Thanks. I R shocked. Looks like I posted on here under another name waaaaay back when Bugsie (I did say that that used to be 'BG' pronounced phonetically) went walkabout. I'd forgotten ~embarrassed. Luckily someone picked up the "hooray, he's back" post on catchat and cross-posted, so thanks again for everyone's concern at that time.
He was missing for over a year - I did all the recommended stuff - posters, walking the streets, petfinder services (worth 50 quid or whatever it was to get the word out to vets and rescues ALL OVER) and put him on the wonderful wonderful mymoggy service. As there were no sightings, I can only presume that he was living in the trees and fields by the railway line for quite some time, as he was found very close to there in the next village and after nearly a year of being missing from me, had moved in with a very dear old lady and her little dog. She'd had a visiting vet friend give him the once over, but they hadn't bothered to have him scanned for a chip, or I'd've had him back six months sooner ~rolls eyes. Quite by chance, I saw him in my car headlights early one morning, plastered the road with posters again later that day, and got the call. I would have let the lady keep him as he was in spanking good health, she obviously loved him and I was just so happy to know he was alive and well (and had four cats at that time so although I missed him, they were all fine). The lady did live on a main road though and was rightly concerned about him getting run over, so home he came with me. Lesson is: don't 'not try' if puss goes missing, don't ever feel guilty that you're not doing enough if you are doing everything possible, as sometimes you just need pure dumb luck.
He's occasionally been a dirty stop out since, always come in during the early hours though, never gone AWOL again, phew.