There are times I feel Watson is a rather classic Unreliable Narrator, but in this case I think Holmes is deceiving him about how lonely he is without him during retirement by making himself into a retroactive social swimmer."
Was Sherlock Holmes a lonely old man in his retirement? Was he more sociable than we sometimes believe? Does Watson leave out key information to our understanding Holmes?
And of course, we are 'Playing the Game' here.
And on that note; Would Sherlock Holmes be as popular as he is today if Watson (Doyle) had given us lots more information about him?