With two weeks to go, I'm really looking forward to this year's area contest at Stevenage. As we've learned in the past, the weekend won't receive the same attention from 4barsrest as the other regions do (though thankfully British Bandsman and a couple of others seem to do a bit better at getting their people in to listen and comment). All sections should have something interesting to offer, with some of last year's qualifiers having done well at the nationals (LGB, Kidlington and Epsom & Ewell), and a number of other bands having made good progress up from the lower sections in recent years. There's been a fair bit of shuffling round in terms of MDs in (or near) the top section, too, with new conductors in front of three championship section bands, if I've counted rightly. Throw a good selection of test-pieces into the mix, and it should make for a good weekend. Anyone else getting excited already? Any well-informed (or, better still, wildly random) predictions...?