown, that's about all I can say without giving the game away!

Listed in: Fiction

Balthazar's Chandelier

Published: Sept. 5, 2011, 10:17 p.m.
Duration: 12 minutes 34 seconds

Welcome to episode 11 of Stories from the Borders of Sleep, which tells of an extraordinary day in the life of a humble servant who was trying his best to keep a low profile ... This is one of many stories that I have heard or read in a forgotten time and place that has, nevertheless, stuck in my mind enough to be given the "borders of sleep" treatment. I hope that it stays with you as long as it has stayed with me.

Listed in: Fiction

Swee-swee and the Cobbler

Published: Aug. 22, 2011, 10:44 p.m.
Duration: 11 minutes 9 seconds

I adapted this story from one that appears in the writings of Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Christian pastor who was imprisoned by the communists for his faith. He spent some 14 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement and enduring torture on a daily basis. He was beaten so badly he was never able to wear shoes again. In spite of this he has written some of the most profound and powerful stories and sermons I have ever read. He was a master of the parable and this one, about a caged bird, is just one of the many that came to mean a great deal more to him, no doubt, as he lay in his cell. The sound-track is from David Modica's album "The Waters Wide" - available from

Listed in: Fiction

Two Handkerchiefs

Published: Aug. 4, 2011, 11:30 p.m.
Duration: 23 minutes 50 seconds

The latest podcast from This one is a "fairy tale" ... well ... it does have fairies in it but it may not be "happily ever after" in the quite the same way as most fairy tales end. You will also hear about two letters, and two wars, and two sworn enemies, but most of all you'll hear about two handkerchiefs. The soundtrack contains music  by Jami Sieber, available from Story by Seymour Jacklin, artwork by Robyn Trainer and production by Tim Wiles.

Listed in: Fiction

The Trespassers

Published: July 25, 2011, 11:07 p.m.
Duration: 17 minutes 20 seconds

A cautionary tale, and not for the feint of heart. This is a story about what befalls a party of revellers on their way home one night.

Listed in: Fiction

The Cat and The Mouse

Published: July 7, 2011, 9:33 p.m.
Duration: 17 minutes 2 seconds

Dear Listener, Traditionally we know that cats and mice do not get on with one another - it's a cat-eat-mouse world! But here is a story that just asks "what if" a particular cat and a particular mouse should break the mould because of their love for one another? This is a story adapted closely from one of Grimm's Fairy Tales. The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were collectors of european folk tales, publishing some of our best loved and most often recited stories in the early 1800s. Unlike the "disneyified" fairy tales that have become popular in our own time, the stories that the Grimm brothers collected tended to be dark and obscure ... The rather evocative, at times dark and obscure, solo violin of Anthony Salvo accompanies this tale which I hope you enjoy. If youlike the music you can download it yourself from Enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction


Published: June 23, 2011, 6:40 p.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 28 seconds

Three schoolboys and an idyllic midsummer evening on the river Thames, echoing in the memory forever. This is a short snapshot, the very briefest of autobiographical sketches from my early teens. Enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction


Published: June 9, 2011, 7:15 p.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 35 seconds

Dear Listener, What is greatness, anyway? I guess we all have a different idea of what it means to be "great". Here is a story about someone who was rather like a lot of us, and certainly a lot like me, who had never really thought it through. My masterful sound recordist, Tim, has got me onto a sensible recording schedule, which should mean that these podcasts go out on a steady fortnightly basis from now on. Also, in case you were wondering, I intend to keep on publishing here until the stories dry up which is not likely to happen any time soon as I get at least two new ideas for new ones every week. Thank you for listening and ... Enjoy!

Listed in: Fiction

One Stormy Night

Published: May 27, 2011, 12:29 a.m.
Duration: 27 minutes 18 seconds

What are archaeologists really looking for? This one is digging up his own soul. This week's story is longer than the usual Borders of Sleep fare and certainly longer than I would normally podcast; but, I am still wanting to try out different things and see what people like. I did consider putting this into parts I and II but I thought you might find that annoying. That said, this story is long, but not as long as the time for which one of the characters has been absent from himself. When I wrote it, it seemed to get a life of its own and to run away with me, but hopefully not like the horse in the story. There is a lot crammed into it, but not quite as much as you will see crammed into a certain item of clothing that you will hear about. The airy and dark acoustic guitar soundtrack is from Glass Desert by Harlan Williams and it's available from Magnatune.

Listed in: Fiction

Tree and Stream

Published: April 18, 2011, 11:09 p.m.
Duration: 7 minutes 52 seconds

If you were water, what sort of water would you be? Would you be the water in a stream or the water in a tree? Or would you be ice or vapour? And what would it be like to be able to see the path of an ant or a star with the same clarity as we see the path to our own front door? All of these are questions you may ponder as you listen to this story about a traveller, and a tree ... and a stream.

Listed in: Fiction

Water in the Desert

Published: March 28, 2011, 10:32 a.m.
Duration: 13 minutes 22 seconds

Here's a story that is a precise retelling of a dream that I had many years ago. Make of it what you will; but, for my part, I have never been able to escape the feeling that there is more life to be had if we would only stop being so clever about everything.

Listed in: Fiction

The Prince and the Bird

Published: March 3, 2011, 4:21 p.m.
Duration: 15 minutes 57 seconds

Where a prince discovers that everything in his kingdom is also in his own soul.

Listed in: Fiction