Who is Mr Bullfinch? – A Word from our Founder
In early August 1942 the Liberator “Commando” left the shores of Great Britain carrying a secret passenger. In order to preserve his identity and the security of the mission the passenger was given a codename – Mr Bullfinch. So vital to the war effort and the nation’s morale, Winston Churchill’s vulnerability in that lone aircraft heading to North Africa required the utmost secrecy.
I always had in mind naming this endeavour after a personal hero. Among my set of heroes none have provided me with more inspiration than Churchill. Few historical figures stand out as much as Churchill as a source of controversy, intrigue, and rumination. With about as many detractors as admirers, he has for so many (including me) been a source of much fascination. It seemed fitting to me that Churchill provide the spark for whatever this is by christening our site with a little known code name assigned to him for that mission to North Africa and Moscow in 1942.
It also made sense to name it after a personality or idea because Mr Bullfinch is not about one topic, one niche, one subject. Rather it is a philosophy, an ideology represented by three ideals:
Kodawari is taken from Japanese. I love words from other languages that defy simple translation; particularly those from the Japanese language. In essence, kodawari is a term for the relentless pursuit of excellence; an uncompromising devotion to a craft or activity; an intolerance towards compromise. But it is more than that, much more. It’s about not taking the easy way; but taking the road less travelled. To set a standard and accept nothing less. Mr Bullfinch is not just a kodawari devotee but an admirer and advocate of it wherever it can be found. The world would be a poorer and far more average place without its kodawari warriors. Bullfinch aim to not just practice it, but to showcase and celebrate it.
Speaking of words taken from other languages. Bricolage! Here I must confess I am a newcomer to the word. But it was love at first sight. I spent sometime in a kodawari pursuit of the perfect word that sums up the second aspect of Mr Bullfinch’s ethos. Nothing quite hit the mark to really encapsulate our focus on maker culture, creativity, innovation, technology and eclecticism. Until I discovered bricolage; which comes from the French verb “bricoler”, meaning to tinker or work on something in attempt to improve it. In context, bricolage represents the concept that originality, creativity, innovation and idealism lie at the very heart of Mr Bullfinch.
Symmetry ties everthing together. Technically speaking, you might say it is the proper proportion of the parts of a body or whole to one another with regard to size and form. But I am talking about something deeper – that x factor that takes something from ordinary to awesome. If you’ve ever watched the US TV program Iron Resurrection they have the perfect term for it – “The Huckleberry“. I love that. At Mr Bullfinch we are ALL about finding and exposing The Huckleberry in whatever form it takes.
But, strip everything away to bare metal and the essence of Mr Bullfinch is a celebration of cool stuff, clever people and brilliant ideas. It’s about living well, perhaps not in the grand Churchillian style, but say what you like about Sir Winston – nobody knew how to do it better than him!