Saturday 18 August 2012

Cantatur in Taberna

Dear Listener,

Mevlana tells a story about a wandering sufi who comes to a monastery and stays there. Unbeknown to him, they sell his donkey and use the money to prepare a tremendous feast.The whole community goes wild through the night. The climax of the celebration finds the wanderer dancing with his hosts and everyone is chanting "the donkey has gone, the donkey has gone". When he wakes in the morning he finds out what has happened but they say to him, "we thought you knew what we had done, after all you were singing with us 'the donkey has gone' all night long."

Well, that and many other things were in the back of my mind when I wrote this story. I enjoyed writing it very much and I hope you enjoy listening to it. My apologies to all natives of Yorkshire and Geordieland whose inflections I have ineptly bastardised for the voices of some of the characters.

Here is a direct link to this episode for those who prefer it that way. This week's soundtrack comes from two projects featuring Tim Rayborn's music: his album "Honey from the Thorn" and his work with Canconier in "The Black Dragon". You can get both albums on Magnatune.

Sweet dreams ...

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Returning Student

Dear Listener,

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

As usual, here's your direct link to the sound file. You may want to consider subscribing to the feed or on iTunes and, don't forget, all the previous episodes are available from the archive page for easy downloading.

This week's soundtrack is from "Sun" by Dejan Ilijic and his music (available at is well worth a listen in its own right.

Until next week ... sweet dreams,


Friday 20 July 2012

The Other Sideof the Hedge by E.M. Forster

Dear listener,

Welcome to Episode 28 that comes with my profound apologies for the long silence on this podcast. Life had got in the way of the creative rhythms that underpin the regular production of episodes but I'm pleased to say that I am returning to a regular schedule and will endeavour to keep supplying fresh and fun stories on a weekly basis.

Thank you very much if you have left comments here or written one of the encouraging reviews over at iTunes - it's been a blessing to get feedback of all sorts and it is always appreciated.

We have decided, every so often, to dig up a gem of a short story from another author's oeuvre and to give it the "Borders of Sleep Treatment". This week we have something from one of my best loved British authors, E.M. Forster (1879-1970). I'll let it speak for itself but strongly encourage you to seek out more of his work if you enjoy the atmosphere and sentiment of this short story.

If you enjoy listening to free audio narrations of works ancient and modern from the public domain or creative commons, then there is a treasure trove of material to discover every Friday at the #GoingPublic project so please check it out - you're in for a treat!

Here is the direct link to the MP3; but remember that if you don't want to miss a single episode then you can subscribe on iTunes or using the RSS feed in another podcast client.

The soundtrack this week comes from the sublime album "Rain Trip" by Toni Iniguez. You can listen to and download the entire album and lots of other great music from

Well ... bring on the slow magma of narrative!

Sweet dreams and thank you for listening,


Monday 23 April 2012

Iron and Wood

Dear Listener,

This week, we have a woodcutter, a mysterious old woman, a sailor, a lace maker and some magic ... sounds like the makings of a fairytale! I hope you enjoy it. Here's a direct link to the MP3.

Don't forget to subscribe with i-Tunes or using the feed.

This week's soundtrack comes from the brooding ambient cello of Jami Sieber's "Unspoken" with a dose of pianistic wonderment from Giorgio Costantini's "Atmosphere".

Sweet dreams!


Tuesday 6 March 2012

Michigan Water

Dear Listener,

Welcome to episode 26. This one takes us back to a hard winter in Harlem, December 1939. Jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton is planning a major come-back from relative obscurity and we get a glimpse of this musical giant in a moment of loneliness and weakness. Tragically, he died just over a year later on the brink of a return to the limelight and we will never know what might have been.

I have always been fascinated by Jelly's life and music and I find the story of his later years quite poignant so this is a sort of a tribute as well as a nod to the fact that most of the listeners to this podcast are stateside residents.

So, here's the direct link, but if you enjoy the podcast why not subscribe to the feed or on iTunes (it's free).

Music this week is from the man himself.

Sweet dreams ....

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Wisdom of Things Found

Dear Listener,

What do you see? What do you hear?If you play close attention to anything, animal, vegetable or mineral, in time it will disclose some secret wisdom to you that you are obligated to share with others. I have become fascinated by the insights that "things" can impart to us and this story continues the journey with "Things Found" that I am also documenting on my blog.

Here is a story about a man who knew all that he knew because of what the sea brought to him, and he had an unusual way of sharing it.

As usual, here is a direct link to the Mp3 for this week's episode. You can also listen using the flash player above or subscribe to the feed or listen on iTunes. You can also pop over to Magnatune to hear the full album from which this week's background music is taken: "Water and Sky" by Kourosh Dini - beautiful!

Please consider leaving some feedback for us about the podcast. We are excited to see (from our stats) that there are a growing number of listeners around the world, over 100 episodes are downloaded every day ... but who are you? We'd love to hear from you.


Wishing you sweet dreams as always ....

Monday 6 February 2012

Fighting Lions

Dear Listener,

Well, I wasn't actually "fighting lions" but some pretty crazy stuff kicked off last time I was in Rome. I suppose it had more to do with a wolf than a lion...

I hope that you enjoy Episode 24. For the old-fashioned, here is the direct link (right click to download onto your hard drive) or you may be able to use the player on the screen. For the new-fashioned, here's the feed and here's the iTunes link.

The soundtrack for this week's podcast is from Magnatune as usual and the album is called "The Lost Mode". Regular listeners, see if you notice, producer Tim has found a way to make the voice recording even cleaner.

Please leave some feedback if you are enjoying the podcasts or if there's some sort of thing you'd like to hear more (or less) of.

Until next week ... sweet dreams!

Saturday 28 January 2012

The Ferryman

Dear Listener,

Here's your direct link for episode 23 of "Stories from the Borders of Sleep."

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. Here is a tale of a strange thing that happened to him on his way to school. You'll meet a couple of interesting characters and you'll learn about "tree wine", which I thoroughly recommend you try some time.

The soundtrack for this week's podcast features some beautifully ethereal flute from Suzanne Teng's "Enchanted Winds" album.

Enjoy the story and have sweet dreams until next time ...

Saturday 21 January 2012

The Unhappy Body by Lord Dunsany

Dear Listener,

We are back and starting this year with something slightly different that may happen again if the response is positive. Before I continue, here is a direct link to the MP3 if you need it.

Every so often, we'd like to unearth a long-forgotten gem by another author, whose work has come to rest in the the public domain, and to give it the "Borders of Sleep" treatment. This is inspired by the wonderful narrator, Xe Sands, and the brilliant #GoingPublic project that you can read about here and listen to on soundcloud. Every Friday, there is fresh audio material there from the public domain and creative commons.

So here is a strange tale of a conversation between a soul and a body who don't get on too well. It was originally published in 1910 by the Irish author, Lord Dunsany, whose full name was, "Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany." His imagination was as wild and far ranging as his name; as the collection from which this story is drawn (A Dreamer's Tales) amply demonstrates. You can read some more on Project Gutenberg.

The soundtrack for this weeks episode is from the album Glass Desert by Harlan Williams. Great music for mind-travel!

Well then, please let us know if you do or don't enjoy this week's offering and, until next week, wishing you ...

Sweet dreams ...