WE never even got to say goodbye but, for the short time we hung out, we had an unforgettable time.
More than half a million others did too - twice the estimated number - who turned up to embrace the French madness of Royal De Luxe and their Liverpool Sea Odyssey the weekend just gone.
Nantes is France's Liverpool. In the
1980s they had the mighty Loire
and we had the Mighty Wah!
You might have been forgiven for thinking this was the world's biggest amateur photographers' convention: some 600,000 elbowing snappers, from every walk of life, armed with all manner of digital devices to capture the moment.
But in world where technology dictates every detail of our lives; a world of uncertainty where there seems to be more problems than solutions, all it took was the simple creak of a head and the bat of a wooden eyelash to please an all-comers swathe of humanity.
A vast collective grin and a vast collective tear - all prompted by the oldest themes in the world: love, loss and, finally, against the odds, reconciliation.
Small children yelling “Wake-up, wake up!” at a giant doll with a scabby knee in dewy Stanley Park on Friday morning; their hot little Kirkdale classrooms and SATs revision abandoned.
The woman fiercely ordering a middle aged couple to move out of her line of sight - a traffic island at the entrance to the Kings Dock on Saturday. “I will,” he told her, with a touch of the defiant teenager, “stand where I want. All right?”
In the event, they were all swept up, and swept on.
They are a photogenic trio, these two giant puppets and dog, and it was hard to see them in a bad light, through a lens or otherwise.
They made us clap our hands in delight, they made our bottom lips quiver. We would walk 23 miles for one of their smiles. In short, it was love at first height.
After touring Royal De Luxe's workshops last summer while on holiday in the city of Nantes, this writer (no freebies), badly wanted to run away with them, and did so, again, this weekend.
“Liverpool is the centre of the creative universe and here's the proof!” declared more than one proud social networker as the city walked tall.
Steady on. Liverpool is many things, and it has been many things more. But the fact remains that this show, like much of the programme of European Capital of Culture 2008, was bought in.
No restaurant worth its salt, or its sugar, would globally position itself similarly if it paid someone else to make its fancies.
Nantes is France's Liverpool. In the 1980s they had the mighty Loire and we had the Mighty Wah!
Both handsome ports were built on slavery and face west. By the end of the decade the fortunes of each had gone the same way.
Then, in 1989, the mayor of Nantes set about doing everything in his power to persuade RDL's founder, Jean Luc Courcoult, and his band of inventors, scrap dealers, stuntmen and poets to move out of Toulouse and set up shop there in a derelict docks warehouse. Visionary leadership indeed.
Now, Royal De Luxe and their next door neighbours, La Machine, are the focus of an attraction called Iles des Machines which not only helps rake in millions of tourist euros every year, but which nurtures special people: people who dare to make a living from daring millions of others to dream.
Nothing Toulouse, you might say, and everything to gain.
For the world, I wouldn't turn my nose up at buying up events like the Sea Odyssey and La Princesse on my own manor, and to argue that it wasn't worth a few hundred grand in these cash-strapped times is churlish and pointless.
The city's men women and children may have entered Monday morning on a high, enriched by the weekend's experiences, but they are going to have to hold on tight to those photographic memories. Sea Odyssey was paid for out of the last of the legacy money from 08 and that's it. The party is, officially, over. So what now?
Perhaps it is time that we put some effort into our own artistic inventors and poets.
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's In Harmony is a start - “it's now dead cool to play a violin in West Everton” - apparently; and along with community choirs like Sense of Sound, and the carnival drummers, there are places where you can have a blast. But we need more. We need to grow our own.
Unlike much of the UK, elitism doesn't come naturally to us in Liverpool, but dreams still do.
How about youth theatres that don't depend on audition? Investing in people that make seismic shifts happen? Identifying and attracting the real provocateurs here, by whatever means necessary, and turning a blind eye while they run riot?
Don't ask me to draw the map beyond that: there isn't one, it doesn't work that way.
One thing I do know is that we're not Northampton (sorry Northampton) and that we've got previous. Our history tells us we can do much more.
Nantes has turned its derelict dockland into an artistic powerhouse; in Liverpool we have the prospect of utilitarian office blocks on the north docks to enrich our lives.
Spectacle wise? Why, we'll always find money for the annual swill of Mathew Street.
Let's look out to the horizon, instead, where that little girl and her uncle vanished with untimely haste on the swell of Sunday morning's tide.
You never know, we might be giants.
Follow Angie Sammons here on Twitter @twangeee
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