I got off at Leicester to try and find the Spanish guitar store. Surfacing on Colbourn, I found casinos, theatres and a sea of tourists. It felt pretty different than Covent Gardens, only one stop up the Picadilly line. Trying to find the address, and inadvertently walking past the guitar shop at least three times without seeing it, I finally gave up, having spotted a bookstore that I told myself didn't look promising.
Making sure not to get too far away from the underground entrance (I left without a map yesterday) I went to the bookstore and it turned out to be quite an interesting one. It was an old/used/rare/secondhand type shop and there were some pretty old looking books on evolution by Darwin and a couple of editions of Lyell's geology book. Many of the books looked like academic remainders or cheap paperbacks though and I wonder if the better books were not being sold online.
I asked a man running the book store about the guitar shop and he knew right away what I was talking about and steered me in the right direction. I found the tiny shop entrance and worked my through the tourists to get to it, then up the winding old narrow stairs past a painted lion to the shop entrance. It's a tiny place with ukeleles, banjos, stratocasters and dobros, as well as classical guitars (which is what I am in the market for). I did not end up buying a guitar yesterday but I want to soon.
As I told the instructor at the shop, I've been messing around pretty seriously with classical guitar for about 20 years now, and I can play a couple of pieces at the 5 or 6 level of the Royal Conservatory series (Canada). But I've never had more than a couple of lessons, though I've been very dedicated and disciplined about it. One problem I have is that I can't play without sheet music in front of me. It's almost embarassing when someone hands me a guitar. The result is usually silence.
I'd like for this to change. As gratifying as playing the guitar strictly for my own pleasure has been, I think it's time to let the cat out of the bag.