When the sun shines on you during a holiday and it's raining back in your hometown, you're doubling your holiday pleasure.

I was in Wanaka for the first week of the school holidays, visiting for a family wedding and a spot of skiing.

You remember that week, right? It was that one when Auckland was lashed by sideways rain, subtropical storm winds and beguiling hints of sunshine that enticed locals into hanging out their washing ... moments before unleashing more sideways rain.

South Islanders love to talk about the weather. They can discuss the effects of the nor-wester foehn winds in Canterbury and the implications of low cumulonimbus over Westport with the kind of fluency Aucklanders reserve for meaningful subjects such as property prices and that telly show about a racist housewife on a boat.

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So it was with much joy that I followed the weather updates from Auckland.

Relaxing with a beer in the sun after a great day of skiing on Cardrona, I'd reach for my phone, log on to the MetService and smirk at the thought of my fellow Aucklanders battered by the grimmest elements of the Kiwi winter. As you, dear reader, grimaced into a westerly squall on the way home from work, I dozed in the sunshine. Don't hate me for it.

A little holiday-schadenfreude is a healthy thing. When we laugh at the 9-to-5 misfortunes of others, we're really just reminding ourselves of how great it is to be on vacation.